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How to Build a Cheap and Affordable House

You can find THOUSANDS of tips on how to build an affordable home on the Internet. “Materials to build a house”; “Build your house step by step”; “Ways to build cheap houses” ; tips, tips and formulas …

If I have to be honest, I must tell you that NONE WILL BE MAGIC

Some may be helpful, but individually NONE will make affordable home construction a reality. There is no magic in knowing how to save money, so those who are promising you will only be playing with your interest and your time.

I don’t want to be one of them, so let’s see if I can help you with a DIFFERENT APPROACH and much more EFFECTIVE.

These topics you will find in this article

How to Build an Inexpensive House: Another View of Reality

Right now, your needs have to do with these claims:

I want to build my house!

How to save on the building of the home!

There are countless tips for building cheap houses, but do they work? I really want this to be useful to you, so I’m going to give you a less CONVENTIONAL view.

I am professional and expert for almost 20 years. I have worked under the guidance of Rudn Enclave Rawalpindi . This allowed me to come to some conclusions about what REALLY works when it comes to lowering the budget to build a house. Based on what I am telling you, I am convinced that I am not wrong when I tell you that the best recipe to build your own house is neither more nor less than:


Yes, I know what you’re thinking: “another one on the list …”

I’ll tell you something: few things bother me more than covert propaganda, so in this case you are not taking any risks. AND I DO NOT THINK AGAINST MYSELF

If you are among those who believe in the power of numbers, I plan to show you IN ONLY 3 FIGURES !!! that a good project is the most powerful weapon for you to know how to build a cheap house.

What does it mean to build cheap houses?

First clarification:

When I speak of building “cheap” or “cheap” houses, I am not referring to poor quality. I am not referring to small houses or second-rate building materials. Taking advantage of the reduction of surface or the poor quality of construction is a resource that is too abused and not very creative .

I don’t want to be another “sinner.”

We talk about the construction of houses within a standard and size of environments like those that everyone would like to have. Or at least what your budget or funding allows.

What does it cost to build a house

To better understand  how much it costs to build a house,  I am going to use a numerical example. It will be easy.

Although it is difficult to make generalizations, let’s take an example of a home with these characteristics:

  • Construction cost of u $ s 800 x m2
  • 150m2 constructed area

Let’s clarify that the cost is a reference value that is variable according to the economic reality of each country. It will depend on the market, type of construction and the relationship between the price of the dollar and the local currency. The example will serve us, basically, to measure the importance of savings .

If you have doubts about what the cost x m2 means, you can expand on (“How to calculate the cost of construction?”)

I’m going to divide the tips for building affordable homes into two parts.

1: The fiancee and the one you look forward to the most. You will see how with 3 correct decisions you can save on building MUCH MORE than with any other advice catalog.

2:  I will tell you other steps to build a house while saving EVEN BEFORE YOU START BUILDING. We will show that for the construction of affordable houses, ONE smart decision is worth more than ONE HUNDRED that were not well thought out .

It’s hard to believe it? But it is possible.

# 1- Materials to Build a House: One of the ways to save

A good architectural project has to include a material count . What is its usefulness?

It should include a detailed calculation of the materials to build a house: cement, sand, iron, stone, bricks, sheets, metal structure, floors, etc. This list will allow you to know, for example, that the construction of your home will require, let’s say, around 300 bags of cement .

What is the strategy to save when building?

FINANCIAL STRATEGY: You will imagine that it is not the same to ask for a quote for 1 BAG of cement than for 300 bags

Obviously the price of cement will be different. The same criteria applied to the rest of the materials, will allow you to achieve significant savings in construction materials. The big difference will be in the volume of the purchase you will be making.

Yes, but how much? Let’s put numbers then.

The materials to build a house usually represent about 40% of the total investment of the price of building a house. How much do you think you can save on a major purchase? 10%?

Let’s be less optimistic and say you save half, or 5% . Surely the savings in materials will be greater … but let’s be “pessimistic.” So as not to overwhelm you with mathematical calculations: for the house in the example, a 5% discount on materials will mean a saving of about: $ 2,400 .

Savings that you could not have made if you did not have a material count.

# 2- How to Buy Floors: Another Tip to Reduce Construction Costs

The market offers you such a wide range of floors, and what should be an aid to your choice, ends up confusing you more. Let’s take for example a ceramic or porcelain floor, which are the most common placement.

