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Four Ways to Build a Low-Cost House

Real Estate / 07 Nov 2020

More people are thinking about building their own home, especially as getting onto the property ladder becomes less and less affordable. Unfortunately, there are also lots of misconceptions about self-building that are still common. Home design shows make it seem that building your own home is only for the super-rich.

Good architecture doesn’t have to be expensive to provide what you need. You can create your own home on a more modest budget.

Most of your cost-saving will happen during the design and planning phase of your project. A well-thought-out design with all the costs weighed up can save you a lot of money. It’s worth taking the time to find an architect who can help you with this part. The fee you pay an architect is a small percentage of the build cost, but the right design can save you money in the long-run.

Keep the Geometry Simple

A quick way to add additional costs to your build is to start with a detailed plan with lots of complexities. Labor costs represent a big part of your budget, so it worth looking carefully at every detail of your design. Your architect should weigh up how complex and costly every detail will be to build. Will it need specialist skills or extra costs like crane hire?

Consider Your Construction Method And Materials Carefully

There’s no cheap solution here and should weigh up this decision against other factors other than your materials’ cost. Life-span, durability, and maintenance will affect the overall value of your home. Do you plan to live in this house for 25 or 50 years? Choosing cheaper construction materials now might not result in the most affordable overall cost over the house’s lifespan. You can make a similar argument for choosing more eco-friendly materials. It might be worth spending more on efficient wall insulation to keep heating bills down in the future.

Labour Costs

Labour will account for a large proportion of the overall costs of your build, so you might think about doing as much yourself as you can. The decision you make on labor will have an impact on the construction method that you choose.

It is more expensive to have a main contractor to build and manage your project than it is to go down the DIY route with help from sub-contractors. Weigh up which option will deliver the best results on the project and the best price for you.

Be Efficient With Floor Area

Square footage is also a significant contributor to your self-build project’s cost, and with the help of your architect, it is worth finding some smart ways to scale down the footprint but still get everything you want in your build. Economy of scale will come into play, too, so each additional square foot should cost slightly less than the one before, so you can still get all the space you need without having to blow the budget. At the planning stage, try to keep the floor plan at a sensible size.

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