Self-builds don’t always have to cost a fortune. In fact, many self-builders are managing to build their dream homes under much tighter budgets. Homebuilding & Renovation Magazine offer some sound advice on achieving a high-end home for less than £150k.
If you are looking for ideas on how to build a house for under £150,000 we can recommend these practical tips to keep a handle on your costs throughout your project.
Size – obviously the smaller the house, the less it will cost to build, but it’s worth bearing in mind that a self-build project of 150m2 will still exceed most 4-bedroom developer properties on the market.
Simplicity - Building a house with a complicated design is likely to increase both your labour and material costs. Georgian-style houses are great examples of elegant yet simple designs that are usually based on a simple box shape.
Reduce groundworks - If you can find a flat and serviced plot, this can be a great way to get your cost-cutting off to a flying start. It might seem obvious, but the less groundwork your build requires, the further your budget will go. Bear in mind you can buy plots at various stages of servicing and planning, and this can also limit your initial outlays.
Hire a structural engineer from the outset – this means you can iron out structural problems while in constant dialogue with your architect, ensuring your design is thoroughly thought out before building work commences. It is vital that your design is fixed before starting any work — changes on paper are cheaper than changes on site.
DIY - Those who know how to build a house on a budget will likely suggest that if you want to do the same, you need to be prepared to get stuck in. The general rule is that if you get someone else to do it for you, you will pay a premium. (But do only take on tasks that you can complete competently and safely, otherwise it will be a false economy).
Negotiate! - Being clever with your materials shopping – and playing suppliers off against each other – can save £1,000s on the bigger purchases. Use the internet to research prices and don’t be afraid to negotiate. Of course, this all means that it’s much better to buy your own materials — it’s both unlikely that a builder will negotiate as hard on your behalf and also that they will pass on the full benefits of cost reductions.
Most self-builders need to know how to build a house on a budget, not just because of available finance, but also in scenarios where ceiling values have been established and the homeowner is looking to make a sound investment in the project. Exercising stringent cost control will prevent costs from spiralling and costs can be reduced by making sensible decisions when it comes to the build route and specification of the property.