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7 of the cheapest building materials for houses

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Tropical style houses by MJ Kanny Architect Tropical
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It’s a fact that building a home, regardless of size or location, can cost a pretty penny. But fortunately there are certain tips and tricks to help lower those construction costs – and one of them is to rethink your choice in building materials.

Not every house needs to be made out of traditional materials like wood, concrete and brick. That’s why we’ve rounded up some alternative options for building homes to help cut costs.

Just be sure to always trust a professional (like an Architect, Interior Designer, etc.) when it comes to building and designing houses, as no price can be put on the amount of expertise and experience they bring to a project. 

1. Prefabricated panels

Already made panels are available in a system that helps you construct a house for a lot less, as prefabricated panels save on labour costs and time. 

2. Concrete sheets

You can still enjoy a house with a concrete look without having to pay for concrete – concrete panels! These are quick to install, very secure and stable, have weatherproof abilities, plus provide insulation benefits.  

3. Stone cladding

External Facade with Koi Pond Tropical style houses by MJ Kanny Architect Tropical
MJ Kanny Architect

External Facade with Koi Pond

MJ Kanny Architect

Stone houses are among some of the most expensive options, but stone cladding considerably cuts down on construction costs. Cladding is very similar to veneer applied to a house’s exterior surfaces. Typically lighter than standard stone, the cladding lowers labour costs even further when you use it only for certain portions of your façade, like the front door area or the chimney. 

4. Shipping containers

Old shipping containers turned into homes is one of the most wondrous steps in architectural evolution. The fact that it’s used containers lowers the material costs, plus labour expenses are not nearly as high as they’d be for houses built the more traditional way. 

And of course it doesn’t restrict you to having a tiny home, as it the containers can be joined and/or stacked for more expansive structures. 

5. Reclaimed timber

Reclaimed timber is not only one of the more common building materials, but also the trendiest thanks to styles such as rustic and Scandinavian. Additional benefits of old timbers include the fact that they are usually more dried out and durable, meaning they are less likely to warp or split. 

6. Bamboo

Oxwich Natural Strand Bamboo Modern walls & floors by Woodpecker Flooring Modern Bamboo Green
Woodpecker Flooring

Oxwich Natural Strand Bamboo

Woodpecker Flooring

Bamboo is becoming one of the best alternative building materials, especially in the 21st century where many of us are seeking “greener” options for structures. In addition to being one of the strongest and sustainable building materials, bamboo is also considered in vogue here in Asian designs, whether it’s for floors, walls, or both! 

Just be sure to trust a professional for your bamboo home! 

7. Brick veneer

Front elevation of Broad Street House, Suffolk Modern houses by Nash Baker Architects Ltd Modern Bricks
Nash Baker Architects Ltd

Front elevation of Broad Street House, Suffolk

Nash Baker Architects Ltd

Brick veneers means your house can enjoy the beauty of brick at a fraction of the cost. Brick veneer is a much cheaper and thinner option than traditional brick, plus is much easier to repair. And just like stone cladding, you can cut the building costs even further by applying brick veneer to only certain areas of your home, like a beautiful focal wall. 

In search of beautiful builds to inspire your own? Then we suggest you check out The less-is-more space by Singaporean interior designers.  

Which of these 7 cheaper building materials might you be adding to your dream home’s design?
Modern houses by Casas inHAUS Modern

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