There are so many different prices that it is not strange to find differences of up to 300% between different types of floors for a house. We can be tempted to assume that a floor that is worth three times more than another has a quality 3 times higher . But this is ALMOST NEVER SO.

Sometimes what they want to charge us is just brand ; others it is fashion or simply the novelty of the market. The truth is that this difference does not affect, NOT BY A LOOK! to the quality of the material. Consult experts as capital smart city

I tell you an interesting case, which proves the benefits of good choices to reduce the price of building a house.

One time I had to direct a work of more than 300m2 of surface. At a certain point, it had been decided to make the purchase of an apartment almost US $ 20 per m2 more expensive than the second option evaluated. The straightforward reasoning was to associate higher price with higher quality.

After having been able to verify that such a difference did not exist , I recommended the purchase of the second alternative, which gave us excellent results. I let you do the savings account for this case.

Let’s go back to our example, and stay little less positive. Let’s imagine that the advice of your architect allows you to save on the floor for the house, instead of 20, only US $ 12 x m2 , which is a figure more than possible.

For the house in the example, choosing that floor will save money (only for the floor of the house), not less than: u $ s 1800 !!! Savings that you could not have made if you did not have advice at the exact moment.

u $ s 1800: Second figure, and second way to save money

# 3- How to Lower the Budget to Build a House: Eliminate Useless Square meters

It is very common for whoever is going to commission a project to have sketched a “little drawing”. The intention is surely to help the architect to better understand what the idea of his ideal house is. The most rigorous will bring a plant in a squared sheet, in which the squares will be equivalent to 1 m. Thus will appear a succession of environments related to each other by walls and circulations.

It is very common for these projects to have a significant amount of what I call useless m2 . In other words, wasted area, which will not help lower the price to build a house. Situations will include:

  • Wasted surface in internal circulations within the environments;
  • Long corridors to link different sectors of the house;
  • 4 x 4m bedrooms with 1.5m2 excess that do not improve their usefulness.

Within the idea of figuring out how to build an affordable house, a well-studied project will be essential to achieve savings.

SURFACE STRATEGY: Reduce unnecessary traffic and optimize the measurements of the different premises, respecting the idea of comfort. Surely this way it will be possible to reduce at least 10 M2 !! of that house that we are going to take as a model

And even more: suppose that those 10m2 that can be reduced do not add up to the cost per m2 that we initially estimated. Being less confident, let’s estimate that they are worth 30% less (just to avoid being optimistic).

How to Make a Cheap House Step by Step

Until now you have been able to verify that it is possible to build affordable houses without lowering the quality of life . But of course, it was only 3 FIGURES.

If saving almost $ 10,000 in just three decisions seemed little, let’s go to other examples. As I promised, I am going to give you other steps to build a house saving money, and showing it in figures.

Reduce Construction Prices per m2: Another Idea to Build an Affordable Home

By now you will have understood the importance of good decision making when building your own home.

As you can imagine, these are not the only items with which it is possible to lower costs to get to an affordable home. So let’s see how to keep saving.

a) Build your House Saving: The use of good thermal insulation

thermal isolation

Thermal insulation is energy saving. An important item to reduce construction costs

Many people who believe that the air conditioning of the rooms is solved only with the use of heating or air conditioning systems.

Let me disabuse you; IT’S NOT LIKE THAT.

I know that it is difficult to imagine that a comfortable indoor temperature can be maintained on a sustained basis. We immediately thought of some system or technological device to maintain it. But NOBODY takes into account a very important factor:

Homes with poor thermal insulation are a true “strainer” that lets heat escape or enter, when we do not want it to.

Within the budget to build a house, it means a safe passport to increase (without being conscious) the price of the square meter.

The main culprit for this phenomenon is poor thermal insulation of the different parts of a home.

If the only combat weapon we have to defend ourselves is the indiscriminate use of energy: we are finished! Energy is money, and money is an expense that commits us for life .

When you build without advice, you end up assuming that not spending on thermal insulation is a good way to save when building. But the truth is that it is a petty reasoning for which we end up paying the consequences later.

I am one of those who think that the only thing that is done in those cases is to postpone an initial expense, to later do it in monthly installments, each time we pay the energy bills.

Thermal insulation: Expense or investment?

