Here are the top things you should consider if you want an affordable home on any budget.
Talk to anyone who has constructed a home and you’ll notice something very specific, that there is no home with an unlimited budget. All projects have a price constraint though a tight budget doesn’t always mean that you have to sacrifice any of the elements that will turn your low cost house into your dream home. This article has been compiled with a list of the top eleven things you can do to help you save money and build an affordable home without compromising too much.
1. Consider building upwards (two-story home): When you look at the compiled building cost documents (BoQ), you’ll notice that the two most expensive parts of any house are the foundation and the roof. A two stored building will include columns and beams but when you consider the fact that you can double the floor area while halving the costly foundation and roof, you’ll be happy you chose to go storied.
2. Simple form is better: Simple rectangular or square homes are the ones that cost the least amount to construct. You can add attractive architectural finishes, well designed openings and beautiful structural elements to make the facade more appealing without spending outside your budget.
3. Keep the roof simple: Consider implementing a not-too-steep simple roof. The more complex your roof design, the more likely you are to suffer from leaks and the steeper you make your roof design, the higher the amount of materials and labor you need to have it fully constructed.
4. Open floor plan: “Keeping the plan simple and open accomplished several things for us.” First, fewer walls equals less material. In addition, the visual connection between spaces increases the perceived space, making it feel larger. Insist on a well designed layout that eliminates wasted space and wasted construction.
5. Think about plumbing: Consider placing all the areas that require water next to each other. These include the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry area. This one tip will reduce the cost of running costly plumbing pipes from one end of the house to another. This will also make it more effective to have one water heater that serves all plumbed rooms rather than placing several devices all over the place.
6. Think about thermal insulation: It has become popular for households to have air-conditioning units for those hot months of the year, but this can cost you heavily in the future if you don’t have your house designed to keep the heat and cold out. Planting trees to create a shade especially on the western side of the house will keep the afternoon sun from heating up your walls. A covered roof, in tiles or iron sheets, will be much better than a solid concrete slab at keeping the house at the ideal temperature.
7. Bring in the outdoors: A common tip builders and architect use to make a small affordable space look more luxurious is to bring in the outdoors. This is best achieved with large windows or door, usually placed right opposite this space’s entrance, that over look a garden or tree. You can also place large and deep balconies with direct access to living and family rooms. Potted plants spread out across the house will make the smallest of rooms feel luxurious and relaxing.
8. Mix the finishes and furnishings: It is perfectly alright to combine brands of fixtures and appliances. Sticking to one brand will create uniformity and consistence within the house but may not match the different personalities of the inhabitants and may not fit within your budget. Shop around your local stores for best deal items that will serve the purpose and not cost you a fortune.
9. Complete the finishes in phases: To get high-end finishes may not be feasible now because of the cost, just phase them in over time. Plan your ideal finishes and breakdown the work into cost based stages. You can finish a kitchen without cabinet or granite countertop but plan to install them next year, or complete one bathroom that will be shared by the whole family before you construct the bedroom-attached bathrooms.
10. Upgrading is always acceptable: When your budget has neared its limit, remember you can go cheap only on easy to replace items such as lamp holders. These can always be replaced within the next few years when they have reached their service life or when you have a budget to indulge/ spurge. Remember to never go cheap on built in furnishings such as the kitchen sink, bath tub or doors.
11. Avoid peer pressure: Your friends may expect you to purchase materials where they did or where their builder insists you should. Unless you can afford it, it shouldn’t matter where you buy something as long as it is in a good condition, serves its purpose and fits within your budget. Unless your friends are contributing to your construction budget, don’t fall to peer-pressure just so you can say you bought it at such-and-such a place.
12. Do some tasks yourself: In order to save on money, some tasks can be undertaken by yourself or family. Site clearing, planting your grass/ lawn and flowers, fixing your gutters and painting are tasks the average person can accomplish with little training. If you have more time than money or the task is not required urgently, this can be an affordable means to saving.