Having a house of your own is great, but having a home that was custom-built to your specs is even better. That’s why so many aspiring homeowners want to build a house of their own rather than buy a house that’s already built. Obviously, building your own house isn’t going to be a walk in the park, especially financially.
- Have a Detailed Budget
- Build a Smaller House
- Think About Your Choice of Materials
- Do Some of the Work Yourself
- Go With a Streamlined Design
- Consider Living Green to Save
- Optimize for Plumbing and Wiring
- Go With Modular and Prefab Designs
- Pay Attention to Contractor Scheduling
- Think Vertically, Not Horizontally
1. Have a Detailed Budget
The most important tip for building a house cheaply is to have a detailed budget. This should go without saying, yet we constantly hear of people going into their construction projects more or less blindly. No, that rough estimate floating around in your head is not a detailed budget. You need a proper breakdown of all you expect to pay. This will make it clear what your biggest anticipated costs are and will open your eyes to some opportunities for saving money. The more detailed you can get, the better. Excel sheets can be a great way to sort something like this.
2. Build a Smaller House
If you can reduce the size of your project, that’s a good way to cut down on your building expenses. This is another point that a surprising number of people tend to ignore. Just because your initial construction plans call for a larger house doesn’t mean that you should follow them all the way. Maybe you don’t need that extra room, or you can get by with a smaller garage. Evaluate your options carefully.
3. Think About Your Choice of Materials
Cheap materials can be a surprisingly viable alternative to more expensive ones. Your house doesn’t have to be built from expensive, high-grade materials. The modern market is quite diverse in this regard, with plenty of attractive low-cost options.
Pay special attention to reclaimed materials. They can provide you with a good balance between durability and price. And you will end up with a greener approach to your construction, which can have its own benefits (more on that below).
4. Do Some of the Work Yourself
If you feel comfortable taking a DIY approach to some parts of your home, that’s definitely an option worth exploring. You don’t need to hire a professional for every single part of the construction project. Of course, certain things are always best left in competent hands.
But if you’ve got some experience under your belt, don’t be afraid to utilize it to reduce your building costs. Just make sure you’re confident enough in your skills, because if this backfires, it can end up costing you even more than getting it done professionally from the start.
5. Go With a Streamlined Design
Reduce the design as much as you can. This is an extension of the point about smaller homes, but it goes beyond the basic size of the construction project. Complex shapes can add a lot to the price of your house, especially in areas like the roof. Sticking to simple, rectangular shapes without any unusual twists will go a long way towards making the whole project cheaper.
6. Consider Living Green to Save
Green living is a popular trend these days, and it’s something that can actually help you reduce your home’s costs. Especially if you can take advantage of any related government grants. But even without those, investing in a green home can significantly reduce your expenses down the road. Just make sure that the initial investment doesn’t eat into your budget too much.
7. Optimize for Plumbing and Wiring
If you plan things carefully, you can greatly simplify the work needed to run your plumbing and electrical installations. Plumbing is an especially big factor here. Not every room in your home needs to be hooked up to the plumbing system – in fact, very few do. If you can organize your layout in a way that those rooms are all close to each other, this can make subsequent plumbing work much cheaper.
The same goes for your home’s wiring, although to a lesser extent. Most rooms in your home will need to be connected to the electrical installation, but not all of them will require the same kind of supply. There is still some room for optimization here.
8. Go With Modular and Prefab Designs
Modular and prefab designs tend to be cheaper because they are more limiting. But if you don’t insist on any special, advanced design, you can easily work with one of the many premade models available on the market. These kinds of houses have some advantages that you won’t get from traditional construction.
They are usually faster and easier to put together, which will greatly cut down on your construction costs. Combined with the already low cost of the house models themselves, that’s a great way to keep your building expenses as low as possible.
9. Pay Attention to Contractor Scheduling
Working with multiple contractors can be a significant challenge due to their schedules. The best specialists on the market are usually booked for months ahead, making it difficult to align several of them for the same project. The earlier you start searching for contractors and planning things with them, the better your chances will be of getting everyone signed on at the same time without having to pay a huge cost for that.
10. Think Vertically, Not Horizontally
If you still want to maximize the size of your home, try to think vertically instead of horizontally. This will help not only help you cut down on construction costs due to the relatively easier work, but it will also reduce your land costs if you have to purchase that as well.
Some aspects of vertical construction may actually get a bit tricky, but as long as you’re working with experienced contractors, there should be no significant difference. Make sure to discuss this in advance with every contractor you’re considering for the project to ensure that they will be capable of handling something like that.
Those points should be a good start towards minimizing the construction cost of your new home. There might be other factors involved, depending on your individual situation. But exploring those in detail will usually require professional assistance if you want to be sure that you’re not missing any critical details. This is something you should always verify extensively when you’re cutting costs in a construction project in any case.
If you’re going to try to build your own house, the cheapest way to do it is to make sure that you are the one to hire subcontractors. When most people hire a company to build a house for them, they are actually hiring a person to hire out subcontractors to build the house for them.