Given below is the major difference between spending and investment.

If we are spending, we only pay for something we receive in return and the matter ends there.

If we are investing, we make it so with the spirit and conviction of a greater benefit in the future.

This is why investing in good thermal insulation is so important. It will be one of the steps to build a house that will help reduce future energy costs.

Do you need data to convince you of efficient house construction? Let’s see some examples on how to build an economical house, from a correct investment in thermal insulation.

  It is estimated that around 65% of a home’s energy expenditure is dedicated to the use of heating and cooling. The remaining 35% to lighting and electrical appliances. Good thermal insulation would save up to 50% in energy costs for controlling the temperature of the home.

And in your house, how are them? Do you wish to know the tips to make you house more efficient than ever. 

With your gas and electricity bill in hand, I encourage you all to sort out the estimation yourself. Think about the 65% you spend on conditioning the temperature, and then imagine that value BY HALF if you had good thermal insulation. 

30% of energy is lost by poorly insulated parts of the house. In Europe it was concluded that by properly insulating the home, savings of 400 Euros per year would be achieved . In places like Texas (United States), that same saving was estimated at around $ 1,000 a year . Here and everywhere, that’s a huge amount of money.

How to achieve good thermal insulation in the home?

While these comments are not intended to become a technical article, here are some examples of thermal insulation like spray foam insulation Fort Worth.

About 9% of the energy escaping through the walls is lost through the glass in the openings . The use of double glazing Bristol (DVH) constitutes an excellent thermal insulation for windows. Using this system you can reduce that loss up to 70% , obvious that is to say, throughout the year.

Materials such as styrofoam (expanded polystyrene) , constitute a very good thermal insulation for walls. They are applied in the form of plates, and hidden inside walls and ceilings or behind interior plates of gypsum rock.

20 polystyrene panels with a thickness of 30 mm, EPS …

The polyurethane applied in the form of a spray has an insulating power 4 times greater than the same thickness of the foam. Placed on ceilings is one of the best forms of thermal insulation for the home.

The main insulation manufacturer in Argentina made the calculation for a 30cm thick solid brick house with a tile and wood roof. An insulation of 10cm of glass wool felt on a ceiling and 5cm on walls, reduces heating costs 2 and a half times, and 5 times less cooling costs.

With measures like these, the price per square meter really becomes a falling value. If you want to find out about other ways to save money, in this link I will tell you which is the cheapest and most ecological thermal insulation for your roof.

b) The Costs of Thermal Insulation for a Home

It is estimated that the investment in a correct and effective thermal insulation does not exceed 1% of the cost of building a house (yes sir, only that). Furthermore, the expense can be amortized in a period of no more than 5 or 7 years.

From then on, there will be a WHOLE LIFE to continue saving in two values:

Energy, to be friendly to the environment, and

Money, to be happy with our conscience and our budget.

c) How to save money to build: The Location of the “Wet Premises”

Yes, I know; it sounds strange that “wet premises”. This is how we usually call in property news  those environments served by water and drainage facilities, such as the bathroom, laundry room and kitchen.

But what can lead us to think that it is possible to build cheap houses by grouping these premises?

The value of the m2 of work is a number that results from averaging the construction values of the environments of any home. On the one hand those that tend to be more expensive (bathroom, laundry room, kitchen), with others, cheaper (bedroom, dining room, living room).

On the one hand, “cheap” places (to call them somehow) are spaces with floors, walls and ceilings. The “expensive”, in addition to this, will have coatings, toilets, accessories, drains, water and gas pipes, etc., which will contribute to raising their costs.

You will then imagine that within this “inflated” cost, the facilities and drains have a lot to do with it.

How does the location of Bathrooms, Laundry Rooms and Kitchens influence Lower Costs?

The simple fact of trying to approximate , or why not, “group” wet rooms, influences costs. It is an act of design that reduces the route of the pipes and facilities that supply them. This is especially important in the affordable housing project, where the repetition of the resource achieves significant savings.

It is true that it is not always possible to make this distribution scheme compatible in all homes. But let’s not forget that here we are talking about how to build an affordable house, and in this sense the strategy has its weight.

You need figures to prove it. So, let us see:

Consider that the sanitary installation of an average home represents around 7% of its value. Grouping the sanitary nucleus could generate a cost reduction of 25% in this area.

