5 Tips to Save Money When Building Your Dream Home

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5 Tips to Save Money When Building Your Dream Home

Building your dream home can take a lot of effort. But if you are on a strict budget, it will take double the hard work and some more. You need to work out areas where you will be able to cut back and save dollars, and deal with other aspects of construction where you will have to loosen the purse strings.

Getting the right land parcel or plot for constructing your home is the first step towards the successful execution of your construction plan. You also need to do your homework thoroughly and examine whether you will save money by buying a fixer-upper or a ready-to-move-in home, or by building a home from scratch.

Once you have decided that building it is the way to go for you, it is time to get down to planning the entire construction to the very last detail. From choosing the builder and the subcontractors to deciding on the cabinetry and hardware, you must know how you are going to get everything done on a budget.

Here are a few tips if you are planning to build your home and looking to save money wherever you can.

1. Choose the Right Design and Architect

The design, layout and plan of your home can have a big say in the overall construction cost. Rectangular and square home designs cost much less to build than other designs. Also, if possible go for stock plans rather than custom ones. If you choose a simple stock plan that can be easily modified or upgraded in the coming years, you will save thousands from having one custom-made to the very last detail for you.

If you have chosen a problem plot in order to maximize savings, then you must work with a reliable architect and contractor to overcome the inherent difficulties the land presents. Hillsides or in-fill property are considered difficult to build on, but they are also priced less than their more attractive counterparts. So if your land parcel genuinely calls for more work, ensure you have a skilled architect on board to help you.

Choose an architect who is willing to speak to you and discuss your needs. Inaccessible architects will not hear you out or help you achieve the design you want.

2. Choose Contractor Carefully

Do not hurry with deciding on your home builder or general contractor. Having an experienced and dependable contractor can make the construction hassle-free and convenient.

It is important to choose a contractor who has sufficient experience and has the solid backing of previous customers. If your contractor comes with good references, that’ll give you additional confidence in his capabilities. Ensure the contractor is licensed and insured, and is aware of how to go about securing building permits and code inspections in your area. A general contractor will also hire and manage payments of sub-contractors and suppliers, and help you stay within budget. Because the contractors have a long-term working relationship with the subs, they will have established a good network with the best in the trade. This is because when it comes to home building, a contractor is only as good as his building product suppliers and trade contractors.

You will also be able to get the best builders if you speak to realtors and scour classified sections of home magazines and newspapers.

3. Buy Discounted Stuff

If you want to score really massive savings, buying reused, recycled, reclaimed, closeouts or remnants is the way to go. You will be able to buy almost all your fixtures, hardware and plumbing this way, and get quality stuff that imparts character to your home without spending mega bucks.

Once you have decided that you want to build your home, it is time to start shopping. If you have finalized the décor style you want to go with, you can start shopping for your home needs right away. Keep an eye out for discounts and clearance sales and buy what you need when you spot a good bargain. Shower heads, fans, lighting, tiles, flooring, and appliances – virtually everything will go on sale at various times. It is important that you do not miss out on opportunities.

Most building material stores will stock returned items, closeouts and remnants that will only cost a fraction of buying new. Salvaged materials from demolished sites will virtually come for free if you are willing to haul them away. Some of the amazing finds can include massive wooden doors, used bricks, old barn wood, marble mantelpieces, vintage mirrors, ornate columns, and beautiful furniture. So ensure you comb through all available resources to find the best deals.

4. Check Online Wholesalers

It always makes sense to check online before committing to big buys. Online wholesalers will have discounts on most products and will also be willing to negotiate a better deal. You will be able to find similar products online as the ones you find in high-end home stores, but priced much lower. Also, you can bargain for free shipping.

When purchasing big-ticket items like sofa or flooring online, you can ask for free product samples of the materials used to check the color and undertones. Sometimes, you may be required to pay a couple of bucks extra, but it is worth the money because you can be fully sure of what you are buying.

Unfinished wooden doors and furniture will be available cheaply online. If you know someone who can stain them for you for a few hundred bucks, you will be able to snag the discounts that unfinished products offer.

5. Splurge Where Necessary

Structural components are key to the safety and security of your home. So ensure that you do not scrimp here and buy the best you can afford.

Also, homebuyers and homebuilders qualify for handsome tax credits and rebates for making their home energy efficient. Energy efficient windows, roofing and insulation all qualify you for credits. So does installing the energy-efficient geothermal unit and HVAC system. Check your eligibility and ensure you claim all your benefits. Also, an energy efficient home will help you save thousands of dollars in energy expenses in the coming years and will also help sell your home faster, should you opt for it.


Constructing your home requires tons of effort and months of planning. But if you do your research well and make an effort to save money right from day one, then you will definitely be able to build the house of your dreams even on a lean budget.

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  • Linda Parker
    Linda Parker updated a media
    about 11 months ago via OpenBuildings.com