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How to save money when building a home

House balances when money bag is taken away

Building a home is one of the biggest investments you can make. But, if you’re not careful with your budget you could find yourself spending outside your limits, as well as paying extra for items you could have avoided. Here’s our expert guide on how to build an affordable designer home, and which areas of construction you can save money on. 

Use the land to your advantage

Before construction even begins on your home, you’ll want to do your research on the right piece of land. First time builders are often caught out because they buy the cheapest land they can find, thinking they got the deal of the century. However, more often than not cheaper land is difficult to build on whether it be because of slopes and contours, or because the land needs to be cleared of trees and debris before the build can begin. 

While it might cost you more upfront, buying a cleared, level piece of land is sure to save you money in the long run. If the perfect land is unavailable or out of your budget, make sure you consult your builder on the best ways to construct a home that makes use of natural contours, rather than forking out thousands to flatten the site. Although many kit homes are cheaper on paper, a custom home is often more affordable if your land isn’t completely suited to the standard designs on offer.

Make all your decisions before the build begins

One of the biggest unforeseen expenses when it comes to building a home is variations on the plan after construction has begun. Everything from drastic layout changes through to minor amendments will incur a cost with your builder and will come at a much higher price than if you made the decision before signing your contract. Usually, builders will charge for additional labour and material costs, as well as whatever variation charges they have in place.

In order to avoid these additional fees, make sure that you’re happy with every detail of the plan before you sign your contract. If you’re undecided on any elements, take some time to think it over – most builders will offer a grace period after providing a tender, so you’ll have some time to make sure everything is right before making your final decision. 

Keep your design simple

While the lavish houses seen on Instagram might be photo-worthy, they’re also costly. Anything out of the ordinary from an oddly shaped floor plan through to extending ceiling heights and custom roofs will see your expenses go up. Experienced Bundaberg builders will have a range of house designs for you to review that are tried and tested favourites. There’s lots of options for varying tastes, as well as optional upgrades to facades and fixtures, so you’re sure to find something you’ll love that’s not too out of the ordinary.

If you do want a truly custom designer home, meet with your builder to talk through what you want and see what existing designs they have on offer that may fit the bill. You could find your dream home already exists or can be made so with a few alterations to an existing plan. If you’re going truly off plan, try to stick to standard sizing and design styles to save costs. Remember there are ways to make your home feel unique without going overboard on luxury additions. 

Cut costs on building materials

Exterior materials and flooring are two of the most expensive aspects of your build, so it’s important you weigh up the options if you’re looking to save money. While you might be dreaming of a Victorian-era home with double bricked walls and hardwood floors throughout, the cost of producing a home like this is extremely high. Modern building methods utilise cost-effective materials that are more easily produced, and you’ll also save money on labour if you’re using simpler construction. 

For exterior facades, we recommend brick veneers or cladding, depending on the look you prefer. Both options give a seamless, modern look at a fraction of the cost of other methods. For flooring, tiling and carpeting are the most common options in most display homes, although there are some great laminate and hybrid flooring options available if you’re looking for a wood finish. 

Delay the fancy trimmings until later

When you meet with your builder to discuss fixtures and fittings in your home, you’re sure to be overwhelmed with the choices. While there are some truly decadent options for your lighting, benchtops, and tapware, more luxurious pieces of course will be more expensive than simpler options. Our advice is to focus your initial spending on aspects of your home that are difficult or expensive to alter, such as your layout, roofing, and façade, and opt for cheaper options for your fixtures and fittings.

You may be surprised that many cheaper options for fixtures are just as dazzling as their expensive counterparts. Wooden or laminate benchtops, for example, are exceptionally stylish, but are much cheaper than a stone or marble bench. Similarly, some simple stainless-steel tapware does the job for now, but you can easily swap this out for a gold or brass finish down the track. Don’t be afraid to ask what packages your builder offers, either – you may find they have a deal for a kitchen setup or a laundry fit-out that is much more affordable than selecting items separately. 

Building a new house can be a costly endeavour, but with the right research it is possible to build the home of your dreams while on a budget. If you’re looking for expert Bundaberg builders to bring your plans to life, contact us today and see what we can do for you. 

About the author

CRJ Designer Homes

CRJ Designer Homes

CRJ Designer Homes is a locally owned, family operated building company. Since being established in 2006, Michael and his wife Gillian have made it their goal to build quality homes at exceptional prices, with inclusions that most would consider as an extra!

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