In most parts of the country, many home buyers are frustrated with the lack of affordable housing. If you are in the red-hot real estate market, it might be better to build your own home. There are plenty of options for these homes, and not all of them have to break the bank. Here are the cheapest ways to build a house in 2022.
Are you looking for a cheaper way to build your home? At Home Nation, we have a few site-build options so that you can construct your next home.
What Is the Cheapest Option for a Home?
Photo by Richard Clyborne of Music Strive
There are a couple of ways to save money on your next home build. Think about simplifying your home’s design. Many homes will resemble a box-like design. When you stick to a rectangular or square shape, it can make the building process cheaper for you. Remember that building up is a more affordable option than building out. If you require more space, consider a multi-level home design.
Some people worry that a box-like home will not be attractive, but that is far from the truth. You can always add exterior features, such as lighting, landscaping, and shutters to boost the look of your home.
Your roof design will also play a factor in the cost of your home. There are many roofing options for houses. Simple roof designs are often the cheaper choice for your home build. Keep in mind that a flat roof can cost around $6,000 to $15,000 on average. Compare that to a gable roof, which will cost $12,000 to $18,000.
The size of the home will play a significant factor in the costs. For that reason, tiny homes are a popular option. The labor and materials costs are priced per square foot, with most homes costing around $20,000 to $30,000 to build. A tiny home is often defined as under 400 square feet. You might have to purchase the land to build your home. These homes often cannot be purchased with a traditional mortgage. With that in mind, you might have to look at alternative financing options.
Choose Building Materials Wisely
There are varying prices for building materials. When you choose a cost-effective material, it can help cut down the costs. Consider these materials:
Insulated Concrete Forms (ICF)
These materials will cost around $150 per square foot. While that is more expensive than a standard wood frame, you can see significant savings down the road with heating and cooling costs. When you purchase a site-build home package, ICF is one of the top options for your home. These ICF blocks are durable, making them great for your long-term needs. ICF blocks are a bit more costly than traditional materials, but when you purchase them in a builder package, you can save money on construction costs.
These wall panels are custom-built in the factory and shipped to your build site. When the walls are manufactured and shipped from another location, you can cut down on the labor costs for framing. These components are already manufactured and need to be installed on the building site.
Like prefab panels, precast concrete is poured into a reusable mold, cured indoors, then shipped to the building site. This option is cheaper than pouting on site. In turn, that can reduce your labor costs.
Reclaimed wood is good for two main reasons. First, it’s a lot cheaper than fresh lumber stuff. Plus, it keeps discarded wood out of landfills. So not only are you saving money, but you’re also helping save the planet.
We recommend mixing reclaimed wood with other materials. The grainy color can add a splash of rustic feel that can’t be beaten. The only downside is that it’s not great in wet environments.
Bamboo isn’t just for pandas; it can also be used as a great wood substitute. What’s more, like reclaimed wood, it’s also sustainable. That’s because bamboo grows at a much faster rate than trees. It can be used in everything from your roofing material to the walls.
It also makes excellent flooring. It can add a Southeast Asian aesthetic to your home that’s also quite affordable.
Related: The NEW Affordable Home
How Can I Save Money Building a House?
There are several ways to cut down on the cost of building a home. Here are a few tips to get more value out of your dollars.
Hire an Experienced Builder
You might think that hiring a builder will add more costs to your budget. Keep in mind that trying to build a home requires skills and knowledge. This is not a DIY project for most people. You will want to hire an experienced home builder that can help you figure out where to spend more money and where you can make some cuts. They will have money-saving ideas that can help your budget in many situations. They can also avoid any potential problems that could cost you more money.
When you hire a builder, you can still have control of the project. Think about becoming a general contractor. With that, you can manage the home building process by yourself. You can still hire a builder who will do all of the heavy work for you.
Acting as your own general contractor allows you to reduce a few costs. However, keep in mind that taking on the title of a general contractor is a big responsibility. You will need to find a home builder and subcontractor. Also, you will need to secure all of the building materials and get building permits. When you make a mistake, it can be time-consuming and costly. If you hesitate to make big decisions, think about hiring a professional to help you save money in the long run.
