How to Build a Low Cost Easy House

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The United States has become overgrown with mega-homes; homes that are undoubtedly beautiful but way too expensive to purchase and maintain. The desire for big, beautiful homes does not come with the desire for big, ugly price tags. With the economic downturn of 2009, those who can afford to build are searching for ways in which they can build sustainably and cost-efficient homes. Low-cost home building is achievable for anyone who is willing to put in a little work.

  • Design your home with an easy layout. A smaller home will require less energy overall, so design your floorplan with future costs in mind. Kitchens and baths are two of the most expensive elements of a home, so keep the kitchen simple and only put the minimal number of bathrooms required for your family. A family of two can share one bath. A family of four can share two baths. Consider purchasing standard-sized windows and doors as opposed to custom-made windows and doors to cut down on cost. For do-it-yourselfers, standard windows and doors are much easier to install. Standard home carpeting is more cost effective than hardwood floors, but laminates provide a less-expensive option that rivals the looks of natural hardwood. Consider asking an architect to guide you through the design process, but understand that his or her assistance will come with a rather large price tag. Consider using a program like FloorPlanner to build your own floorplan design. A free version of the FloorPlanner software is available for download on floorplanner.com.

  • Contact a local licensed contractor who promotes affordable home construction. Do some research by calling different companies listed in your phone book. Ask around your community for suggestions of which contractor to use. You may find that most contractors say they are committed to building your home at the lowest price possible. When you decide which contractor you will use, be certain to get everything he promises you in writing. This may seem like a tedious process, but for legal reasons, it is worth it. After the collaborative process of creating blueprints for your home with your contractor, make an appointment with your local building inspector. While most contractors are up to date on the building codes specific to their location, it is important to double check before building. The inspector will come to your property and give the go-ahead for construction. Building inspectors can be located in your phone book.

  • Do some research on your own for businesses that supply building materials at discounted prices. Check into local home improvement stores for overstock supply of wood, hardware and additional construction supplies. Consider purchasing building materials from stores that reuse materials taken from existing homes that have been torn down. These stores also purchase supplies from homeowners who have bought too much building material when constructing their home. They are then resold for a lesser price than they were originally purchased for. Buy materials at stores like the Habitat for Humanity ReStore to take advantage of these lower prices.

  • Pick and choose the building tasks that you believe you can do on your own. For instance, if you have access to an excavating machine and are qualified to use it, disregard the necessity of hiring an excavation subcontractor. If you know how to lay carpet, paint walls, install countertops or hang light fixtures, do these tasks on your own to cut down on the cost associated with paying a construction crew. Do whatever work on your own that you can. Ask family members and friends to assist you for free or offer them a home-cooked meal. You'll be surprised at how many people will be willing to help if there is food involved!

  • Keep in mind the aspect of sustainable design when constructing your home. While "green" building is not always the cheapest option upfront, installing energy-efficient appliances and heating/cooling systems will reduce the cost to maintain your home over time. Look for Energy Star appliances at your local home improvement store. Research and review information from the United States Green Building Council website for more information about the importance of green building.

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  • Photo Credit small house image by sanyal from Fotolia.com
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