Whether you’re an architect building a home for a family, or you’re looking to create your own individual self-build home yourself, there are numerous considerations to be made when working to a tight budget. We’ve looked at small yet significant changes that you can make in order to maximise your limited budget, and enjoy the home you deserve all while keeping within your financial requirements.
1. Buy key pieces
When building your home, you no doubt have a vision of how you want things to look. Work out what your absolute must haves are. Does your kitchen require some attractive French Window doors? Got your heart set on a spiral staircase? Focus on these essentials so that you’re happy with the results.
Besides being happy, these centrepieces will also make the home stand out more so than if it’s just been built in a basic manner. Focus on quality over quantity, key pieces like a bespoke staircase will add a unique twist to any space.
Don’t worry about small details like the skirting boards looking a little shabby at first. These can be spruced up with paint when you have more time and money in the budget.
Consider buying ex-display appliances for your kitchen and other electrical goods. It’s an easy way of cutting costs without scrimping on the essentials
2. Less floor space
Less is more when it comes to building on a budget. It’s generally more affordable to have a smaller floor space area to establish. Stick to conventional shapes such as a rectangular or square building so that your usable floor space is maximised without the need for convoluted designs.
If extra space is vital, build up rather than out. Add an extra storey. While initial building costs may be pricier such as pricing up scaffolding, you’ll save a considerable amount on not needing to expand the foundations or roof. Typically, plumbing and ventilation is less expensive when building upwards too.
3. Choose affordable and durable materials
The type of materials you use to build the home can make a huge difference to how much it costs to complete. Where possible, use recycled construction materials. Using recycled steel or reclaimed wood can save you a lot of money, providing you use safe materials in the right situation. Similarly, consult builders merchants for offcuts and never be afraid to haggle or bargain when buying in bulk.
MDF throughout a kitchen is far cheaper than installing solid oak or other expensive types of wood, and it’s always possible to change things around at a later date. Plywood is also good for an inexpensive floor.
Look at salvage warehouses for more substantial items like reclaimed doors, windows, light fixtures or fireplaces. Besides being cheaper, they can form great talking pieces in your new home.
4. Be eco conscious
It’s important that you build with the environment in mind – not just for the sake of your energy bills but for the well-being of the planet. Build your home with insulation and renewable energy in mind. Consider powering it through solar power. It’s a fairly inexpensive way of receiving electricity, and there are often schemes that cut the cost even further.
Good insulation means your home stays warmer for a lower price than a poorly insulated house. Don’t scrimp on your heating system. Aim for an energy efficient device. It’s false economy in the long run otherwise.
5. Open plan
A great way of maximising space is to create a home that is predominantly open plan. It can potentially affect how well heated the place is, but that can be relatively easily circumvented by good insulation and well placed heating facilities.
Make sure to use an architect for the early parts of your planning so that they can advise you on how to maximise your space, as well as the lighting of your home. It’s an option expense but one that will generally save you money in the long term. Focus on a square or rectangular design to make building more straight forward.
Upcycling items in the home is a cheap way of turning drab furniture into something much more exciting.
Explore salvage warehouses, builders’ merchants or charity shops for inspiration. Often, you can find large pieces of furniture at low prices because they look fairly uninspiring.
Use services like Pinterest to gain great and innovative ideas for how you can change these items like a dull chest of drawers into something that looks far more exciting and modern.
Small changes like using chalkboard paint to decorate certain areas can revolutionise how you use the piece of furniture.
7. Do it yourself
Few people can do every task on a self-build, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do anything. Think about what you’re able to do yourself. Do you have basic plumbing skills? Or a friend who’s an electrician or other tradesman? Call in favours. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty.
You can save money by buying unpainted windows and painting them yourself at a later date. Alternatively, tasks such as landscaping the garden or painting rooms can easily be done by yourself or alongside friends. It’s far cheaper (if more time consuming) than paying professionals for every task.
The key to a successful and well-priced self-build is to keep it simple. Don’t bother with convoluted shapes or sizes of your home. Stick to a simple, well laid out floor plan. It’s possible to do a lot with a little, providing you don’t over-complicate matters.
Never be afraid to be a little imaginative, but focus on your priorities – typically a home for your family and the future. It’s always possible to extend or re-decorate at a later date, when finances have improved.