How to Save Money Building a House

Man looking at blueprints

If you've been fantasizing about your dream home, you may find yourself searching for tips on how to save money building a house. Fortunately, it is possible to build a new home without going broke.

How Much Will it Cost?

Obtaining an accurate estimate for how much it will cost to build your new home can be a tricky task. There are three main factors to consider:

  • Labor: Finding skilled workers to build your home is very important, but it's also quite costly. In areas affected by high unemployment, however, you'll be much more likely to find affordable labor.
  • Materials: Fluctuations in the price of materials can make a significant difference in the price of your home. For example, lumber is priced according factors such as demand, logging restrictions, and the distance the wood must be shipped.
  • Government regulations: If there are specific city or state requirements that must be followed as you're building your new home, don't forget to factor these costs into your estimate. For example, if you live in an area that mandates interior fire sprinklers, this will impact the final price of your new home.

Although estimating the cost of your new home is often difficult, you should still attempt to create as accurate of a budget up front. If you are using an architect for the project, he or she will be a valuable resource in your quest to make your home as affordable as possible. In fact, an experienced architect should have numerous tips on how to save money building a house.

Another great way to help estimate the cost of your new home is to cruise through local building developments and take note of similar-sized houses with the features you want. Either ask the homeowner for a cost estimate or make a rough calculation by subtracting the cost of the land from the home's asking price.

Of course, if you're extremely concerned about the high cost of new construction, it's a good idea to keep your estimates on the higher side of what you expect a particular item to cost. If you build your budget with room for error, you'll be able to cope more effectively with any unexpected expenses that may arise.

Tips on How to Save Money Building a House

As you're planning for your new home, remember the following money saving tips:

  • Be realistic. Unless you're blessed with substantial savings, don't try to recreate a home you've seen in Architectural Digest. Getting caught up in the fantasy of creating a home that resembles a king's castle is guaranteed to land you in some serious financial trouble.
  • Be practical. If you have a choice between a kitchen faucet that costs $30 or one that costs $300, ask yourself what benefit you'll be getting if you choose to purchase the more expensive model.
  • Keep it simple. Logically, a home that's basically a box is going to be less expensive than one that features odd angles and custom windows. If you're concerned about sticking to a budget, choose the simplest design possible.
  • Build up, not out. Typically, a two-story home costs less than a similar sized one-story home. When you build up, you avoid the additional cost associated with creating a larger foundation.
  • Skip the basement. Unless you live in an area that's prone to tornados, a basement isn't an absolute necessity. If your basement won't serve any practical function, consider eliminating it to help cut costs.
  • Take it in stages. If your projected budget doesn't accommodate finishing off a basement or an attic right away, keep in mind that you can always have a "phase two" of your project next year.

Additional Information

If you're looking for additional information on how to save money building a house, check out the following helpful resources:

Building Your Dream Home

The cost of your dream home doesn't have to break the bank. By planning ahead, seriously considering the benefits of more expensive items and keeping an eye on your longterm housing needs and wants, you can build a perfect home that falls within your budget. If you ever feel that your spending is getting out of control, sit down and calculate the current cost of the house. If you find that you're nearing the end of how far your bank account can stretch, speak with your builder about cutting back.

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How to Save Money Building a House