Its said that over 50% of custom builds never get off the ground. The number one reason is that many people do not prepare a realistic, comprehensive budget. To avoid disappointments, early consultation with an experienced builder is essential. A competent builder is a valuable partner in avoiding pitfalls and offering plan alternatives that will help keep your costs in line. Obtain estimates for budget line items like site work costs, surveys, engineering, sewer/septic, engineering, plans and building permits and fees. And anticipate that new home construction is rarely a smooth-sailing venture. Along the way you will encounter surprises in the form of required changes and unexpected costs. So ask for advice on the amount of financial cushion over the estimates necessary to ensure a successful project. Careful planning with your builder from day one will greatly increase your odds of living in a home with the style, quality and features you expect. And if you need a referral to a builder I trust, let me know.