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Top 8 Ways to Save Money on House Construction

Are you planning on building your own dream home that you always wanted? Or are you renovating or upgrading your existing house? Either way, construction is an expensive task, made doubly difficult by the present home loan situation. So, here are the top 8 ways to save money on house construction.

Constructing new or upgrades is always costly, and you don't get much say in this. But if you plan about your home building carefully and choose the right options, you can avoid a lot of expenses on design, construction, and maintenance. It is always good to be able to cut back on homebuilding costs. There are three main ways you can do this:

Reduce basic pre-construction expenses

  • Avoid costly mistakes
  • Cut back on maintenance

While those are the main three avenues of cutting costs on homebuilding, in practice you will have to give time and efforts a lot of small matters to optimize your house construction costs. The following are the top 8 ways to save money on house construction you can try among those.

1. The Devil is in the Details

Why pay for stuff you don't really need? Most building contractors, or even designers, will try to push on expensive features on you that you won't actually use. Why would you want some exotic vitrified tiles on your floor when you are perfectly ok with a simple mosaic? Don't fall into sales traps.

Sometimes, many unfair contractors won't even mention these stuffs to you, they will just tell you a lump sum amount for the total work. To avoid paying for unnecessary features, you should always dig into the details of their estimate.

Go literally line-by-line over the contract, and see what you need and see what you don't. You will probably be doing this only once in your whole life, so you can spare the time.

2. DIY is the high

You'll probably be surprised to hear this, but some of the expensive stuff they do, you can do yourself too. And what's more, you don't have to be a great handyman for that either – as long as you know which end of the hammer to hold and are careful enough not to hit your thumb-you can do it.

Especially, much of the after-construction work fall in this category. Painting the house is definitely something you can handle, and it brings some great joy to your soul too. If you know woodworking or electrification, even better – why would you pay through your nose to somebody else for those stuff

However, be careful here and know your limits.

3. Supply the fixtures yourself

Often to reduce hassle people choose to let the contractor buy most of the material and fixtures for their home. Don't! Contractors often provide low-quality materials at a high cost. Also, they may not have many choices.

As much as you can, try to source the small materials yourself. You will get wider choices, better deals, and may even find stuff that completely changes the way your house feels without spending an extra penny otherwise.

4. Get a second opinion, and a third, fourth, fifth...

This should be a no-brainer: don't trust the first quote you get. There should be plenty of builders in your town; and if not, you can source out-of-towners as well. Some of them are bound to give you some solid low prices that may even fall as low as half of some other quotes.

It's a good idea to consider at least 3 to 5 options before you settle on one; and mix up their origins and other values. Who knows, maybe you'll find some choices you never knew you had.

However, a word to the wise. Giving the lowest quote doesn't automatically mean it is a good deal – the cheap guy can be skimping on mandatory stuff or compromising heavily on material quality in order to keep up a good profit margin. Research the background!

5. Build green, live green

It is not only the upfront investment that counts towards construction costs, but also the maintenance costs as well. If you choose to go the sustainable way, your house will save a whopping lot on energy, water and other maintenance bills – which translates into a fractional return of your original investment. Who doesn't like to get a cashback, though be it late?

Also, as a citizen of the 21st century, it is your moral obligation towards humanity to reduce carbon emission and use renewable and organic sources for construction. Imagine what will your children think of you when they are bleeding out through energy bills.

If you're building in cold climate with low sunshine, invest in heavy insulation, wind power, and clever architecture that makes best use of the heat inside. If you're in a sunny area, invest like crazy in solar-powered systems and batteries, like solar panels and solar water heaters, and opt for more open designs than congested.

6. Prefab is the new fab

Prefabricated buildings are getting more and more popular especially for personal homes since they reduce the cost, time, and hassle of construction. The traditional on-site construction method is messy, wasteful, and expensive to boot. Whereas, prefab buildings are easy to erect since there is very little construction work – you just buy ready-made walls and roofs and screw them together. It's that easy.

The more important point here is the cost cutting – since building parts are made in a factory (as a whole – e.g., the walls come with internal plumbing and electrification, and can even come painted), they save a lot on the standardized manufacturing process.

Another good point for prefab buildings is that they are often very green, sustainable buildings! Many modern prefab buildings are made with eco-friendly, sustainable material, and they have good insulation and are great for installing renewable energy units.

Last but not the least – prefab, modular buildings are flexible as well! Where with traditional system you will have to go through a whole renovation process just to move one wall – with prefab building parts it's just like Lego!

7. Keep track of everything to the last minute detail

While it may be rather a headache, keeping track of every single little detail, and organizing them well can be extremely rewarding, especially with homebuilding projects. When sourcing materials yourself, make sure you got the materials before they start work. It drains your money down the drain when expensive pay-per-hour workers are standing around while you run around shopping doorknobs and bathroom shelves.

If you have ordered some special materials, make sure to check before they start working! Sometimes, dishonest constructors make do with standard material even when you've ordered something special, especially if they can get away with it. This happens often with woodwork. So, check before work start to see if they did bring the special order or not, and if they're actually using it. It is better if you learn a bit about how to test these materials beforehand.

Also, if you're doing a renovation, make sure you have cleaned out the work area thoroughly and took care of any other needs of that area well beforehand. If you have to move out, plan and book all the alternate residence clearly with lots of time in hand to make changes if necessary.

8. Be a little space-conscious

In construction, total expense is directly related to the total square footage, no matter what technology you use or what design. So, deflate your dreams a bit and opt for smaller rooms if you truly want to cut costs. Often, after work, you'll see that small rooms are what you actually need instead of vast halls.

If you have a good architect, you can tell him or her to design cleverly and make small places look big. An open-type house design often brings the illusion and feeling of space, while a congested, tight-packed design can subtract the spacious feeling from large rooms.

How it feels and what you truly need, is more important than square footage. You can save a lot on the total square footage if you measure the furniture you will put in the rooms and plan accordingly. Clever furniture placing plans will make sure your money is not wasted on unnecessary space.

Sometimes, even the way you place the furniture can define the available open space in a room. For example, if you are willing to compromise one side of the bed, place it along a wall rather than in the middle of the room and suddenly you've doubled the left over space in that room.

Top 8 Ways to Save Money on House Construction