Cutting Wood (Not Corners) when Building a Home

The typical cost range of building a home is between $150,000 – $450,000.

This is considering that all goes according to plan, but if you’ve ever watched a few episodes of This Old House then you know there’s always something that disrupts the budget.

Many builders focus on building “good” not “better” homes, meaning they’ll do just enough to appease the client, but leave them holding the bag years down the line when quality starts to degrade. Often, this is the result of choosing a lackluster construction outfit and/or cutting corners.

One of the most obvious ways to save when building your home is to save on the actual move. Getting professional help from companies like North American Moving Services frees up your time to focus on the design or construction process. What else can you do to keep costs low but quality high?

It’s all about knowing the process and knowing what’s flexible with the budget…

Getting Permits in Order

Don’t bother beginning construction if the permits aren’t in order. You need these permits else you’ll find the job coming to a halt and paying hefty fines.

These permits would include basic ones such as a land title and clearance (proof of entitlement), a building plan (for what’s going up), layout approval, and NOC (for sewer and water).

You’ll also want to be in the clear having known if the land is agricultural or non-agricultural.

These permits cost a couple hundred dollars to thousands depending on location and building. They are available through the local body that governs building permits. Each is dependent on the state and county, or city and town.

How to save: Consider moving to a less dense area (those flexible and cheaper in permit pricing)

Setting Up Shop

The construction crew will go through their channels to acquire materials used for the building. They will clear the land, prepare appropriate hookups, and set the project in motion.

How to save: Shop around and receive at least 2-3 quotes; find middle-ground by comparing the experience with craftsmanship. Think long-term.

It’s Construction Time

The big day is upon you and the construction crew.

The first few weeks are spent meticulously preparing the site which would include A) footings, B) foundation, and C) framing. These are the weeks you’ll begin to see the layout form. It’s during this time the home will go through a series of inspections to make sure everything is to code.

The later parts of the construction will add the “guts” to the home:

· Structure

· Infrastructure

The walls will go up, plumbing/wiring completed, drywall applied, and finishing commencing. Before long they will have fresh paint on the walls and flooring laid down. Towards the end, the crew will apply the special features of the home outlined in your plans.

Finally, you’ll do a walk through and set of inspections to make sure everything is in order. Then, you’re now a proud owner of a new home!

How to save: Go barebones and add features later when markets are favorable; focus on additions that increase the value of the home.

The Homeownership Cycle

Homeownership and the American dream is still very alive. A good amount of people own their homes free and clear. Thus, they’re able to enjoy the creature comforts life offers.

Those that cut corners during the construction of the home are bound to face deep financial money pits later in the lifecycle. There’s always wiggle room, though, but it must be from your end – make sure you’re shopping around and finding the best prices and services.

What would you recommend to those wanting to build a home (and save money) without cutting the corners?

Leave a Comment