Education and news for smart DIY landlords!
Some homeowners prefer building a house from scratch — a house that accommodates their current preferences, needs, and future living standards. However, it can cost more than buying one that’s already built. If budget is your concern, keep reading.
In this article, we reveal how you can cut your total designing and construction costs without compromising on home quality, safety, and security.
Managing a construction project yourself can cut 10% of your total building costs. However, you’ll need to have basic knowledge about construction processes. The good news is, you can find plenty of guides online. While learning takes a lot of time, have fun with the process and you’ll be a great DIY general contractor.
Nobody is better at designing a home according to the owner’s vision other than an architect. Usually, an architect’s fee is 8-15% of your total construction costs. But if they’re someone you know well — say a childhood, high school, or a college friend, consider asking for a discount.
There are brands and alternatives of construction materials that are affordable without sacrificing durability. All you have to do is know their names and where they’re sold. For example, you can use cement made out of recycled plastic for your home’s foundation.
Avoid going to retail stores like IKEA or Target for furniture. You can get quality cabinetry with a discount if you go directly to ready-to-assemble wholesalers. Don’t opt for a custom countertop. They can cost around $2,000 to $4,500. Go for standard-sized prefabs.
Weirdly shaped or sized windows and doors require a lot of customization. And they can increase your costs for purchase and installation. During the planning phase for your dream home, tell the architect to use standard measurements for everything.
Don’t just choose one hardware store for all of your construction needs. It’s important that you visit others as well. One store might sell an item with a lower price than the other. There are also those that offer free delivery. You can even do business with multiple stores if it helps you save.
Talk to multiple subcontractors. Compare their prices and quality of work. Some are low-priced but yield poor work quality while others price themselves expensively because they don’t need any contracts at the moment. Better yet, ask for a recommendation from your architect or have them look at the bids of the subcontractors you spoke with.
Lenders often reject mortgage applications if they see that current interest rates will still rise. There are also those who accept applications as long as your credit score is good. However, you’ll want to settle for a banker with a loan policy that will let you save thousands at the beginning of the construction process and as you pay your mortgage.
The subcontractors will hire others to do smaller jobs like wall insulation installation while keeping you out for safety and legal reasons. However, you can convince them to make an exception if you have the skill and knowledge. This strategy is often employed by handypersons to reduce labor costs.
You can ask your subcontractor to leave once the main building jobs are done. Then finish everything yourself. Paint your home’s exterior and interior. Stain the wood trim. Do the front and backyard landscape. This might take time but that’s the price you have to pay in exchange for cutting construction costs.
In summary, being a handyman and knowing the basics of a general contractor’s job are the things you’ll need to save money while building your dream home. It’s never too late learn everything about house construction.