Saving cash when you’re building on a budget can be a never ending battle. If your bottom line is tight, read below for several tips to help you keep costs under control.
Although it may mean that you spend a little longer in the design phase, taking the time to consider the best options for your lifestyle (as versus an existing or off-the-plan design) will save money over the life of your home. If you need to retrofit things such as heating or cooling, this can be more costly if you need to rewire or add in infrastructure for ducted temperature control. If you can’t afford the complete appliance or feature in your initial build, you can still get your plumber or electrician, for example, to put the pipes or wiring in place to make installation down the track more straightforward.
While opting for cheaper materials will be the best choice for some, a more savvy use of cash is reducing the floorplan while maintaining a higher quality. When you have less square meterage, this will typically mean your build will cost less meaning you can pocket the difference or put it towards things such as green technology or design that delivers cost savings to you over time. You’ll also be a friend to the environment!
Good communication with your building team is essential. This begins with your initial meetings to obtain quotes, through to the signing and negotiating of contract, right up to the final payment after the works have been concluded. Asking questions (even several times) can help you to understand the building process better, especially when a lot of the terminology will be new to the first time builder. You may wish to get an independent building inspector that is not affiliated with your builder to help keep track of your build’s progress. This is especially useful if you have a particular standard of build quality or a lot of finely detailed work that you want double checked.
Good communication will also mean that if there is a delay in being granted building permits, you should be clear as to what costs you will need to cover, even if your construction has not begun. For this reason, some people opt to overestimate the planning process to avoid a delay in your build beginning. Ideally you or your project manager will also have a few alternative options in place in case certain trades are unexpectedly unavailable, delayed or subjected to uncontrollable factors such as inclement weather. Knowing ahead of time what can be rearranged if needed will save last minute stress if materials do not arrive on site, for example.
Don’t forget whether you’re seeking a builder in Melbourne, Perth or Brisbane, be sure to get quotes from at least three builders to get an idea of the costs that you will need to cover. This should include a site visit to factor in things such as slope, tight access and logistics such as restricted parking for trades.