10 Cheapest Way to Build a House – Money Saving Tips
Mahadev Desai is the Founder and CEO of gharpedia.com and SDCPL a leading design consultancy firm having strong national presence. He has a degree in Civil Engineering (BE) and Law (LLB) and has rich experience of 45 years. Besides being the Editor in Chief, he also mentors team at GharPedia. He is associated with many professional bodies. He is also co-founder of 1mnt.in the first in Industry software for contractors’ billing. He is a voracious reader, edited 4 books, and pioneer of book reading movement in Gujarat, India.
So, you’re finally fulfilling your life-long dream of owning a house with specifications, design, and construction solely based on your lifestyle and budget.
But what happens when after all the calculations, building your dream house from the ground up still doesn’t fit within your estimated nor extended budget. Are you going to settle for substandard materials or reduce your area of construction, just so you’ve got an up-and-running home? The resounding answer is NO.
Settling for cheap materials and second-rate construction work will turn out costly in the long run when the house’s wear and tear will start to take its toll. But there are a couple of moneysaving details you can do to save big when building your dream house. Here are the top 10 cheapest way to build a house so you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg for something that can be paid for half the price!
01. Build During the Slow Season
As with any other business, the construction business also has its peak and off-peak seasons. If you can handle facilitating the builders during the winter season, try to take this opportune time to search for contractors. You’ll most probably get a cheaper deal from contractors and their subcontractors as well due to a slow business flow.
In addition, since construction businesses aren’t busy during this season, they’ll most likely do their work efficiently and not try to expedite things due to a client queue. Just make sure you’re prepared to keep them and yourself safe and comfortable. This however may not be true for southern US or Asian countries where winters are not harsh nor there is a snow. In Asian-Indian continent try to do it during Diwali to holi period – i.e. except monsoon & harvesting time, when cheap and abundant labours are available. But of course, in north you can earn save if you choose to work during winters.
02. Only Cover Space You Really Need
The only way to give a client an estimate for building an entire house is the market’s recent price per square foot. As the prices for house materials surge, the prices per square foot also skyrocketed over the recent years. The range now is between $100 to $200 depending on the location as well. It may be between Rs. 1500 – Rs. 3000 per sq. ft. in India.
If you only need a small space for the entertainment room, then don’t upscale the room’s size just so you’ll have something to brag about. More square feet would mean more construction costs and monthly expenses for electricity.
Read 24 simple tips which helps to Design Bedrooms while you building a new home.
03. Don’t Buy Low-Quality Materials
I know this entire article is all about the money-saving tips on building a home but when you come to think of it, buying low-quality materials will easily deteriorate as compared to the more durable ones. If that happens, you’re going to have to replace it in a few years time and end up paying more than the up-front payment.
Do your research in getting the best efficient and high-quality materials that will last a lifetime! Of course, they’re really not going to last a lifetime but at least get every value for your money. The same goes with hiring an unusually, cheap construction labour. While this may be tempting, always remember the golden rule: You get what you pay for.
Check out our materials exhibition section before you building a new house, it provides adequate and convenient information on building materials.
04. Stay on Top of Things
Plan down to the last detail and always think ahead. There’s no reason to act sloppy now. A delay in construction due to forgotten materials or delayed shipments can cost a lot! Make sure your workers are as busy as a bee and have everything ready for them. i.e. have all your drawings and details ready including bill of materials.
05. Shop for Materials Yourself. Be Creative and Resourceful
While it’s easy breezy to let the contractors handle everything for you especially getting the new materials, buying for materials yourself will give you more affordable and quality choices.
Also, try to be creative. You don’t have to conform to the latest trends. Say, for example, choosing countertops. We know how expensive they are. Instead of buying natural stone countertops, why not opt for concrete countertops instead? They’re relatively cheaper and modern technology has allowed making them look like a real slab of natural stone. Remember when there is a very competitive market and, in a market, where wholesale buyer like contractor get loyal discount. This may not be always true. Read our article Material Contractor vs Labour Contractor. However, find out alternative materials perhaps with same look and feel but affordable in cost. New advancement in material technology flooded markets with thousands of material options. Remember when you cannot compromise on total area, it is material specifications only where you have options. So, when you decide budget, always decide budget for each and every item. i.e. say carpet or vitrified tiles. Market will have thousands of options, but it is not wise to exceed your budget.
Go for heavy materials where you do not have chance to change it during the life time say materials in foundation. But you can always have an options where you can change some materials after some year when you are plus with more funds.
06. Think of Eco-Friendly Installations
The most obvious drawback for installing eco-friendly solutions is the initial investment you pay. But what you probably fail to anticipate is the long-term savings on utility bills. Efficiency should be the name of the game since this is your dream home where you’ll probably spend the rest of your life in. Install low-flow fixtures, buy energy-saving appliances, or better yet, invest in solar-powered panels!
07. Take Advantage of Discount Stores
When shopping for home appliances and materials, don’t buy from the first hardware store you enter. Compare prices and make a beeline for discount stores, wholesale stores, or take advantage of a closeout or year-end sale. I’m sure you can find the same functional and first-class products at more affordable prices!
08. Prefab Homes
If you’re really trying to skimp on the budget, consider going for prefabricated homes. Prefab homes are built off-site and can be conveniently shipped and easily put together. The upside for this is you no longer have to go through all the hassle of hiring a construction company and buying the materials and appliances yourself.
09. Unleash Your DIY Ability
You can save a lot of money if you do some of the tasks yourself. Like for example, painting some of the rooms with friends or family. But of course, only engage in DIY activities if you know you’re fully capable of getting the job done completely and competently. You don’t want a haphazardly-done paint job. That’s not only going to be an eyesore that will haunt you for the rest of your life but there might be connecting issues that it’ll come with like blocking, foaming, cratering, mud cracking, or burnishing! Chances are, you’ll probably end up redoing the paint job but hiring a professional this time. So make sure that you’re cut out for the DIY job.
10. Constantly Communicate with Your Contractors
Constant communication is key to great savings! By communicating with your contractors more often, they’ll know what you want to be done and what they can leave out. This is also a time where you can discuss if you’d prefer buying the materials yourself or doing some work yourself. Also, make sure that you lay your cards on the table in terms of budget and expectations. This way, your contractors can try to work around it and the ending? Everybody’s happy!
Building your dream home can either be a daunting feat or a total catastrophe but it’s never a flawless journey. When you put hard work, resourcefulness, communication skills, determination, and dedication into the mix; home building will seem very enjoyable and satisfying once you see the fruits of your labor in the end.