A property boom is happening in the US with 2.8 million new homeowners appearing in the last year alone. Yet for many people, the appeal is not in buying a home but creating their own. But do you know how affordable this can be?
Not every bespoke property has to have a limitless budget. Read on as we tell you how to get affordable house plans for your new project.
Skip the Architect
Many people assume that when they build their own house, they need a designer or architect. This is not always the case. There are plenty of other ways you can create house plans, including doing it yourself.
Pre-made house plans are available online to purchase. Ones that cost more will have more specifications, while the free ones may just be the floorplans.
The benefit of this is not just cost. Very often, it can be hard for an architect to get the vision of the customer correct. Instead, they can look through stock plans finding the one that most suits their idea, and adapt it as needed.
Doing this does mean you miss out on the expertise of the architect, which should never be underestimated. While it will cost more, you will get their knowledge regarding everything from materials, layout, placement, and ideal building materials. Buying from a plan also means that your house ends up not being wholly unique.
Keep To a Budget
If you don’t come from a building or home design background it can be hard to know where to begin. A multitude of factors that can influence the final price of your building. Everything from the land to building materials and permits can quickly mount up.
Go into the project with a budget and stick to it. You can keep costs tracked with one of the many project building calculators. This will give you a rough price for your project based on size and materials.
Make sure you also shop around for the best quotes. Using local commercial electrical contractors and other tradesmen in the area will always be cheaper than national companies.
Always keep an extra 10% contingency on the budget, should anything go wrong. It may also be worth remembering that building materials are currently rising sharply and may have increased by the time your project begins.
Stay Small and Simple
You can keep the project low cost by opting for a small house plan. This limits the land you need, the labor, and material costs. The smaller the design is, the quicker it is to build and time is where most of your money will be spent.
Simplifying the whole plan enhances this even further. Think about having an open plan interior, which will also give the illusion of more space.
You can even do this to the outside of the property as well. If you want certain design features, then add them to the front of the property only. By eliminating them from the side and rear, you get curb appeal without the added cost.
Get It Right at the Start
When searching or creating a building plan, you will have several needs in mind. Perhaps you want it all on one level, or you want an extended kitchen. Whatever your needs are, you must address them right at the start.
The reason for this is that changing the plans later or during building will quickly see your budget spiral out of control. It can also be extremely frustrating for someone who is conducting the project.
Start by listing out what you must have, then what you would like. Cross-reference these with your budget and see what can be created on the money you have.
Minimize Wasted Space
When creating your own plan or buying from a stock plan, try to minimize wasted space. Every square foot should be used for something useful. If you have dead space, it is an unnecessary cost.
One place this is often seen is in walkways. Hallways and corridors between useful spaces are often unnecessary. Try to find a plan that minimizes these areas so the building flows from one area to the next.
Budget Your Finishes
Getting the finishes for your new home is arguably the most enjoyable aspect. Yet it is the area in which costs are most likely to rapidly escalate, with many people underestimating how much finishes are. If you don’t stick to a budget then you better have deep pockets.
Internally, decide which of your finishes need to be more expensive. Many people choose bathroom and kitchen fittings for the costlier developments. Remember to pay for something that is well made and will bring a return on investment.
One area you should not skimp is on the exterior. These finishes will offer protection to your home and will take a hit from the elements. When buying cheaper, less durable finishes you will save initially but replacements will be required much sooner.
Get the Right Contractor
The right contractor does not mean the cheapest. You need to find someone who offers quality work but also understands your vision for the home. It pays to shop around and discuss the project with several before deciding.
See what types of homes they have built in the past and if they are similar to yours. You can request references or ask to see photos of finished buildings.
Ask them how they will communicate and make changes during the construction. Will they ensure you are on a budget and inform you of changes during the process?
Affordable House Plans
Now you know how to get affordable house plans, start preparing. Know what you want, then decide if you will get a stock plan. From here it is just a case of keeping it simple and budgeting.
If you enjoyed our article, then visit the rest of our blog. From property to finance, we can help manage your dream home in the coming year.