Here Are Some Considerations To Keep In Mind When Undergoing Your Home Design.

Whether your property is a flat lot or a hillside, some design factors are worth considering that add up to significant savings in construction costs. These solutions keep your production smooth and efficient and prevent your overall budget from spiraling out of control. No matter how carefully you choose design elements of your home such as interior finishes, you cannot make up for the cost of inefficient home design. By keeping the following key factors in mind, you can achieve the look and feel of the home you envision while keeping construction on time and in budget.

When working with customers on plans of their homes, we evaluate these factors and provide intelligent solutions to provide significant savings on your project.

Work With the Land

A home that fights the natural terrain of a lot requires significant time and expense to build. Putting a square peg in a round hole requires effort and planning to accomplish.

Sometimes modifying the home design to better suit the land is all that’s needed, but in other cases, intelligently reworking the land provides the groundwork needed to support your design. A large amount of cost can be lost toward purchasing, delivering, and preparing additional soil or removing and disposing of excess soil. Our extensive experience in reworking existing land and adjusting grades helps reduce overall soil movement. This means you will have less need to add or remove soil, saving you substantially. By using soil that’s already there, the building process is easier, faster, and more cost effective.

Sculpting the land also has the added benefit of improving the overall flow and function of the land, improving your living experience while saving you on your final cost.

Retaining Walls

A retaining wall is another example of a high-cost construction option when other design techniques are equally effective. Walls that support and hold back soil require strength, and whether it be concrete, stone, or cinderblock, these materials add up per foot. Especially with sloped lots, homeowners don’t often think about the amount of material and labor required in creating retaining walls. Whether these walls are short or tall, they can require a large amount of excavation, concrete, and rebar. The more area these walls cover, and the higher they are, the more expensive they become.

In many cases, we find reworking the land to create different grades reduces the number of retaining walls required, saving you significantly on construction costs. This is why we look at ways of shaping the land and providing alternative design solutions for the home to create less need for retaining walls. Factors such as water drainage and erosion prevention can be accomplished by gradually sloping the land, so it functions naturally and safely, reducing the number of walls needed.

Avoid the Irregular Footprint

Designing a home can result in an irregularly shaped footprint with room offshoots and alcoves that require additional perimeter walls. These walls require more footings, stem walls, framing, insulation, drywall, and stucco, all of which add up and negatively impact your overall cost. In general, the more angles and curves you have, the more detail is required and the more expensive the construction becomes per square foot.

In this example of two 5,000 square foot homes, the more irregular design has 60% more perimeter that greatly increases the cost. The irregular floor plan will have a much higher cost per square foot to build.

By working areas of the home more efficiently into the overall design, we can provide substantial savings by incorporate your needs more efficiently, reducing both materials and labor.

Less Glass for More Savings

Glass is attractive and can help homeowners maximize their views, but it is also an expensive construction material. The larger the glass panel is, the more expensive it becomes. Additionally, in warmer environments such as Scottsdale, glass leaves homes more vulnerable to outside temperatures, making homes warmer in the summer and colder in the winter, negatively impacting your comfort and heating/cooling bills.

To increase your comfort and value of your dollar, we will work with you to take advantage of the beauty and scenic benefits of glass by placing it intelligently throughout the home. You can achieve the views and indoor/outdoor feel you crave while minimizing the amount of glass needed, saving on expensive material while keeping your home temperature comfortable, providing both immediate and lifelong savings.

Quantity of Stone Veneer

Stone is a wonderful way to add richness to a home. It comes at a higher cost than stucco, so the more it is used, the higher the building costs become. Thankfully there are ways to incorporate stone and achieve this rich effect while minimizing the amount of material. By having stone placed intelligently in high impact areas such as the front of your home and on power walls and trims, and reducing the quantity on less noticeable areas such as the rear and side areas of the home, you will achieve the right look without reducing the overall effect while saving you substantially on materials. Our experience in providing the right placement allows you to maintain a luxurious design without fully covering the exterior.


Many homes make use of cantilevered designs and floating roof lines to open up spaces, taking advantage of views and indoor/outdoor living. These floating roof designs typically require structural steel beams and posts. Steel comes at a high price in both material and labor to install.

We work with customers to evaluate the flow and purpose of these open spaces and bring together the right combination of support walls and rooflines to achieve the effect you desire without the high cost.

While undergoing your next home design, being aware of design factors such as these helps you save substantially on your bottom line. By working with the right builder who is well versed in all of these aspects and more, you will receive design solutions that meet your vision and budget. Our extensive experience in quality home design and construction results in creative solutions that allow you to achieve the home design you have dreamed of without endure the pain of unexpectedly high construction costs, helping you feel even more at home.

For over 25 years, RS Homes has been the premier builder of award-winning luxury homes in Scottsdale, Arizona. Each home is custom designed and built to ensure the refined and enduring living experience desired in a luxury property. The company’s reputation for superior design and construction has resulted in numerous accolades and projects in premier neighborhoods and golf communities throughout Scottsdale.