10 tips for building a house [Free Budget Checklist]

10 tips for building a house [Free Budget Checklist]

Work with a builder

Working with a builder is a one stop shop. Construction companies typically buy plots of land, hire all the necessary labor, and provide pre-designed layouts to choose from.

This option is ideal if you don’t want to have to gather all the necessary documents and hire the team members yourself. Builders also usually have model homes, so you can see approximately what your home will look like before you invest. The downside is less control over design aspects – sometimes builders have set options to choose from for paint colors, cabinetry or other features.


Budget advice: If you are working with a builder, be aware that the list price of the model home is usually a base price that does not include any upgrades. If you want different flooring, countertops, or other upgrades, plan to pay more.

Design a custom home with a contractor

If you want complete control over the construction of your home, consider designing a custom home with a contractor. With this route, you’ll need to build your own team, purchase land, gather necessary permits, and oversee all other aspects of the project, including choosing your floor plan. Although it’s more complicated than working with a builder, you’ll have full creative control.


Budget advice: If you don’t mind losing control of the floor plan, you can save money by purchasing pre-drawn plans rather than designing your custom layout with an architect. Custom floor plans will typically cost you around 5-10% of the cost of the home and take weeks or months to deliver. Pre-made plans are delivered quickly and affordably.

DIY construction without a contractor

If you have construction experience, you’ll probably save the most money by investing sweat fairness and build the house yourself. Just make sure you have the proper permissions and your build is up to code. If you don’t feel comfortable with any aspect of the construction, you can always hire help where needed, such as plumbing or electrical.

If saving money is your main goal, you may not have to DIY the construction. Check out these others affordable ways to build a house.


Budget advice: If this is your first build, it may be worth getting professional help to avoid costly mistakes, such as a poorly laid foundation or a leaky roof.

Christy J. Olson