When people approach us about building them a custom home in Ottawa, one of the first questions they ask is: how much will it cost? It’s hard to provide an estimate for the overall cost of a custom home because there are too many variables.
To provide an accurate estimate, we need to discuss where you want to live, whether you’ve purchased a lot or are still looking, total square footage of the home and a number of other decisions regarding design, finishes and outdoor spaces.
When building a home, the lot will make up a big part of the overall cost. Sometimes, our clients have already purchased a lot and have a separate budget for building the house. Other times, we work with clients that have an all-in budget for both the lot and home.
Apart from the price to purchase the lot, it’s also worth mentioning there are other lot factors to consider that could significantly affect the overall price:
- If it’s an infill property (there’s an existing structure on the property), costs for demolition will need to be included.
- Densely wooded lots might need to be cleared prior to building and you might be required to replant them once the project has finished.
- Depending on the lot, you might need to apply for a bylaw variance to build your dream home, which can add administrative costs.
Home Size and Design
Generally, as the square footage of the home increases, the cost to build will also go up. When all design choices are equal, a 3,000 square foot home will cost more than a 2,000 square foot home. However, it’s important to point out that some design choices can quickly change the cost of the overall project, regardless of home size.
- Bungalow plans are traditionally more expensive than 2-story homes because they require more foundation and walls for roughly the same square footage.
- Creative design choices like angles and curves are more expensive to build than square corners and straight walls.
- The structure needed to create wide-open spaces or vaulted ceilings can be costly due to the materials and labour needed to build safely.
Many people don’t think about the systems installed in their homes that keep them comfortable all year long, but HVAC is extremely important to the overall design of the house and make up a good portion of the overall budget. A furnace and air conditioner are necessary for our area and many of our clients also choose to include additional equipment such as an air purification system or humidity control units.
Obviously the finishes you choose will have a drastic effect on the overall budget. Countertops, flooring and cabinets make up the majority of finishing costs, but things like lighting choices, railing options and millwork can significantly increase the budget depending on your style preferences. Until we can sit down with you to discuss your personal aesthetic and see what you like (and don’t like) it’s hard to provide a quote on a custom home project.
Kitchen and Bathroom
Obviously every room in your home comes with costs, but the kitchen and master bathroom are two areas of the home where people tend to spend more. As discussed above, general finish choices impact spending, but when it comes to the kitchen, appliances can be a big expense. High-end stainless steel kitchen appliances will add more to the budget, as will luxury add-ons, like a fireplace in the bathroom.
A home doesn’t just include what’s inside four walls, it extends into your outdoor space too. Driveway options, house cladding and landscaping are all included in a custom home build and the choices you make will contribute to the overall cost. You might also decide to add other amenities to your backyard such as a chef-inspired outdoor kitchen, pool and hot tub, or a deck large enough to entertain.
Designing and building these outdoor spaces is what makes your home unique and special to you, but can also change the overall budget for the build.
As you’ve read, the cost of building a custom home varies based on a number of factors, which is why it’s so hard to answer questions over the phone or by email about the cost to build a custom home in Ottawa.
At Omega Homes, we believe in being honest and upfront about budget and costs. We also believe that being transparent about every part of the custom home build process — from finances and budgeting to after move-in warranty care — makes for a more stress-free and frictionless project. That’s why we offer free, no-obligation meetings to discuss your needs and provide you with a general overview of the costs.
Custom Home Building Process
When we start a new project, we always take the time to explain what our clients should expect and we help them with everything, from finding the perfect lot and designing the house to picking final finishes and being available for warranty and aftercare.
During discussions with clients, we ask a lot of questions to ensure we’re designing and building a home that they will love and will suit their needs, today and in the future. We also take the time to discuss the budget and go over all the costs associated with a custom home build, so that our clients are never surprised throughout the process.
About Omega Homes
There’s nothing our staff can’t handle. A group of top architects, designers and trades work in combination with our fully-trained and licensed staff to build your dream home. As a Tarion custom home design-builder, we pride ourselves on being adaptable. No matter the request, we’ll work tooth and nail to make it a reality, while maintaining top-quality standards and materials. Our designers and architects are always seeking a new challenge, so we encourage you to bring them one.