How to Manage Expectations for Your Dream Home


“It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. For when you pay too little, sometimes you lose everything because what you paid for is incapable of doing what it was bought to do.” - John Ruskin

Fast, Good, Cheap - Pick Two

The old saying is a great tool for adding perspective to decision-making in the design and construction of your home. It's tried and true, yet every project attempts to find a way to squeeze all three in. My goal is not to hit all three, but to find a happy balance between them.

Everyone want's to have a project that is designed and built quickly, with quality construction and materials, all on a tight budget. Who wouldn't? In reality, focusing on any one aspect will have a direct impact on the other two.

  • Fast and cheap = sacrifice in quality

  • Fast and good = more expensive

  • Good and cheap = Honestly, I've never seen this achieved; in order to hit these two, you need to spend a lot more time planning, designing, and executing, which ends up undermining the cost due to time.

For me, what’s most important is to be honest and realistic about your priorities; define them early, and stay consistent. Setting a desired target balance from the onset and sticking to that over the course of both design and construction makes a big difference in the final outcome. Changing priorities mid-stream can derail a project and undermine all three aspects in the end.

To learn more about the design process and how to balance expectations with your project, download my Residential Process Guide.

What's your experience with trying to find the unicorn of fast, cheap, and good?

Sloan Springer1 Comment