Building Your First Home on a Budget

Building Your First Home on a Budget

For many of us, owning our own home is the ultimate financial ambition. However, in reality, more and more people are finding it difficult to make their dream come true in the current economic climate. Some of these people are deciding to take matters into their own hands and build their own home from scratch. Self-builds are often associated with hard work, stress and a lot of money, but it is possible to build your own home for under $100k. It takes some very clever planning and usually a professional architect to put you on the right track, but a self-build project could be the answer.

Keep Costs in Mind During Planning & Design

You need to be focusing on costs from the very earliest stages of the planning process. The wrong decisions here in terms of materials or construction methods can end up costing a significant amount of money. If you make plans now which turn out to be impractical further down the road, correcting mistakes will add unexpected costs to your budget.

Ideally, you should be planning your home with a professional architect or home design company. Make sure you’ve chosen the best location for your home which you can afford and have all the necessary permissions in place before you begin. Higher costs tend to come with complex designs so keep the structure as simple as possible. What you imagine in your head may not be easily achieved on a budget, so be prepared to make some compromises and to accept alternative solutions.

Choose Construction Materials & Methods with Care

The construction and materials involved in your project can be more difficult to keep to a budget. For obvious reasons, you don’t want to choose the cheapest you can find if it means you will be compromising on the durability, safety or energy efficiency of your home. If you plan to live in your home for the foreseeable future, you want to know that your money and effort has created something which will stand the test of time. You can also reduce costs by doing as much of your own labor as you can, and if this is what you intend to do, it will dictate your construction methods.

The structure should be well-insulated to ensure your heating costs are as low as possible and to reduce the home’s carbon emissions. You may want to consider renewable heating and/electricity solutions to power your home, but these systems, such as solar panels or air source heat pumps, can be costly to purchase.

Do More With Less Floor Space

A significant factor in the cost of your self-build is the square footage. You need to work out how much space you can comfortably live in so you can minimize the footprint of your home as much as possible. For examples of what can be achieved when building small but functional and comfortable homes, take a look at the tiny homes by Tiny Heirloom with prices starting under $50,000.

Choose the Right Architect or Design Company

To achieve the best possible design on the smallest budget, you need to consult a professional. This could be an architect or homebuilding company, but they will help you to make the right choices for your needs and budget. To keep their fees to a minimum, you may choose to employ an architect for the design process but manage the rest of the construction yourself.


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