– The Sun News

You can save extra cash building your home

Stories by Maduka Nweke, [email protected] 08034207864, 08118879331

THERE are several tips that can help you minimise unnecessary costs whenever you are set to build your house. Most peo- ple see some of these costs as mere cos- metic without a value that can span a pe- riod. But some of these tips, if religiously followed, could help in cutting down your building budget within reason.

To start with, you can buy a large lot with a friend or family member that can be split into two smaller lots. Some of the most appealing properties may be much larger than what you want or can afford, yet the seller may not be willing to break up a large parcel. So if you can share the cost with someone else (preferably some- one you don’t mind having as a neigh- bour), you may be able to pick up a great building site for a reasonable price.

Think of it, if you have a portion of land that is badly positioned, yet you must use it, what do you do? Consider a so-called problem lot on a hillside, narrow, or in-fill property. Generally, these types of lots are not as desirable as others, so they don’t sell as quickly and often go for a much lower price. With the right plan and a capable contractor, however, a potentially difficult lot might be perfect for your new home.

For developers desirous of having their homes along waterfront, there are various factors to consider in making your choice. For a better arrangement, choose a canal or bay lot instead of ocean or lakefront property if you must have a waterfront site. These choices are usually less expensive but still water accessible. Beside that advantage, they provide great protection against inclement weather. Another tip you must consider if you want to maintain a steep budget is to buy low-maintenance building materials like vinyl or cementitious siding and metal roofing, for example. Even if they are somewhat more expensive at installation, they will pay for themselves in the long run as you won’t have to repair, replace or repaint.

Most developers, also in a bid to contain their building budget, descend to the ex- tent of uploading debris from demolished sites and augmenting that with the original materials procured from right source. What these people do is just collect salvaged materials from demolition sites. Old barn woods, used bricks and distinctive wood doors add inexpensive character to a home without exorbitant cost. Many times, you can have the materials at no cost, as long as you’re willing to haul them away. Just be sure to check first with the owner of the building being demolished.

Those who know their ways do not spend money on the materials they can lay their hands on. They only splurge on those things they truly cannot live without. However, don’t skimp on structural com- ponents or doors and windows, for the safety and security of your home, because you’ll want to purchase the best you can afford in these areas. In addition, certain features help determine the overall design and are worth making every effort to keep. For example, the board-and-batten siding and large black double hung windows of any design.

Another way to make best use of your limited resources is not to be exuberant in your building choice. Make sure you consider what obtains around the society otherwise you may be going out of order. You should not overbuild for the neigh- bourhood. A home that is better and big- ger than any other in its area will not com- mand a fair price at resale. Instead, the assessment will be coloured by the lower- priced homes around it.

Monitor construction allowances as the home is being built to ensure you’re get- ting what you asked for (and are paying for). This includes decorative details as

well as structural elements. If you and your builder agreed, for instance, that a particular brand of insulation would be installed, don’t accept a lesser brand, at least, not without a cost adjustment. Use only a certified general contractor. The experience of a well-qualified contractor is invaluable to the home-building process. In addition, seasoned professionals have established relationships with suppliers and subcontractors. Something you cannot possibly hope to get without years of experi- ence in the business.

Try to avoid site preparation charges, haul- ing infill dirt, grading, clearing trees, blasting rock. These processes are expensive and add time to the building schedule right off the bat. Choose the best site you can afford and then pick a plan that fits that site or can be modified to better suit the site. Avoid change orders because the changes in materials or blueprints that invariably occur in the midst of the build- ing process not only cost more money, they add considerable time and frustration to the building process. Decide exactly what you want before ground is broken and then stick to it. Keep the depth of your home at 32 feet or less. Any more than that and roof trusses may need to be specially designed, which can add significant money to the overall building cost. If you have sufficient land and want a larger house, consider adding width or additional stories.

If you really want ceramic tile or hardwood flooring but feel you can’t afford it right now, consider vinyl flooring. Vinyl makes a good underlayment, and the tile or wood can be installed right on top of it at a later date. Select a great stock plan instead of a custom-drawn plan. The savings in total cost are great and you can probably customise the stock plan to get exactly what you want. If you only have two vehicles and you’re counting on the extra bay for storage space, consider other areas of the home that will work just as well as attic space, space under a stairwell or spare bedroom. Or put up a garden shed, which is cheaper than building a huge garage.


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