The little black house: 5 secrets to building a low-cost home

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氏原求建築設計工房 Rustic style houses
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Building a house is an exciting yet daunting task—but we don't want you to talk yourself out of it before you even begin! Yes, you will need the help of a fantastic architect and of course, you'll need to choose the right construction team, but once all the nitty-gritty details have been sorted out, you'll have the home you always dreamt of and not many people can say that! Building your perfect house is a once-in-a-lifetime endeavour and something that will bring you years of joy and contentment, as well as a feeling of accomplishment, so if you like the idea of a dream home building project, but are concerned about about keeping on top of it all, this is the perfect article for you! We've pulled together all the top tips you'll need to not only make your dream a reality, but within your ideal budget too, so let's get started!

Our example building.

In order to illustrate the tips we are going to let you in on today, we wanted to find a new build house that would adequately represent them and here it is! Not too big and not too small, we think this will give you a great idea of what you can do and how you should do it, regardless of the style of home you are keen to build. Right; on with the tips!

1. Choose a simple architectural design.

The simpler the design of the house, the easier it will be for your construction team to build it, the less things can go wrong and the quicker your architect can actually get it drawn up, finalised and signed off! You can still decorate however you like, but with a simple shell design, there will be plenty of scope for cost-saving here and there and less time spent stood around scratching heads! Remember; time is money.

2. Have a sensible budget right at the start.

Before you even begin your project, set yourself a reasonable but affordable budget, with a contingency. Your extra pot of emergency money will normally be around 10% of your total budget, so don't forget to factor that into your calculations. Don't have a flexible approach to your budget, as that is when things start running away and costing far more than they should. You should try to secure fixed-rate contracts with all your contractors, as this will give you a firm idea of how much money you have left.

3. Select your materials carefully.

You know what you like and you like what you know and there is nothing wrong with that, but don't be afraid to ask your construction team for suggestions too. They might know of a less costly alternative to a chosen material that will still have the same look, but for less money and that's never a bad thing! Also, don't forget that locally sourced materials will usually cost less and work well with your location too.

4. Have a streamlined interior.

To keep costs down and ensure that your finish and fit tradesmen don't struggle with a complex interior that they will have to charge a phenomenal amount of money to bring into being, keep everything simple! A streamlined, 'normal' interior will really help to get everything completed on time and within budget, so ask yourself if you really do need a spiral staircase or not!

5. Stick to open-plan living.

The easiest, cheapest and most fashionable interior you can have right now is an open-plan one! Think about it and it makes sense! It creates a contemporary look and feel and requires little in the way of studwork or finishing. What a great way to look current and save money and time!

Plan, plan and plan some more, then simplify and create. These really are the key steps for building your dream home. Don't forget that even if you stick to simple construction methods, it's the decorating that will really change things up and that's all up to you!

For more homebuilding inspiration, take a look at this Ideabook: 8 Questions to Ask Before Building a House.

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