Find an Approved Design Plan
When you have a home design plan, you want to stick to those plans. Designing a home can cost a lot of time and money for you. Any changes that you will make will add high costs to the price of the build. For that reason, you will want to get your plans approved early in the process before you even start to break ground. Almost all projects must be approved by a county or city department. If you start work without approved plans or permits, you could be charged a hefty fine, have to redo some of the work, or even stop the project. All of that can lead to added costs for your project.
Price, Plan, and Budget All of Your Costs
Before starting your project, you want to have all of the costs listed. It is not good to be surprised by the final costs at the end of the project. Create a budget and price out all materials, labor, and other relevant costs. While you might not have an exact estimate, you can at least get a handle on those home-building costs. There are times when the costs can rise, especially if changes are made. During the project, always keep track of price changes and add them to your budget. Think of the budget as a live document. When anything changes, you will know what you are spending. With that, you will not risk running out of money.
Buy Materials at a Discount
Materials will be your highest cost for the job. If you can reduce the costs of the materials, you can significantly cut down those costs for your home. Before you begin shopping, ask if you can take advantage of a builder’s discount. It never hurts to ask for any discounted rate. When you buy in bulk, you could qualify for a price reduction.
If the supplier does not have to give you a discount, ask your contractor to purchase the items for a reduced rate. Some suppliers might not want to use their discounts to save you money. But once again, it never hurts to ask for a favor.
You might also want to think about bundle packages. Some of these builder packages contain all of the materials for your home build. They will be delivered to the property. Just find a professional to install the kit for your home.
Add Energy-Efficient Home Features for Rebates
Using energy-efficient materials can make your home a greener build. In addition to that, you can also save on the project. Better insulation and high-efficiency products will cost more upfront, but they can save money over the years. Consider using wind or solar energy to power your home. Many of these companies will allow you to qualify for tax breaks and rebates. Check out EnergyStar to see if you are eligible for local, state, and federal rebates.
While most home builds should be left to the professionals, you can tackle some of those minor projects. By DIYing a few projects around your new home, you can save a few dollars. Laying flooring or painting is a perfect example of these projects. However, plumbing and electrical work should be left to the professionals.
Communicate With Your Builders
You and the builders must be on the same page regarding blueprints, expectations, and timelines. The very last thing that you want is for your builder to follow through with something you didn’t want to do.
You’ll either need to live with it or re-do the entire mistake when that happens. And, when it comes to building, the longer it takes and the more materials used, the more expensive it will be.
Make sure you and the builders have a game plan before proceeding with any task. That way, you aren’t surprised by a potentially costly mistake.
Get a Prefabricated House Design
A good portion of the costs of building a house goes into designing it and building it from scratch. Labor is the main cost here. It takes dozens of payrolled employees hundreds of hours to make a home.
So one way to save money is by purchasing a prefabricated house. These builds are made and designed in mass, so you save a lot of money. They’re also a lot easier to construct, so that it will take a fraction of the time for a traditional home.
The only downside is that you don’t get as much freedom during the design process. But if you’re looking to save money, there are a few methods better than a prefabricated home.
Save the Final Touches for Later
We know it can be tempting to start investing immediately in furniture, appliances, and more for your newly built home. However, it’s important to fight this instinct. Remember that building a house is an incredibly costly endeavor.
It’s extremely common for home builders to go over their initial estimates, sometimes by thousands of dollars. You want to ensure you have the initial home built before you worry about upgrades, renovations, furniture pieces, solar panels, and things of this nature.
Once all of the essential components are in place, you can return to your budget to see if there’s enough money for the finishing touches. But fight the urge to jump the gun on this.
Trying to find a home can be frustrating. In some cases, you can build your one house to get those amenities and features. Building a home can be an exciting adventure. You need to be prepared for the ups and downs. While home builds can be expensive, there are a few ways to save a few dollars on your project. Keep a budget, choose the right materials, and find a professional for help. With all of those tips, you can find an affordable way to build your next home.
Are you interested in building an ICF block constructed home? At Home Nation, we have a few options to help you find a cheaper way to construct your next home.