Building a house is a significant investment, too significant that some people balk away from the idea even before they start planning it. However, did you know that many people have already discovered how to build cheap homes with ease? With careful thought and consideration, it is now possible for you to build your dream house without breaking the bank.
Stick with Simple Geometry
One of the best secrets of cheap homes is that they don’t have fussy plans filled with complexities and curves that tend to add up to costs. Labor alone will consume a big chunk of the building costs. So, it is better to inspect every single aspect of your home design. For every junction or detail, you have to think how costly and complex it will be to build.
Consider the Construction Materials and Method Carefully
There is no such thing as a cheap solution for this and you have to weigh up this decision with several factors aside from the cost of materials alone. Maintenance, lifespan, and durability all have an impact on your home’s overall cost over a period of time. Do you plan to live in the house for 25, 50, or even 100 years? A low-cost construction now might not really be the cheapest overall cost during the lifespan of your house. The same argument applies for the eco-credentials of your home. For instance, it will be well worth to spend a little more today and install efficient wall insulations to lower your heating bills in the many years to come.
Think of Costs of Labor
Labor tends to account for a big chunk of overall construction costs. You might want to consider to do it yourself as much as possible. This decision will have a substantial impact on your chosen method of construction. Experts say that for good quality cheap homes of 100 square meters, it is 18% more expensive to hire a main contractor for building and managing the project compared to going the DIY route with just a bit of help from subcontractors.
Consider friends who maybe can help out, three of my buddies paved and redesigned a whole backyard. It came out great and we got quite the workout. We were lucky to have one of us who had the tools and experience though. You should really have some basic knowledge, otherwise you may lose money having to redo things. Also, there is now youtube so that changes the game. It is much easier to watch someone do something by example than read a book in most cases. You can also find someone to help your group out, hiring them with your local newspaper or posting something in town. They can direct the project and your group of friends which can be pretty cheap. You can even get a subcontractor this way if you need to be compliant with the county. You don't need them full time, they just need to check in and make sure things are done right before inspections.
Make the Floor Area Efficient
Square footage is obviously a significant factor that affects the cost of your home and with the assistance of your architect, it will be worth your time to find clever methods to reduce the footprint but still checking off your wish list. However, economies of scale will come into play here so every additional square foot will cost you a bit less than the earlier one. In Costa Rica they build a lot of homes around 1500 to 2000 sq-ft with a basic style using local wood. Sometimes even teak wood and these turn out very nice. They do these for around $35k because labor is so cheap and the design is basic.
Observe Proper Space Planning
Open plan living is becoming more and more popular today, especially in cheap homes, and this is for a good reason. This can bring in more natural light and create a more sociable living space. But, large unobstructed spaces might become more expensive because of the extra structure needed, such as steels in the ceiling. You can find a few ways around this such as adding columns to lessen steel spans. These structural walls or columns should be placed with care to make sure that they have lesser effect in the flow of views or spaces.
The next time you plan building a house, don’t think of the costs. Think of what you can do to lower your costs instead. Cheap homes are possible as long as you know what to do and how to do things. You also should take into consideration some alternative methods. Are you in an area where you can build with AirCrete or Straw-bale. You can significantly reduce costs with these, but you need to check with the county first about any restrictions.
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