Studies show that you can save as much as 40 percent to 50 percent of your building price by just subcontracting things out yourself. However, that’s now always the easiest thing to do. Going through this route means that you have to be aware of what a house needs, as well as a keen eye for good workers.
Building a house, both cheap and fast, tends to require substantial planning. Most of the time, you will need to choose a home plan that works with the tools you have as well as the timeframe you want to have—along with that, building a house for cheap means that you will need to hire out subcontractors on your own.
The simplest way to save money on building a house is to do it yourself—at least, part of it. There’s no way around it. Labor isn’t cheap, and that means that building a home isn’t always going to be affordable unless you take a hand in it.
This all depends on the supplies you get, the price of labor in your area, as well as the type of home that you choose. According to HomeAdvisor, you should expect to pay between $150,000 to $450,000 to build your own home.
Though the price tag may be high, the perks of building your own house are many. Along with getting a customized place of your own, you also get the opportunity to recoup your costs when you decide to sell your home.
Let’s say that you want to build your own home, but you don’t necessarily have the high budget associated with traditional buildings. Most people who are looking to get a house built for under $50,000 won’t have much luck—-especially when it comes to making buildings up to code.
That said, it is possible to build a house for that price tag. However, the home you will end up with won’t be very fancy, nor will it be an easy endeavor to pursue. To make a building that’s legal to live in, you will have to cut a lot of corners regardless of where you are.
If you choose to build your own home, you better be prepared to work with homes that are known for being affordable and easy to build. There are several types of homes that are known for being easy to build. These include:
- Tiny Homes: Tiny homes, especially those that are considered to be mobile or specialty homes, are known for being easy to build. After all, if you have a house that only has 900 square feet inside of it, it’s not going to take that long to build.
- Shipping Crate Homes: You might have seen these homes on trendy websites or in the pages of upscale magazines. Though they may be trending due to their reputation for being Earth-friendly, they are also a good pick as a result of their easy assembly.
- E-Plan Homes: Another new wave of cheap housing can be found in the e-planning world. E-plan homes are home plans that can be found online, which are designed with ease of creation in mind.
- Kit Houses: Though they aren’t as common as they once were, there are companies out there that offer up houses made in kits. House kits often come with the supplies you need to make them, including the wood. So, it can help prevent surprise costs later on down the road.
Say what you will, but prefabricated houses have a huge perk when it comes to being cost-effective. In most cases, the cheapest way to build a brand new home is to get a prefabricated house kit.
The big pitfall with prefabricated houses is that you don’t have as much control over the layout of your home. So if you are a stickler for having a unique, customized place of your own, this isn’t the route that you should go.
Building a house for yourself means that you’re going to need to have some kind of experience and knowledge in construction. Most of us cannot (or will not) build a house from scratch on our own.
For the sake of this article, we’re going to assume that you’re still going to work with subcontractors to make your home a reality. Here’s what aspiring homeowners need to do if they want to build a house without a primary contractor’s help:
- First things first, you’re going to need to look into home plans. You simply cannot build a home without having plans first. So, start researching your ideas or buy a house kit.
- Next, you’re going to have to clear the foundation’s area. Doing this means that you’re going to have to clear away trees, plants, and rocks in the area that your home will be in. You can often do this yourself, which can help save serious bucks.
- Then, you’re going to need to hire subcontractors for each portion of the house. Subcontractors are going to be necessary for every element of your home, and each subcontractor will have his or her own specialty. You will need to hire some for the framework, the electricity, the foundation, the plumbing, the flooring, as well as the roofing.
- They will start with pouring the foundation, then will add the siding, home shell, utilities, roofing, and finally, insulation. Home construction is done in stages, and it will take a while. You will have to watch (or work with the subcontractors) as your home is constructed in stages.
- You will need to help them get permits and also watch over their work. Most areas will have zoning laws and permits that need to be gotten. In order to build your home legally, you have to get the right paperwork filed.
If you are looking to build your own home for cheap, materials will come into play. Most of us have heard of prefabricated panels and used shipping containers as materials, but you don’t have to limit yourself to these materials if you want to build a nice home.
Some of the other common (but cheap) materials you can use to build a home include:
- Reclaimed timber
- Metal sheeting
- Traditional bricks
- Concrete paneling
It’s worth pointing out that the materials you choose may or may not work with the area that you want to move to. For example, bricks are very affordable but aren’t advisable in areas where earthquakes are prone to happen. On a similar note, metal sheeting might be cheap, but it’s prone to rusting if it’s near the sea.
It can be if you plan things correctly and make a point of hiring the right help. However, this move is still one that needs to be taken on a case-by-case basis. Only you can really tell if you are ready to build your own home.
In the long run, it can save you money and act as a good investment. But, it still can backfire if you don’t take care of the planning, hiring, and standards you want to live with.
The best way to build a house cheaply is to do some of the work yourself. Or, at the very least, you’re going to have to save on labor by subcontracting out portions of the house yourself.
When it comes to materials, going cheap is a must if you want to make sure that you get the most of your building budget. Choosing a prefabricated house can help reduce the amount of work you need to do and also get you all the materials you need to succeed. Even if you choose to save on labor, you’re still going to have to opt for a smaller house to make things work.