How to Build a Home When You Don’t Have a Lot of Extra Cash
So you want to build a home even though you don’t have a ton of extra money lying around? Have no fear, because we’ve put together a few homebuilding tips for those of us who aren’t millionaires!
Consider Forgoing a General Contractor
Consider this one very carefully, because if you screw up, it will end up costing you even more. Essentially, a general contractor is the person you hire who oversees all processes of the construction project on a daily basis. You can save a lot of money by just being your own general contractor, but you have to really know what you’re doing. For example, do you have any project management experience? Are you knowledgeable about home permits? If the answer to these questions is “no,” then you may want to go ahead and hire a professional.
Use Reclaimed Materials
Not only is using reclaimed materials trendy (think old barn doors or vintage wood), it can also save you a lot of money. Look for things like doors, wood floors, windows, and décor on places like Craigslist or thrift stores.
Build Up Instead of Out
Land is expensive, so if you’re short on cash, try building up rather than out. This will save you money on roofing (since it’ll be the same cost as if you had only one story) and foundation.
Ask for a Builder’s Discount
Since purchasing materials will be one of the biggest costs in building your home, ask the supplier for a builder’s discount. They may say no, or you may just not be buying enough to qualify you for the discount, but it never hurts to ask. Alternatively, you can also ask your contractor to purchase the materials for you using their discount.
Group Watery Areas Together
Grouping bathrooms, laundry, and the kitchen near each other can save you money in the long run because it reduces the amount of plumbing materials needed.
Pay More Upfront to Save Later
Some things are more expensive upfront but will save you money in the long run, including high-efficiency windows, insulation, and energy-efficient appliances. Think of it as an investment!
Paint With Only One Color
Painting a home all one color is cheaper than customizing with different colors while you’re building. Instead, stick with one color and then do your own DIY customization later on.
Consider a Tiny House
No, seriously, if you’re really committed to saving money on building a home, this is the way to go. Tiny houses are super on-trend right now, and for good reason: they’re far cheaper than building a standard home, they can be built on wheels (in case you prefer the transient life), and let’s be honest, they’re just cozy and adorable. By definition, a tiny house cannot be more than 400 square feet, but if you’ve been living on a budget for a while now then you’re probably already used to living in a small space anyway!
Instead of customizing, try to stick with standard items like prefabricated cabinets and vanities. It might seem more boring, but remember, the goal here is to save money!
Plan Out the Roof
Roofs can get very expensive depending on the materials and design used. A flat roof is the cheapest, and shingles tend to be cheaper than tile. And don’t forget to check up on building codes in your area, as certain roof designs will lower your insurance rates!
Build a Box
The more square or rectangular a house design is, the cheaper it is to build. So if you really want to save, forgo the unique angles and stick with a boring square shape and add landscaping elements later to make it a little more interesting.