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Tips on How to Save Money When Building a New House

written by: evepin•edited by: Jean Scheid•updated: 5/5/2010

People who wish to build their new homes need not submit to the notion that building their dream homes will be very expensive and that nothing can be done about it. Here are some tips on how to save money building a new house even if one opts to hire a contractor.

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    Building a New House On A Strict Budget

    M Builder Page Owning and building a house is almost everyone’s dream. However, budget limitations make people think twice about having their dream homes, or they submit to the notion that building a house is very expensive. It is true that building a new house may cost a considerable amount, but there are ways to learn how to save money building a new house.

    The number one solution on how to save money when building a new house is to be the master planner and builder. This considerably reduces the variable costs involved – labor and materials. However, not all people have the knowledge and expertise in being one’s own general contractor. More often than not, people must depend upon the services of contractors, architects, and designers.

    The following are tips on how to save money building a new house even if you hire a contractor:

    • Set up a Budget. This is very important. It should be realistic and only what one can afford. Once the budget is set, stick to it.
    • Look for a contractor or an architect who is trustworthy and understands one’s needs, wants, and concerns. Again, the cost of labor and services should be within budget. Scout for those whose rates are acceptable. Discuss the budget to determine if it is workable. Discuss the best option for payment.
    • Check out government regulations and building permits. This is to ensure that the blueprint or design will not be rehashed just because the construction team later on finds out that some of the regulations were not followed.
    • Plan and discuss with the contractor the overall design of the house. Remember that form follows function. Research on and be open to designs that consider energy efficiency and promote green living. Not only will these be helpful in bringing down future household utility bills, these also help in living in an eco-friendly manner.
    • Set a timetable and follow it. Make it firm to the contractor that the schedule should be followed. This helps prevent unnecessary or additional labor costs because of missed deadlines.
    • Make a mood or design board that reflects the desired style. This will provide focus especially when purchasing home accessories. Sometimes one gets lost in a multitude of options, so it is important to focus on the design theme. This prevents buying items that may look very nice alone, but look awkward or out of place when grouped with other items.
    • Determine which are the non-negotiables and which are “nice to haves.” Proper allocation of funds is key in saving costs. Determine which materials and items to splurge on and which you can scrimp on. Go with the non-negotiables and the “musts” first, then the nice-to-haves next if budget permits.
    • Research the materials to be used and look for better and more competitive prices. If what is desired is very expensive, look for cheaper building materials that are equally durable.
    • Check out salvage yards, flea markets, second hand shops, and thrift stores. There may be a lot of usable items such as wooden furniture that are sold at discounted prices. One can also choose to repurpose their old furniture.
    • Buy the materials, appliances, and accessories yourself and ask for a builder’s discount from shops if possible. If you depend on the contractor to do the purchasing as part of his services, this will shoot up the professional fees. However, discuss this with the contractor first to avoid any misunderstandings or ill feelings.
    • Help as much as possible during the building process – This includes painting, installation of appliances, flooring, landscaping, etc. Not only does one keep an eye on the building progress, but also free extra manpower further brings down labor costs.

    It takes more effort and time when one wants to learn how to save money building a new house. It is also very important to closely work with the contractor to plan, monitor, and control the whole process in order to stay within one’s budget and time limitations. In the end however, being involved in building one’s very own house gives a sense fulfillment budget-wise and at the same time a sense of pride for being hands-on along the way.

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    Image Credit - http://www.edgetechig.com/Builders/Default.aspx