5 Cost-Saving Tricks Most Home Builders Won’t Tell You
Building your home and building up on your saving tend to go in the opposite directions. With a little financial planning, however, you can end up saving hundreds of dollars. There are neat tricks, some obvious and some hidden in plain sight, that prevent expenses from swelling.
1. Research you needs
What do you need is often completely different from what you want or think you do. In order to gain some clarity on this, try your hands at research. Visit open houses and model homes. Try and get the builder to show you around finished houses to get a look at what is offered. Call up friends and family who have bought a house recently. Check with them about house features – those that are used every day and those that are gathering dust and decay.
Make a list of things that you would want around – from room positions to lighting, from building materials to home styles and pick the things that fit your budget without compromising on quality.
Unless you are absolutely sure of your needs, you cannot help customize the floor plan and other elements. And often this uncertainty translates into recurring costs in the future.
2. Pay only for what you want
A custom home is a lot of things. And sometimes a few of these things are unnecessary. Home builders are well aware of this, and some are eager to take advantage of it.
Metallic finishes or hardwood floors may well be included in the home package, but if you don’t need them, you don’t pay for them. Strike them off the design plan. Consider functionality along with aesthetics to keep your costs down.
Experts suggest that you understand the project offerings clearly before sealing the deal. Default home features or installations may not really work for you. You should be able to find cheaper, long-lasting alternatives that serve your purpose.
When you work with your builder to finalize the details of the house, you can exploit your need-based personal research to come up with the perfect solution. If you think you don’t need a built-in wardrobe but can’t do away with the bathroom vanity, so be it.
3. Think small to save big
A bigger house costs more than a smaller one. Like you needed someone to tell you this. Point is, cutting down on a couple hundred square feet can save you thousands of dollars. Let’s do the math. A 1500 square feet house at $100 per square feet is $150,000. If you can downsize just a bit, and bring it to 1200 square feet, you spend $120,000 and save $30,000.
Granted, finding out space like that is easier said than done. Also, you have to factor in future requirements. But if you are able to rein in particularly sprawling patios or a lavish guest rooms, you might just laugh your way to the bank.
Cutting down on space here and there, however, should not come at the cost of comfort or practical needs. That’s contrary to the purpose you’re trying to solve. One of the ways to still get what you want is to maximize the utilization of available spaces. Figure in smart storage and open rooms. For example, an open kitchen and dining frees up space that can be used later and can accommodate more people. Think big, imagine a happy Thanksgiving dinner with the entire family bonding over food in the kitchen. Similarly, if you can imagine living in a 16 x 14 master bedroom instead of a 18 x 16, see that you can make it happen.
4. Buy materials from familiar suppliers and stores
If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty, source the materials yourself. Not only can you buy cheap but also save a lot of money if you strike up a deal with your local supplier. While builders often get the best prices for buying in bulk, you can cash in on seasonal sales and store the things for a long time. Paints, finishes or hardware can be easily purchased from your neighborhood store, saving both time and money.
Also, ask around for references. Family, friends and neighbours can all tell you the best places where you can shop for a bargain. Getting light fixtures or kitchen appliances from these places can help you save cash.
5. Go the DIY-way
Few things are as satisfactory as small DIY projects around the house. If you can yield a drill and a hammer, you are ready to hang shelves, racks and photos on the wall. You can install backyard fences and repair a loose wardrobe door. These jobs can be exciting weekend missions.
Of course, ambitious projects like installing bathroom accessories or kitchen sinks are best left to experts as leakages can damage the walls and leave ugly stains on the floor. Contractors charge by the hour and having to pay twice (or repeatedly) for the same thing can slowly drive you mad.
So take a money-saving approach and keep in mind these simple tricks to cut down on home building expenses.