This lists some methods of keeping construction costs low. They often conflict with what a client would prefer to have, but designing a new home is all about making choices; many of those choices involve money. It would be a mistake to let any of the suggestions listed below take on too much importance. Keep a proper balance between what you want and how much it is going to cost.
One very important point to remember is that there is no "silver bullet" for reducing the costs of new construction. A house is made up of thousands of parts involving 20 to 30 different construction trades.
· Keep it rectangular. Maintain a simple roof line. The construction industry is accustomed to 90 degree angles.
· Keep it smaller and more functional. Bigger is not always better. Remember that in a few years the kids will all be gone (hopefully), but that 6,000 square foot house will still be there; along with its property taxes and heating bills.
· Stay away from highly advertised "decorator" items. You can buy a perfectly good dishwasher for under $400. It is easy to pay $1,500, but it won't get your dishes any cleaner.
· Spend your money on the things you see and use every day.
· Have everything worked out before you break ground. If you want to see your budget blown to bits, start making changes after construction has begun.
· Don't be a trail-blazer. Forget the idea of a steel framed house or one made out of light weight concrete. There are a lot of products that are more suited to making the manufacturer wealthy than to giving you a good house for the money. The generic stuff that has been around a long time is usually best.
· Make a list of "optional" items and how much they cost. This will be a great help in deciding which gives more value for a limited budget. Some examples of "optional" items: granite countertops, lawn sprinkler system, home theatre, upscale plumbing fixtures, brick siding, upscale cabinetry, upscale kitchen appliances, lighting fixtures.
· Plan to add later those things that you can't afford today. One of the most overlooked techniques for controlling construction costs is building in phases. There are lots of things that you can build into a house that facilitate its being added onto later. In addition to physically expanding the house at a later date, there are things that can be done to allow the addition of "appliance" type items at a later date. Pre-wire for a security system, central vacuum system, home theatre, automatic lawn sprinkler system, intercom and finish them out when you can better afford it.
Well that's about it; let me know if you want to know any more. Go to my web site at and find out more.