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7 Money Saving Tips When Building Your New Home

Updated for 2015! 7 tips to save money when building your new home.

How to Save Money Building a New Home?

One of the most frequently asked questions from our customers is "How they can save money building their new home?"

Considering how fragile the economy is right now and how timid banks are to loan money for new home construction, it is no wonder that our customers want to know these tips!

It wasn't that long ago when banks were basically “giving” out loans to almost anyone. Loans got larger, builders built bigger, more extravagant and more expensive homes. Well we know how that story ended! Today banks are less likely to fund new home construction because of the high costs associated with building a new home.

THD-5546 Weston House Plan for Sloped Lots

Smarter and Savvier Consumers

The good news, however, is that our customers are now smarter, savvier, and more apt to build smaller, greener and more affordable homes.

If you're set on building a new home there are many ways you can keep your cost down. That of course, will make the banks more likely to fund your new home building project. Luckily for consumers, the prices of home building products ranging from flooring to shingles to drywall are highly reduced as manufacturers all compete for consumers.

Top Tips to Save Money on Building Your Dream House

Our team of architects and designers share their insight and experience on ways to help you save money while building your new home. Here is a list of their top tips for saving money on new home construction:

  1. Land: Buying the right piece of land could save you a lot of money when you build your new house. Before buying your land, do some homework and make sure that the land can be built on without excessive expenses like clearing and blasting rock. Raw land or a mountain side retreat may seem wonderful, but clearing the land of trees, rocks, and leveling could add extra cost to your home build. Plus, raw land may not have access to drinking water and proper sewage lines, and adding those will not only be necessary but will put on extra expenses to your home build. Finding a suitable lot is becoming more difficult as areas continue to get more developed, which is why you should work closely with a trusted realtor. Check our tips for buying land for more detailed information
  2. Type of House: The type of house you select can be one of the easiest ways for you to save money. It is generally more cost-effective to build a two-story home, rather than a ranch. For example, if you take a 3,000 sq. ft. ranch house plan, it will require a foundation and roof that is TWICE the size of a 3,000 sq. ft two-story house plan. That is because the 2-story house’ 3,000 sq. ft. living space is spread over 2 floors, thus requiring a smaller foundation and roof, while the ranch house will need the foundation and roof to cover all 3,000 square feet. Saving on the foundation and roofing can drastically reduce your overall cost of building your home, and save you money! Another benefit is that a two-story home can easily fit on a small or sloped lot. Additionally, a rectangular house with simple rooflines and standard windows compared to an intricately detailed house can save you lots of money. By simply choosing a two-story house plan, you could save anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 in construction costs without losing any livable space.
  3. House Size: How big your house is makes a big difference! It comes down to square footage, because no matter how you slice it, every square footage you add to the footprint of your new home is going to cost you money. The house size impacts every aspect of the construction from the foundation to the roof and all the way to the final coat of paint. Our designers recommend finding a floor plan that has all the space you need and all the amenities you want. If you need to make changes, most small modifications can be done for a nominal cost.
  4. DIY Discount: You have heard the tales and probably even seen the TV shows. Being your own general contractor could save you a substantial amount of money. But, this approach is only recommended for people who have extensive knowledge about the home building process and industry. If you are or have been successful at being your own general contractor you could save as much as 5% to 10% on building your new house.
  5. Reuse, Recycle, Reclaim & Clearance: You can save money by “being green”. Reusing reclaimed parts from demolition or throw-aways can help you save money on your new home construction and could give a wonderful aesthetic to your new home. Using recycled building materials will help you save money because the materials will either be at highly reduced price or, even better, free! Home-building products like flooring or appliances can be bought at reduced prices. Look for sales, clearances, reconditioned, returns, discontinued products or floor samples (also called floor models). In fact, you can usually score big with discontinued flooring materials and save money!
  6. Handyman Barter Special: Have you seen the TV shows where people do some handyman work as trade to get certain items? That could be a great way to save money! If you feel that you are pretty handy, try asking your builder if there are any simple, safe construction tasks that you could do to reduce your home build costs. Maybe the builder could give you a “handyman barter special” by letting you do the painting, landscaping, or the dreaded construction cleanup in exchange for a price reduction. By performing these simple tasks you could save thousands of dollars!
  7. Saving Green by Going Green: Saving money on your new home build goes beyond the initial build. After all, once your dream house is built, you will still be paying for it. So building your house with energy efficiency in mind can go a long way to help you save money - for the life of your house! Energy efficiency can be a big money saver after the initial build. Orientating your house to have a roof slope facing south, or the large windows facing south will help keep the house warm. Plus, a roof slope facing south lets you easily install solar panels whenever you want. Using as many green building products as possible will not only save you money on energy costs, but you'll enjoy many tax savings as well. Using certain ENERGY STAR® appliances, furnaces and air conditioning units could easily save you 10% to 20% of overall energy usage and operational costs to your home. No matter what kind of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system you have in your home, you can save money and increase your comfort by properly maintaining and purchasing the right energy efficient equipment. Check out our collection of energy efficient home designs for existing house plans.
Design Tip
Purchasing an energy-efficient HVAC system alone will not have as great an impact on your energy bills as using the whole-house approach. By combining your system with appropriate insulation, air sealing, thermostat settings and common sense, you can cut your energy use for heating and cooling by up to 50%. When purchasing heating or cooling equipment, remember that high efficiency levels begin with ENERGY STAR®. Whether you're searching for a new heat pump, furnace, or other heating and cooling equipment, ENERGY STAR® has set energy efficiency specifications to help you save on energy bills and improve the comfort level in your home. Many of their products also qualify for tax credit.