Building your own dream house can be a daunting task. There are many details to see to and countless decisions to make and the whole thing can become overwhelming quickly without a good plan to guide you through the process. And when it comes to staying within your budget here are a few tips to keep your plan on track:
- Choose your builder carefully. This may be the most important decision you make after you purchase your house plan. This relationship will be very important through the building process and a good builder will be able to advise you on many elements of the project.
- Work with your architect to ensure efficient building proportions. Plywood and drywall come in sheets 4 ’ x 8’, and structural lumber often comes in 2’ increments. Consider this and other standard material measurements when fine-tuning the design of your house plan. Odd shapes and lengths have the potential to create a considerable amount of scrap- and thus wasted- materials.
- Utilize any discounts you can. Be savvy when it comes to purchasing supplies. See if you can use your builder’s discount. Look into remnants and left over supplies for things like flooring and countertops; a previous construction project might have created loads of left-over materials that could be perfect for your space and design.
- Keep the roof pitch to a maximum of the standard 8/12. The more dramatic the pitch of the roof, the higher the labor cost a construction team will be able to charge. Or, if a steeper roof is desirable, consider using more than one pitch to minimize the amount of time and materials used on these more decorative elements.
- Design your home for low maintenance. Consider that skimping on some materials now will cost you more in the future. Things like windows, doors, roofing materials, and foundations are places where it is advisable to choose quality over low-cost. The process of repairing or replacing these elements in the future can be prohibitively expensive; better to build your structure with quality from the start.
- Use fancy materials where it counts. A stonework façade is a stunning improvement to the curb appeal of any home, but can be quite costly to create. Consider that perhaps the back and sides of the house are not in quite as much need for the dressy stonework as the front. Utilize high-quality materials where they will be appreciated.
The key to a successful home building project is to stay organized and keep your visions in mind as you move forward. Taking things one step at a time and utilizing all of your resources can keep you well within your budget and minimize unexpected set-backs.