When my husband and I decided to build our first home 5 years ago, we had practically every relative from both sides of our families yelling ideas at us. This was overwhelming for him because he’s a lovely and gentle person… I, on the other (far more extreme) hand, had zero problems with telling my family to shut the fluff up – and yes, I said fluff because we have small children. We did learn one important lesson from their efforts, which was that ideas cost money and lots of it. Here are the ways we successfully saved money during our build.
- Build Speed
My top tip is to build your home as quickly, and safely, as possible. We were initially told that the process of speeding up our build would cost more money so we backtracked and stayed in the slow zone. After a few months of building slowly, we realized that it was costing us much more money because the longer we waited for our home, the longer we had to pay rent for our temporary home instead of our mortgage. We ended up biting the bullet and paying more for the quicker build but we saved much more money in the long run.
- Cheaper Materials
Finding a house and land package in NSW should be the biggest cost for this whole project. You may have been warned against buying cheaper materials for building but the truth is that if it quality is the same and it will do the same job as the more expensive option, then it’s safe to choose the cheaper alternative. There are areas where you shouldn’t go with the cheaper options, like the kitchen and bathrooms – you need to spend good money in those rooms.
This one should be a no-brainer but once you get into the shops when you’re buying plumbing fixtures it does get significantly harder. I am all but convinced that the salespeople polish the more expensive taps a lot more than the cheaper options. We found a way to save money by compromising, we didn’t buy the fancy imported ones – instead, we found a lovely mid-range brand that fits in just fine with the look we were trying to achieve.
This one gets a little trickier but you have to realize that the fancier you want your finishes to be, the more money it is going to cost you. Instead of opting for the gimmicky new finishes like box gutters, just stick with the traditional options because they are much more affordable. There are some things you will have to spend more money on to make sure you’re getting the design you want but don’t push it too far or you’ll risk obliterating your entire budget for something stupid.
If my husband reads this he is going to kill himself laughing because I am the least disciplined person you will ever meet, which means I struggled with this aspect, often. At the end of the build, we were only 2 grand over budget but purely because my husband is military-style disciplined. Stick to your plan and stick to your budget or else you will find yourself in hot water.