7 ways to cut costs when building your own home | homify

7 ways to cut costs when building your own home

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
Need Design Small houses
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For a unique few of us, the dream is to build our own forever homes instead of searching for them online or by contacting estate agents. But how much will that building project cost? If you’re not careful, it could bankrupt you!

Then again, with proper planning, you have nothing to fear, especially not if homify is part and parcel of your planning! 

Here are our 7 tips which can help cut major costs when building your dream home (and that’s without compromising on comfort or beauty). 

1. Estimate early

Start getting in some rough estimates about the type of costs you’ll be facing before you start any building work. And make sure you understand the process of building and designing a house.

Once you have an idea of the sort of hidden costs involved (by talking to a professional Architect, for instance), you can start modifying your plans to better meet your budget. 

2. Beware of budget building lots

Location, location, location! Everyone wants a nice view, but not everyone can afford one. But don’t think that choosing the cheapest building site will help you save costs in the long run. What if you have to blast through rock, clear away trees, or provide extensive drainage before you can start building your dream home? 

Usually, the most cost-effective building lots are located in developments with access to electricity, gas, and public water lines. That is, unless you plan on living off the grid. 

3. Stick to simple shapes

Building curves, triangles, trapezoids, and other quirky designs will skyrocket your building costs. Rather, keep it simple. Choose square- or rectangular floor plans and stay away from cathedral ceilings with complicated roof lines. 

And building up instead of out can also cut some costs while saving space (plumbing and ventilation may also be less expensive in multi-story homes). 

4. Keep it small

Comparing houses per square metre can make bigger ones seem like a bargain. After all, even the smaller ones will still require important items like plumbing and heating. But when it comes to maintenance (i.e. cleaning, fixing floors, painting walls, furnishing), smaller designs are the more economical option. 

In addition, a house that extends longer than 10 m, for instance, may require specially designed roof trusses, which is likely to take a big chunk out of your budget. 

Just browse the internet for a wealth of articles dedicated to small living and the benefits of smaller homes – it’s a thing! 

5. Rethink your cabinets

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Most of are in love with solid wood cabinets for kitchens and bathrooms, but there are more economical options to give our interiors a sleek designer’s look. How about open shelving? Stainless steel cabinets? Or mix up the look with frosted glass doors! 

6. Use recycled materials

Not everything in your new home has to be brand new. Recycled construction materials can help your building budget stretch to much further. 

Look out for products like recycled steel, sawdust and cement composites, and pressed straw panelling. And take a walk out to architectural salvage warehouses to see what they have in terms of reclaimed doors, hardware, windows, lighting- and plumbing fixtures, and a wealth of other architectural details.  

7. Go modular

Modular houses and prefabricated homes are two of the most interesting steps in architectural evolution. Saving both costs and time, these types of homes come complete with building plans and pre-cut construction materials – and no two designs need to look the same! 

And while we’re busy planning dream homes, we might as well take a look at Pretty and private: 6 great ideas for garden fences and –walls

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What other ways can you think of to help cut down on building costs?
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