So I’m just going to tell you straight up: my imaginary house is awesome. The views are staggering, the interior is inspiring, and the architecture is absolutely stunning. No joke. It’s got an indoor pool, an outdoor pool, a movie room, and a library that could rival the Beast’s. Plus, since it’s imaginary, I can change it up whenever I feel like it. It is literally the most amazing house I can imagine.
But please don’t think I’m boasting as I tell you this. I’m sure that your imaginary house is gorgeous too (and if it’s not—imagine it that way!). I’m telling you this because when you decide to build your own home, you will be tempted to make that real home as awesome as the imaginary home in your head. And unfortunately, most of us can’t achieve that ideal. We have to be more practical and conscious of our spending. So although it may feel like a letdown after thinking about the palaces that are our dream homes, today we’re going to talk about building a house on a budget. With some smart decisions, you can build a great home without breaking the bank.
Building a House on a Budget
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to achieve your imaginary home’s greatness on a small budget. It’s best that you accept that right away. But if you’re building a house on a budget, the best way to make it great is to save money wherever possible and then invest that money into the elements that are most important to you. Here are some ways to cut costs:
1. Collect numerous estimates and do it early. Of course these initial numbers won’t be the final prices, but they can help you better understand the building process and make smarter decisions throughout it. If necessary, modify your plans to better fit these costs.
2. Choose your lot carefully. Sometimes the cheapest lot ends up being the most expensive when you have to cut down trees, blast away rock, and level land. So consider the lot’s condition as well as its price tag. Also, try to find a lot that has easy and inexpensive access to public services and utilities like electricity, gas, and water.
3. Cut size instead of features. A large house can seem affordable when you’re building it yourself, but remember that it often costs a lot more to build initially and is more expensive to maintain. If you’re dead-set on a huge abode, check with your builder to see how big you can make it before the costs really start to skyrocket.
4. Build a tall house with simple shapes. Yes, squares and rectangles are pretty common, but they’re also far less expensive than curves, triangles, and trapezoids because they aren’t very difficult to design or build. And if possible, build your home up instead of out. Tall homes use up less land, have smaller roofs, and are usually cheaper when it comes to plumbing and ventilation.
5. Use recycled and environmentally-friendly products. Recycled construction materials are often cheaper than brand new products. Look for items like recycled steel, reclaimed doors, and recycled mantels. Also, consider installing an environmentally-friendly HVAC system and Energy Star appliances to save money in the long-run when it comes to your electric costs.
6. Start simple. When you’re building a house on a budget, don’t get carried away thinking about the dream home in your head. That home is great, but this one will be even better because it will be real. And while you’re at it, try not to get carried away with architectural details and interior design frills. If you’re on a tight budget, start simple and upgrade those items in the years to come.
Building a house on a budget requires a lot of self-control, but if you can stay calm and make practical decisions, you won’t end up broke or in debt at the end of this stressful process. Good luck!
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