Five ways to keep costs low when building a home

If you’re actively considering the option of building your own home from scratch, you’re certainly not in the minority. Research suggests that more Brits than ever before are looking to build their own homes, as an affordable and accessible means to get on to the housing ladder.

Unfortunately, many of those considering new-build homes have somewhat unrealistic or misguided expectations. Particularly when it comes to costs, which have a habit of quickly escalating above and beyond initial projections.

Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to successfully minimise costs and achieve a genuinely cost effective build.

As for the most important question of all, it’s more than possible these days to build a basic yet comfortable home for less than £120k. You only need to see what’s being built online right now to get an idea of just how far your money can go.

But irrespective of how much money you have, you’ll want it to go as far as it possibly can. This means carefully considering every cost and doing everything within your power to eliminate unnecessary expense.

So with this in mind, what follows is a brief overview of five simple yet effective ways to keep costs down when building a home from scratch:

1. Keep the design simple
First up, it’s worth bearing in mind that the more complex your home’s design, the more difficult and therefore expensive it is going to be to build. Keeping things simple doesn’t have to mean compromising on quality or comfort. Instead, it’s simply a case of keeping an eye on things like geometry and the general complexities of your home’s shape and specification.

2. Carefully consider all available materials
If you can happily live without the most durable and luxurious materials in your home, you’ll benefit from a much cheaper build. You also need to weigh up the costs of the materials you choose in accordance with on-going maintenance and repair requirements. It’s one thing to save money with low-grade materials, but you’ll soon regret it when facing continuous and escalating repair bills.

3. Evaluate labour costs
Always establish ahead of time exactly how much you can expect to pay any given construction team for their involvement. If you live in one of the counties with prestigious postcodes, you might be worth bringing in a construction firm from a little further afield – some charging up to 20 per cent more than others, simply due to the location.

4. Plan your spaces strategically
Open plan living may be more popular than ever before, but larger open spaces can be more difficult and costly to construct and reinforce. You’ll need to discuss the available options for your interior spaces with the respective construction company thoroughly, in order to determine which represents the most cost-effective option.

5. Consider a variety of funding options
Last but not least, the way you go about funding the project will have a marked impact on its affordability or otherwise. Construction loans demand relatively high deposits and flawless credit scores, though can be competitive for those who qualify. Likewise, bridging loans often require no deposits, no credit checks and no proof of income whatsoever, alongside unbeatable interest rates and overall borrowing costs. Prior to making your final decision, it’s worth speaking to an independent bridging loan broker to explore all available funding options for the project.