Building a custom home can be the most convenient option for future homeowners.
You can watch your house built from the ground up, with all your preferences considered. It’s an excellent housing option to fit any lifestyle.
For some, building a custom home may look impossible without draining your wallet.
The prices of materials, labor and other fees may seem discouraging at first.
However, there are still ways to build your dream home even with a limited budget.
That said, here are some practical tips on how to build a custom home on a budget.
1. Look for Design Inspirations
Every home build starts with a vision. Before hiring an architect to draw a plan, you have to look for design inspirations to quicken the process.
The first step in getting inspirations that fit your taste is to know the different design themes.
Some of these are contemporary, industrial, farmhouse, art deco, Victorian, cottage, colonial, craftsman, modern, and mid-century modern.
You may search for images of different architectural house styles online to know which suits your taste.
Moreover, you may also look at the project catalog of custom home builders in your area.
This way, you’ll see a wide range of home designs and the builders behind these successful projects.
You can also start deciding which company you’ll reach out to once you’ve decided to start the build.
Although you’re building a home on a budget, it doesn’t mean you can’t choose elegant designs.
As you browse different home design inspirations, you can find simple details that make a home look classy despite the budget restrictions.
2. Consider a Compact Home
The size of the home is the foundation of the quote of materials and the project’s timeline. These two factors make up the total cost of the home.
Bigger houses require a higher budget. As an alternative, you may consider building an affordable compact home.
As property prices rise, more and more people are choosing to downsize.
The search for an affordable housing option gave birth to creative ideas like tiny houses, portable cabins, shipping container homes, tiny apartments, and full-time RV living.
Building a compact home is the perfect balance between the stability of a traditional house and the efficiency and simplicity of a tiny house.
Depending on your needs, you can build a 2-bedroom house with a 50-square meter gross floor area.
This size may seem too small, but it can look bigger with a smart design and strategic floor layout.
Another tip for building a home on a budget is to build up. Add a second story instead of building on the ground if you need more space.
This method adds more livable space without reducing your outdoor area.
Furthermore, a compact home tends to be more energy-efficient and sustainable than larger houses.
Although you might need to downsize a little, benefits like reducing electric consumption will save you more money in the long run.
3. Start Drawing Plans
When you’ve finally decided on the architectural style and the size of the home, you can start drawing a rough plan.
Looking at some floor plans available online would help. You can sketch your preferred floor plan with an architect to save time.
The top advantage of a custom house is the opportunity to bring your vision to life.
Since you’re building a home from scratch, you can include everything from the basics to the finishing touches.
Choosing to build a smaller home can be challenging. Each corner of the house should serve a purpose to prevent wasting space.
You should specify the layout and size of the living room, kitchen, and dining room and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.
One of the keys to efficient planning for a smaller home is creating an open plan. You’ll save on drywall partitions, plus the space will look larger and more welcoming.
Placing the living, dining, and kitchen in one area also makes your home excellent for entertaining guests.
Some may also prefer separating the kitchen from the living and dining area.
A clever floor plan is the foundation of an efficient traffic flow within the house.
When drawing one, even a rough sketch, you have to leave enough negative space for movement. This way, your home will be functional regardless of size.
4. Set Your Budget
Before planning to build, you have probably already set an initial budget based on your savings.
However, after choosing the design and size of the home, there’s a need to re-evaluate your budget and align it with the total project cost.
There are three ways to set your budget for building a home. The first one is to find a low-cost option that’s way under your initial budget.
Saving an extra amount ensures you’ll still have an extra budget for other fixtures and details at the end of the build. However, you may need to do downscale the home’s total area.
The second option is to allocate an extra budget according to the total cost. For instance, if the total cost turns out to be higher than your initial budget, you’ll provide an additional fund to complete the project as planned.
While this may be more convenient if you have spare money, this might be discouraging for those on a tight budget.
Lastly, the third option is to stick to your budget and adjust your plan correspondingly. This step is attainable by knowing your area’s exact price per square meter.
The cost should include materials, labor, professional fees, and other expenses. Subtract 10% as a contingency fund, dividing the remaining amount by the total price per square meter.
Another way to ensure your budget is enough for the project is to choose a simple house shape and less expensive finishing materials.
A square or rectangular-shaped home tends to cost less than houses with complex structures. Regarding the finishing materials, pick ones widely available in your region to get them at the lowest price
5. Hire Professionals
Hiring professionals in building your home is a must. They’ll take care of the functional and aesthetic aspects of the home.
Most importantly, they will ensure your house follows the building code in your area for your safety.
The first professional you should get in touch with at the beginning of the planning is an architect.
Your architect is in charge of the home’s overall design, from the exteriors and interiors. Hiring one will guarantee a beautiful and functional home.
Along with the architect, you should consult a civil engineer. Your engineer will create the structural plan according to the final design drawn by the architect.
The plan will specify the details like wall thickness, beam dimensions, posts, and other elements that make a home strong enough to withstand harsh weather conditions.
Moreover, you should also hire a professional electrician to plan the home’s electrical wiring.
Your hired electrician will ensure the electrical outlets and switches are at the most convenient locations.
They will also take care of the fire hazard protection relating to electrical wiring.
Although hiring professionals may seem expensive at first, the quality of the home will help you save from frequent repairs and renovation in the future.
Plus, you can sleep soundly every night, knowing you’re safe within your home.
6. Hire a Trusted Building Contractor
While managing the construction process yourself is an option, it’s not convenient for everyone. For busy people, it’s ideal to hire a trusted general building contractor within your area.
If you choose to be the general contractor, you’ll be the one to hire and manage all the workers needed like plumber, mason, carpenter, tile setter, painter, and other construction workers.
Then, you’ll also look for subcontractors for specific projects like HVAC and roofing. Although you can save by managing the project yourself, it can be stressful and time-consuming.
On the other hand, finding a trusted contractor lifts the weight of the project from your shoulders. They will manage the whole construction process and sourcing workers.
Although they can do all the work for you, it’s ideal to be involved with finding subcontractors to make sure you’re working with trusted companies.
Moreover, your chosen contractor would also provide a specific warranty period. They can be held liable for the defects and failed work within that period and repair or renovate them for free. This practice assures quality work is a priority.
7. Buy Discounted and Reclaimed Materials
When every detail is laid out, it’s time to buy all the materials. Since construction materials take up the largest percentage of the home’s total cost, picking the most affordable ones is crucial to stay on your budget.
One of the best ways to save on materials is to find the best deals in your area. You can go directly to manufacturers to buy the materials at the lowest price. Contractors do this practice to maximize profit.
You may do it yourself if you’ve decided to manage the project or you’ve hired a contractor only for human resource services.
Another alternative is to buy reclaimed materials. This option is ideal when purchasing doors, windows, and house fixtures like sinks and showers. You can get these items for half the price, sometimes for free.
You’ll save your budget while reducing waste and carbon footprint, which helps the environment.
Additionally, you may also select locally available materials. Aside from the lower prices, you’ll save a significant amount on shipping costs.
Limited funds should not get in the way of building a custom home. By learning the details of the construction process, you can maximize your budget to create a functional and elegant abode.
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