When it comes to building a home, people often think about “big savings” for example; shaving $100,000 off the budget. What people sometimes do not realise is that you can easily save (or spend) $100K on several small decisions along the way.
Most of us are aware that there are countless decisions to be made when building a home; from choosing the flooring to the type of kitchen bench you would like, it’s seemingly never-ending. If you were able to save $1,000 on just 100 decisions for building your house, right there you have just saved $100,000!
Don’t be fooled by “average cost”
Toilets range from around $300 up to $5000. But that’s not to say that the average price for a toilet is $2500.
Try to find the balance between quality and cost. When it comes to choosing toilets for the home, you might opt for some cheaper toilets for the spare bathroom or ensuite, and opt for a higher quality unit for the main bathroom.
Start with the design
Generally speaking, the most expensive parts of the family home are the kitchen and the bathroom (or bathrooms). They alone can cost up to 3 times the amount of building a bedroom.
So, plan carefully when designing your home and mapping out the floor space. Perhaps a spare bedroom might be more practical than a second or third bathroom? Plus, it will save you money on your build. We have another article on choosing the best home design for you and your family here.
Don’t choose your tradesperson or expert on price alone
The cheapest professional is not always the best person for the job and could cost you more money in the long run.
Let’s say for example, that you were required to get a bushfire report for your land. You have the choice of two bushfire experts to supply the report, one is less experienced but costs $500 less.
You go for the cheaper bushfire expert who supplies a bushfire report with a higher bushfire rating. Due to their lack of experience, they played it safe and required that you use more fire-resistant materials in the building of your home, plus thicker toughened glass than is usually required. This alone might add $20,000 or more to the build of your home.
Another example might be a tradesperson who has never before completed the type of job you require. To cover themselves, they simply double the quotation.
Here at Edwards Family Homes, we have great local contacts whom we have worked with for many years. They strike a great balance of knowledge and cost-effectiveness.
Be careful with complex builds
Although a multi-level home with cathedral ceilings may sound appealing, this will invariably add to the project cost overall.
A sloping block can also increase expenses, and the decision on whether to have a suspended floor or to cut into the block and build a retaining wall can have ramifications further along in the build process.
When it comes to these decisions, it’s best to rely on the builder’s expertise to guide you into more cost-effective solutions.
Common building techniques are where your savings come in.
Also, try to avoid overlapping trades in a build. For example, if you wanted to build some walls in the home that was partially weatherboard and partially brick, it’s going to require a bricklayer and a carpenter to build the wall. Suddenly you have to coordinate different trades on different schedules to work together to complete the task. It may not sound hard in theory, but you may have your entire project put on hold whilst waiting for the tradies to align their schedules. This might drag out for weeks or even months.
Reserve the use of expensive materials as features for the home
Instead of opting to build 90% of your home in stone, you might decide instead to feature stone columns on either side of the front door. The stone adds quality and style to the build but doesn’t cost a fortune when used sparingly.
Similarly, you may choose a few feature windows on the home to fit colonial bars, instead of running up the cost of doing it on every window. It will create the feeling you’re trying to achieve without the price tag.
Also, don’t mistake a high build cost for high resale value. Wall-to-wall marble in a home does not mean it will fetch the top price when it comes to selling it.
The hierarchy of value in the home
If you’re keeping an eye on the budget (as most of us are), you can spend your money wisely to get the most bang for your buck. The dining/living area that joins onto the kitchen is known as the hub of the house. It’s the area most often photographed by real estate agents when selling a home, and if done right, gives the home the “wow factor”. If this part of the home is done well, other areas will be forgiven.
Second to this would be the master bedroom. The primary owners tend to sleep here and taking the time and care to get it right will pay dividends in the future.
Utilise the floor space to the best of your abilities
Be careful of wasted space in your design. A well-designed 20-square house can have just as much living space as a 25-square home.