What Is the Most Expensive Part of Building a Custom Home in Bluffton

Building a Custom House in Bluffton SC

Bluffton is a gorgeous place to build a house, and building a custom house is so much sweeter. You get everything that you’re looking for in a house–a brand new house that was designed just for you and hasn’t been lived in by anyone else. You know that everything is new. You’ve watched it go up so you know it inside and out. Building a custom house in Bluffton, SC is truly a dream come true.

But building a home–any home–can be expensive. Here are some things to keep in mind when building your custom house.

The Most Expensive Parts of Building a Custom House

While we often think about things like countertops and light fixtures being expensive, the most expensive parts of a custom house are really in the structure. Here are places where costs can get high–and how to avoid them.


Framing is the most expensive cost of building any house, and you can’t avoid it–houses need to be framed. But there are some things you can do to limit the costs of framing a house. Here’s how to save money on framing.


The size of the house is obviously going to have a big impact on the cost of your custom home. Cutting down on the size here and there can save you a lot of money. Talk to your designer to see how to make better use of space to do more with less.

Type of Framing

The most common type of framing is called stick framing, and this uses typical dimensional lumber (2x4s, etc). There are costs associated with this you can avoid, including using expensive beams to span large areas–if you can break up those spans, you can save a little. Other ways you can save are on custom curved walls and high ceilings.

Another type of framing that can get expensive is timber framing, where you’re using exposed timbers. Not only does the exposed wood have to look nicer (and is therefore more expensive) but the connectors (often steel) are more expensive than typical nails and screws. And if you’re designing a house with exposed logs (typically used in cabins, but also some nicer custom houses) there’s a much higher cost.


This is your next biggest investment, and there are definitely ways that you can make this cost less. Here are a few:

Location of the property

Pouring a foundation requires cement trucks, and if your house is on a lot that makes it hard for cement trucks to access (such as on a remote road, or up a steep rocky incline) then they’re going to need to use special equipment to pump the cement up and over into the foundation.

Basement vs. No Basement

Having a basement in your house is going to dramatically increase the price of the custom home, as it requires a lot more concrete to pour than a simple slab foundation–a basic flat slab of concrete that provides a level area for the framing to go up.


Choosing a roof might be very important to the look of your home–you might have your heart set on a specific architectural style that requires one type of shingle over another–but this is a place where costs can really add up.

Types of Shingles

The most common type of shingle is the asphalt shingle, and the reason this is so common is because it’s the cheapest and easiest. There’s nothing wrong with asphalt shingles–they’re expected to last for 20-25 years. Wood shakes are a big step up in price, but are associated with several coastal styles that are highly sought after. They last a long time, but do require regular maintenance as the wood may split or cup. Metal roofs can vary a lot in price, depending mainly on the thickness and type of material–steel is more expensive than aluminum, for example, but it lasts considerably longer.


Plumbing costs can really add up in a custom home, because the more complex the layout the more complex the plumbing. Some of the things that can make plumbing more expensive are:


Installing plumbing on an undeveloped plot of land will involve running pipes to the main lines, which can get expensive depending on how big the property is and how far the home is from the street and sewer system. (Also, there are costs for septic systems, if you go that route.)

Number of Stories

The cost of plumbing jumps with every different story of the house.


Flooring is a place where you can really splurge (or really save) on the cost of your custom home. Most of the costs depend on the type of flooring you choose:

Types of flooring

Carpet is common because it’s cheap. It doesn’t require any special kind of flooring and can be installed cheaply (though some types of carpet are more expensive than others). Going for hardwood is going to be a big jump in cost, but there are a lot of laminate and bamboo alternatives that are cheaper. Tiles can look great, but vary in price a huge amount, from the very cheap to the very expensive. And vinyl and linoleum are both inexpensive options.

Bottom Line

When building your custom home in Bluffton, SC, there are a lot of things you can do to save money if it’s a big concern of yours. Hopefully the above items will have given you some ideas of places where you can afford to splurge and where you ought to pinch your pennies. Whatever you choose, we’re sure that your Bluffton, SC custom home will be a gorgeous dream house that you’ll never want to leave.