Being able to build one’s own house is not just a dream come true for most people. It involves a substantial amount of investment in terms of money, time, energy and ideas. And we don’t have to emphasise how demanding the entire process can be, starting from site or plot selection, to planning and designing of the structure, procurement of raw materials and labour, hiring of builders or architects, actual execution and finishing of the project! There are endless nuances to constructing a house which most of us are not even remotely aware of. And if you don’t have a very flexible budget, then the need to save money wherever possible may seem of paramount importance. So here we will let you take a sneak peek at some intelligent ways of going about a building project without burning a hole in your pocket. Enjoy!
Suppose you chance upon a large property site which is extremely expensive but appealing. And the seller is not ready to sell you only a portion of it, even though you are fine with building a small home. What do you do then? Let go of the plot? Of course not! You can buy the entire site with friends or family members who are also looking for plots to build homes, given that you don’t mind them as neighbours! This way you can share your cost with them, save a significant amount of dough, and still enjoy the benefits of a plot which you love.
While picking a construction site, also remember to find out about the surrounding area or locality. For instance, if there’s a waste dumping site or a noisy factory nearby, then you will probably end up spending more money to secure your abode against the negative externalities produced by the former. Also make sure that the site is easily accessible by the large trucks which will come to deliver your building materials when the project starts.
Unless you are a builder or architect yourself, you will undoubtedly need a qualified and experienced general contractor to take you through the home building adventure. They will know the exact steps of a construction process, understand your needs and preferences, be able to offer the correct suggestions, and can save you from wasting money over wrong decisions or unwise dealings. A seasoned contractor also enjoys established relationships with subcontractors and suppliers. So they will know from where good quality materials can be procured at a sensible price and what kind of labour to hire, which might not be possible for you alone. Also the professional can keep a tab on the different aspects of the work and the payments being made to others.
It’s advisable to use a standard model while planning the overall measurements and proportions of a house. If you deviate from the original plan or layout, there is a high chance that you will have to shell out more money to get the changes done. Material costs can be kept under control this way too.
An experienced architect, civil engineer or structural engineer will be able to guide you efficiently during the construction of your house. They can plan and design both interior and exterior spaces in a way which is utilitarian and aesthetic at the same time, without blowing your budget. An architect can prevent you from making the mistake of planning unnecessary rooms, and can also make the most of every nook and cranny of the house.
The house pictured above was designed by The Bazeley Partnership, architects from United Kingdom. Though it’s not hard to understand that the owner’s budget was quite substantial, it is the architectural elegance which attracts us towards this abode. There’s no reason why you can’t go for a uniquely shaped house or one with a few eye-catching details just because you want to save money.
Quite a significant sum of money is spent during home building for plumbing, carpentry, painting and so on. But if you have the basic skills or the knowledge to take care of these needs yourself (at least the simple ones), then you will be able to save some dough for sure. At the same time, don’t forget that you must get the job done properly. So in case you are not very confident of building a cabinet, or painting the living room, it’s wiser to leave it to the experts.
Usually your general contractor or builder will know all about acquiring the necessary building permits from the concerned authorities. Or else, feel free to consult a lawyer before the construction begins. If the right permits are not in place, then you might have to end up paying fines or late charges which will inflate your costs.
If you use good quality building materials in the first place, then you won’t have to shell out money for frequent repairs or replacements in the future. Also, the construction process often leads to usable waste materials or scraps which can be reutilised for other purposes. In case you have wood, tiles, or stones left over from some previous project, try to recycle and use them for your current project. This can save you money too.
So don’t let the dream of building a home stay unfulfilled. Follow the tips mentioned above to manage your costs well. Try not to indulge in many additional features like swimming pool, decorative patios, landscaped gardens and such. You can always get them done in the future too. Follow the same principle also while planning the interiors. Structures like faux ceiling, wall accents, marble flooring generally poses a problem for predefined budgets. Finally, please note that everyone’s budget for building a home is different and so is their needs and desires. So follow your heart without losing sight of your purse strings.
For more inspiring home construction tips, see How to choose building materials for your dream home.