15 Money-Saving Tips for Building a Home

Posted by Jessica Akright on Jan 13, 2017 14:00:00 PM

Topic: ALL

New house being built
  1. Be a 'lot' flexible. When selecting your lot, flexibility is important. A narrow or hillside lot may not be desirable, but you may be able to get a better deal on the property. Keep in mind that site prep charges will also add costs – from filling or removing dirt and grading, to clearing trees or blasting rock. Be sure to pick a home plan and a builder that will help make the lot you choose work within your budget.

  2. Build for the neighborhood. More square footage may seem ideal, but be realistic – bigger isn’t always better. Building larger than the homes in your neighborhood could result in a lower assessment, and later a lower selling price.

  3. Keep it simple. The foundation and roof lines are among the most expensive parts of your new home. Build a two-story and keep roof lines simple to help reduce costs.

  4. Find a builder with style. Selecting an existing plan from a builder will be less expensive than designing a custom home. You’ll save some money, but still be able to personalize finishes.

  5. Think energy efficiency. Installing energy efficient windows will pay off in future years in reduced energy costs. Explore current tax credits for energy-efficient features.

  6. Plumb sensibly. Look for plans where kitchen, laundry and bathroom plumbing is side-by-side or atop one another to reduce plumbing costs.

  7. Use elbow grease. What are you willing to do yourself versus pay the builder to complete? Interior painting? Light installations? Landscaping? Roll your sleeves up and put in some work to reduce your total building costs.

  8. Later could mean less. Other than built-ins (tubs, showers, cabinetry), postpone finishes and amenities (light fixtures, faucets, ceiling fans, cabinet knobs and pulls, tile backsplashes) that add to the overall cost but could be done down the road when your budget catches up with your dreams.

  9. Mix and match. Don’t be afraid to mix appliance brands if you find a good price. Just stick to a similar finish and comparable style.

  10. Scour the internet. Hunt for close-outs on fixtures, such as lighting and cabinet hardware, at a lower price. Work with your builder and be sure that you have the items you plan to order yourself ready on schedule. Order on sites that offer free shipping, and always hunt for discount coupon codes before placing your order.

  11. Monitor construction allowances. Review that all items – from structural elements to decorative details – are in fact what you paid for.

  12. Avoid change orders. They cost more and could add time to your building schedule. Make all decisions before your builder starts and stick with them.

  13. Think realistically. Do you really need a three-car garage or were you only hoping to gain more storage? When you put your true needs in perspective, you may find alternatives (such as a garage attic or a garden shed) could save you quite a bit of money.

  14. Give yourself credit. Consider a credit card with a low APR for unexpected building expenses.

  15. Communicate with your builder. You can’t communicate too often or too little. Document all discussions, plan changes, promises, schedules, and more…both for your own records and for your builder.

Download our comprehensive financing and building guide full of tips and information to help you get started.