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How to build a low-cost house: 5 essential tips

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The Nook Modern houses by Hall + Bednarczyk Architects Modern
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With house prices soaring and increasing numbers of people finding themselves unable to agree mortgages, something has to be done and we think we've discovered a fantastic movement that you need to hear about!

According to architects, more and more people are looking for ways to build low-cost homes, with construction totals coming in under £100k and the good news is that this is more than possible, if you follow some simple advice. Don't forget that the cost of a plot of land will need to be added to your bill, but for a dream home that you never plan to leave, don't you think that building is better than buying these days? 

Come with us now and see if our five low-cost home build tips could help you to construct the perfect house, within a budget that you can manage!

1. Keep your design simple.

It sounds like such a simple piece of advice, but it really is key! If you start exploring unusual, difficult to replicate or fussy designs, not only will your architect costs soar, the construction phase will drag on and cost a bomb too! The simpler your building design, the less it should cost to create! This doesn't mean that you need to cull the number of bedrooms you need, just that they should be in a logical position!

2. Think carefully about your building materials and construction methods.

When it comes to choosing materials and having them put together into a solid structure, there isn't one 'cheap' option, but you can weigh up the pros and cons of different ideas to find a cost-effective solution that will suit you in the long-term. Durability, life-span and maintenance are all factors that will affect the overall cost of your house, so how long are you planning to live in it? If you are building a forever home, skimping on the construction materials and methods now makes no sense at all, as you'll pay the price later anyway. 

3. Consider your labour expenses.

Shed workshop + Atelier Country style garden by Retool architecture Country Wood Wood effect
Retool architecture

Shed workshop + Atelier

Retool architecture

Construction labour will always account for a huge proportion of your project's budget, which is why you might consider trying to do as much as possible yourself! As long as you have a modicum of DIY experience, you should be able to crack on with some of the less exciting endeavours, while bringing in subcontractors to tackle more specialist jobs. This method could save you up to 18%, in comparison to having a main contractor on site, doing everything!

4. Get clever with your floor plans.

3D Floor Plan Design Services by The 2D3D Floor Plan Company
The 2D3D Floor Plan Company

3D Floor Plan Design Services

The 2D3D Floor Plan Company

The larger the house you commission, the more it will cost you to build it. That's simple mathematics, but if you give your architect a little creative licence, they will be able to come up with a potential design that will include everything you want, but on a smaller scale. We're talking about maximising the potential for multifunctional rooms and recognising where you can afford to scale back.

5. Be savvy about space planning.

Open plan living room: modern  by GK Architects Ltd, Modern
GK Architects Ltd

Open plan living room

GK Architects Ltd

Open-plan living is becoming so popular right now, but it can be exceptionally costly, what with all the additional specialist structural elements that will need to be built in. If you want the open look, but have a budget to work with, adding just a few columns or semi-walls will dramatically reduce your bills, while still maintaining a beautiful and unconstrained aesthetic.

For a little more home-building advice, take a look at this Ideabook: Simple ways to save money when building your home.

Would you consider building your own dream home?
Whitton Drive by GK Architects Ltd Modern

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