An interesting fact with the figures applied to our example that we saw earlier. In a 150 m2 house, we could save around US $ 2,100. Although the value individually does not seem very relevant, as part of an overall strategy it is more than interesting.

I like to think that “the glass fills up little by little.”

d) Inexpensive materials to build walls: Houses with fewer walls?

Perhaps it is the most obvious of the arguments: “less walls I build, less money I spend. ” Despite how clear it is, many “made in home” projects end up with MUCH MORE walls than necessary.

We have a natural tendency to think in fragmented environments, which comes from the habit of living in our childhood homes. Those houses designed several decades ago, the spaces were much compartmentalized. 

Two emblematic cases are:

  The wall that separates the house from the Living Room (or living room) of 3 x 3 meters in front of the house: As orderly and with the floors as shiny as the day it was finished furnishing, obviously thanks to the lack of use. Could you think of a larger Living – Dining room without a wall that interferes?

  The no less famous “wall of prejudice” (disorder, smells, etc.) that separates the mini kitchen from the Daily Dining Room: This wall is the one that ended up confining the housewife in her prison of pots and dishes, isolated from the rest of family activities. What if we imagine a bar or breakfast area that divides both environments without cutting off the fluidity of the space?

The same integration criteria, applied to the design of the entire house, can help reduce the amount of walls (and money).

How much can you reduce the costs of a house by making fewer walls?

And now the economic argument.

The walls of a house represent about 18% of the total investment expenses. To that we add the fact that by building fewer walls we will also save on foundations and plasters of those that do not rise: «Price per square meter down».

The idea is not to overwhelm you with technicalities, so let us simplify the subject. The 3 items mentioned (walls, foundations, and plasters) represent THE THIRD PART of the cost of the house.

Suppose that we only managed to reduce the number of walls by 10%, for the house in our example. In this way we would be saving in the cost of construction something like US $ 3,600. Only for a rational design that optimizes the spaces and improves the habitability of the house.

e) Reduce Construction Costs by Scheduling Jobs

In general, we tend to think that the price of building a house only results from a simple equation: adding the costs for materials and those for labor. Although we are not wrong, the problem is in the “only”.

It must be considered that the construction of a house also includes indirect expenses not RELATED to the execution of the work itself. Among them, financial expenses such as authorizations, permits, credit fees, work or property insurance. They are parallel to the construction and take place as the work continues.

Let’s think about it in a simple way. Would you like your house to be done in less time? I discount the answer, so I tell you that it is very possible to achieve it with an adequate programming of each of the construction stages.

How to save money by scheduling construction jobs?

It is very important that before starting the construction of your house you can know:

  • Which will be the campus in charge of carrying it out
  • What is the likely completion time of building house?
  • Estimate a date of entry and exit for each of the unions involved (masons, plumbers, electricians, painters, etc.)
  • You need to avoid any break in the work, always provide materials before the exact time to save time and for the continuity of the work.
  • There should be perfect coordination and understanding between working groups to avoid hinders.
  • Distribute the Obrador (the different sectors of the work) to facilitate circulation within it, facilitating the routes.
  • For all this you will clearly need a professional, (I would say an architect), who is in charge of the Direction of the Work. Check out the infographic by SB Skills Solutions.

It is also likely that you think that the size of your construction does not justify such a deployment. I assure you that the same criteria are applicable to both a large project and an affordable home, and the benefits are the same. To sum up this article in points , just read given below information.

The faster you finish your home, the faster you will be living in it

The faster you will stop renting, the LESS your construction stress will be, and the EASIER your life will be.

It closes on all sides.

7 Ideas to Make an Inexpensive House Without Shrinking Surfaces

Let’s see what you can start up right now to build your house while spending less money:

  • Have a good material count: To schedule volume purchases and get better costs
  • Choosing the right floors: The best floor is not always the most expensive
  • Eliminate useless m2: A well designed project minimizes dead spaces, corridors and “avoidable” routes
  • Good thermal insulation: Investing only 1% of the value of the house reduces energy costs for ALL LIFE.
  • Grouping “wet rooms”: Minimize infrastructure spending with a good location for Bathrooms, Kitchen and Laundry
  • Reduce the number of walls: Fewer walls equate to lower material and labor costs

Schedule construction work: Before you finish the work, you will have lower unproductive costs