How to Reduce Cost when Building a House

So, you have prepared yourself and your wallet because you are finally building your house, right? Check this easy-to-understand tips on how to lower down the cost when constructing your homes, even non-technical person can understand. Save yourself and your hard-earned cash and let us help you in diminishing the cost of building your house.

Wandering how much would it cost on average in building a double-floor house this year? Click here.

A person contemplating on how to reduce construction cost.

1. Choose the Most Affordable Location

For starters, this is the first step if you want to save big time before the construction of your homes. There are trends these days where people deliberately leave the cities and go in the rural areas to fight off rising living costs. Truly, the cost of lots is way lower than the cities.  These may not be for all but in the long run, but trust me, it would be better. The quality of air is better. And you are also subjected to lesser stress as you wouldn’t be able to spend hours of your day just to pass through that carmageddon traffic!

2. Get the Right Professional and Plan Carefully

Get a reputable Architect to plan your homes. The one that has proven track record. We have been saying this and promoting this all these times. Invest in a professional to supervise your house construction and prevent from just hiring “contractors” based on so called “experience” (especially the ones you just met online, tsk!). Draft a contract stating all the works included including the pricing and have it signed by a lawyer. That way, you have legal means to chase erring contractors should the contract is not fulfilled. Getting the right professionals would greatly reduce your house construction cost because you are sure of the outcome. Go get one.

3. Simplify the Design

Simplified design is not always plain and boring. Grandiose and complicated design is not always beautiful. The way you see beauty depends on the homeowner which is why getting an Architect is important. Architects know how to create house with simple design but it both delightful and beautiful. In addition, you can request for a revision.

4. Value Engineering

Consider materials that is locally available and make the most out of it. If there are readily available bamboo in your area, you can use that as a means of scaffolds (with proper techniques) instead of buying good lumber. Your hired professional should be able to answer this one for you, so, ask them with all the questions you have, make the most of that professional fee, boss!

5. Pursue Energy Efficient Homes

Make it a goal to build homes that is energy efficient. Design your house with an outside landscape that helps aid in cooling your homes apart from using air conditioning systems. Plant trees strategically so that ventilation passes through naturally. Invest in wall and ceiling insulation if you can. Though it is not commonly used in the Philippines, insulation helps in retaining cold air inside (for air-conditioned rooms) and prevent hot air from getting inside. We often use just the double-foiled roof insulator here. But should you have extra cash, invest in ceiling and wall insulations. It would help in saving electrical bill in the long run.

6. Build During Off Season

Construction materials prices tend to be less pricey during off-season. This is because contractors are less busy and the demand of the material is low. Although this may affect the project schedule because of frequent rain (even more that we are a tropical country). So, consult your builder if this is feasible.

7. Hire a Reputable Contractor

How do you know if your contractor is reputable? If EVERYTHING is transparent. There are four key points in a building project and if these four questions are clearly laid in the table right before the project inception, then you have gotten yourself a good builder. Here they are.

  1. What is the exact construction job and breakdown
  2. What are the materials and its specifications to be used
  3. How much would it take to do that job, and
  4. How long would it take to complete it

There is a way for you to know if the project is delayed or is ahead, ask your builder about this. Most reputable contractors have previous satisfied clients. On the other hand, please do not close your door for the young buds. There are reputable ones even without proven track record yet. Support these startups if you can find one.

8. Get Your Own QC Professional

Developers use this technique so why don’t we assimilate? The idea is to check in every milestone the output of the contractors to know if what is planned, what is in the materials specs, projects costs and timetable are all followed. This serves as a cross-checking to determine if there is a breach in the contract. It would mean additional cost, yes, but it would help you get a peace of mind knowing that your house is built that will last. Spending a few cash in the present with the possibility of making your home extend its life for a few more decades is a good use of money.

Like how it helped us, this financial planner may just help you, too!

Now, bear with us. We are not going to leave you hanging and give you real tips and tricks to lessen your house construction cost.

Tip No. 1: When you do the masonry plastering works, use the sieved tiny stones for the masonry fillers. That way, it is not going to be put into waste.

Tip No. 2: Let the concrete wall cure for 14 days before you start with the painting works. That way, the concrete has already dried up and cured eliminating the possible bubbles in the painted walls.

Tip No. 3: Be sure to embed the electrical and plumbing lines before the plastering works and recheck it! That way, you would prevent chipping works and additional cement for covering it again.

Tip No. 4: Be sure that the plumbing embedment is of correct location before concrete casting for suspended ceiling. It would be a pain if the hole for the toilet bowl is not on its correct location. If it is not, there would be a gap between the toilet bowl and the wall, or worst, the toilet bowl would be protruding in the wall!

Tip. No. 5: There should be a proper floor layout for the interior walls before doing masonry walls. So you would know if the square area in each rooms are correct. This would reduce demolition costs and crushing walls because of incorrect wall placements.

Tip No. 6: Suspended wet area like comfort rooms should be waterproofed. Check with your local contractor which waterproofing technique is economical but do the job well. It should pass the leak test (the drainage holes are covered and the floor area left with stagnant water for 24 hours. Check the underneath slab for signs of leakage). If it does not, reapply waterproofing in the area and leak test it again until it passes!

Tip No. 7: Do not do any ceiling in ground floor (if you have two story house or more IF the wet areas above have passed the leak test (waterproofing), flow test (sanitary and waste lines), and pressure test (waterlines). Ask your local contractor about these tests.

Tip. No. 8: Ensure that the slab slope in the balcony and/or comfort rooms goes into the drainage. It would be a pain to see water stagnant and not getting into the drainage. Worst, it will become a mold and mosquito breeding ground! 

If you want to get ahead of your contractor by knowing the things to inspect in a completed house, take a look at this punchlist checklist.

These are some of the tips to reduce the cost of house construction that hopefully a typical person would be able to understand right away. If not, comment down your questions and we will try to answer it!

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