Where should I invest my budget? Building a home that has everything you need

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Given the chance, building your own home is an amazing opportunity to realise your ideal lifestyle. It gives you the ability to create a place that fulfils the needs of you and your family. But in order to get everything right, it’s essential to budget everything from the outset. Not only do budgets keep you from spending all your money, but they clearly show how much you’re able to spend on each part of your home.

When deciding how to allocate your budget, there are two ways you can think about it: wants and needs. Considering both gives you an indication of the finishes you can afford and the cost of the required materials. And because both play role in building your dream home, we’re going to go over them here. 


When it comes to what you want in your home, the best place to start is a look at your ideal lifestyle. Building from scratch offers the opportunity to design something with that in mind; and it means you can focus on any of the key areas you’ll really live in once your home is built.

If you’re an avid foodie, allocating budget to better cooktops and ovens is one way to go. Or if you love the outdoors and entertaining around the barbeque, setting aside budget to landscape is a discussion worth having. But even if you’re working to a strict budget, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to have your cake and eat it too.

While it will take longer than having professionals do it, landscaping and gardening is well within the reach of most DIY Kiwis. Or if something like underfloor heating becomes too expensive for the entire house, maybe just the master ensuite deserves it. The important thing to remember is balancing what you can live without with what’s essential. Because, as you’ll discover, there are some things that your home just needs.


Needs include everything we take for granted. But on top of budgeting for them, it’s worth considering how you might be able to increase their functionality and lift the value they bring to your home. Curtains and blinds are a great example, as are windows and insulation. All three are no-brainers with any build, but choosing to invest in quality here can pay dividends in the long run. 

Think of it this way. A house that has two ovens might gain more interest than a house with one. But a house with double-glazed windows and thermal blockout curtains will gain more value when it comes up on the market.

Getting the best of both

One way to find out how you might be able to build what you want as well as what you need is our online design tool. It gives you the ability to go over dozens of customisable house plans and choose the exact finishes you can afford in your home. By going through each space room by room, you can see how everything comes together; and gain better insight into how to prioritise what you want over what your home needs.

Published:  19 September 2019
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