Some of the most Affordable Ways to Reduce the Cost of Building
1. Find a Good Architect Allow me to draw the following analogy before I start; Most of us when we are sick, we visit the best doctor, or when we have a court case, we hire the best lawyer. But when it comes to building our dream house on the contrary we go for the cheap. A good architect will give you;
• Efficient floor plan- Optimal room sizes without space wastage
• Sustainable Design – Low running costs during occupancy
• Floor Plan – Square/Rectangular plans are cheaper to build than circular plans
• Open plan living – Means less walling, more daylighting and sociable living environment.
• Space Utilization – Use some spaces for multiple functions such as; Dining Cum Study • Roof Design- Complex roof design means more roofing materials leading to more costs.
3. Hire The Right Builder/Contractor This is the BIGGEST and most IMPORTANT decision for anyone planning to build their dream house. Hire a builder/contractor that will listen to you. This means he will build a house you want and not what he thinks you want. A good builder will guarantee you:
• Minor Variations- A home build on Budget
• No time overruns- A home build within the contract period
• Good Workmanship- A home build without shortcuts
• Experienced – Good connections with subcontractors
4. Bid out Your Cost Have quotations / bids from potential builders and compare their quotes. Remember cheaper is not necessarily the best. A good quote will tell you something about your potential builder;
• A low Quote- Could mean Poor workmanship resulting future expensive repairs and maintenance
• Optimal Quote- Could mean a builders discount and good connections with suppliers • A High Quote- Could mean too many subcontractors involved or building materials are subpar
5. Shop for Fixtures and Fittings Yourself The choice of house fittings is as subjective as the house owner. Therefore it makes economic sense for you to buy most of them yourself. Keep an eye for annual sale or discount at your local hardware. These may include:
• Floor and Wall Tiles- Colours and Designs
• Toilets , Wash Hand Basins, Kitchen Sinks
• Inbuilt Ovens and Cooker • Kitchen and Dhobi/Laundry sinks
• Flat Pack Kitchen Cabinets and Wardrobes
6. Smart material choices The choice of materials from the outset is key to managing costs of your building materials. Choose a Forgiving Aesthetic- Low cost and Low maintenance
7. Small is Smarter. Keep it small. Just how much space for you need for your new house. For good Green credentials, building small is always better.
• Scale Down- Get rid of stuff/space you do not need.
• Climate- Design for the regional climate.
• Space Utilization – Use some spaces for multiple functions such as; Dining Cum Study
8. Choose Your Friends Avoid peer pressure when building your house. Most people would be tempted to build what a friend has built, or Insist on the Architect designing for them a house like their friends. Since design is subjective, go with your gut feeling and pick what fits tour taste and preference as opposed to copy and paste. Unless your friends are contributing to your mortgage payment or construction loan, don’t fall to peer-pressure just because you want to feel like you fit-in.