Yes, building a dream home for less can be accomplished. As a matter of fact there are many ways to save on home building. Research affordable housing, green building materials, Ferro cement, insulated concrete panels, rammed earth, adobe and shipping containers for more information on different green techniques. Finding general contractors may be a bit more difficult but the rewards are amazing. Remember, sometimes creativity is a more than adequate substitute for money.
Building a Dream Home for Less: Rural Land with Well and Septic
Avoid those subdivisions and select a rural tract of land in the country to avoid most restrictions. Subdivisions have requirements for things you may neither want nor need which will cost extra dollars. Most will restrict against building small and adding on. With a rural lot you will need a well and septic. This is approximately $20,000 for an absolute necessity. How is this saving money? You will never pay a water bill, and you will be self sufficient for water. With municipal water costs on the rise, you may be saving $200 a month or more. In most situations your well will and septic will pay for themselves in eight to ten years, and the rest is gravy.
1. For simplicity sake, the average cost of drilling a well is about $10,000. However the cost varies considerably, within a range of $4000 to $14,000. Price depends on the required depth in a given spot.
2. The cost of a septic tank is similar, running between $3000 and $15,000 with an approximate average of $10,000. Fortunately factors that make septic tanks difficult, make wells easier so it’s unlikely you will have to pay the maximum for both.
3. Learn about well and septic maintenance in order to protect your investment. Wells must be kept warm in winter. Septic tanks require very little maintenance, but for best results don’t plant trees near your septic tank or line, or flush anything not biodegradable. Avoid certain types of cleaners, and find out what is safe to use.
There are many ways to build a dream home, which may not even require a substantial loan, or a mortgage. The biggest way to save on a dream home is to borrow as little as possible. Any money borrowed on a 30 year mortgage will be more than doubled by interest by the end of the loan. A five year personal loan, for a small amount, or even a 15 year mortgage will save you $100,000 to $300,000 in interest.
It is possible to build a small 400 to 500 square foot starter home for about $40,000, even with traditional wood materials. In most cases the down payment on a 2000 square foot home will be more than that. Having that rural lot pays off because a couple can live comfortably in the small home, and save for additions later, rather than borrowing money. You will save substantially on heating and cooling the smaller home in the early phase.
Insulated concrete panels can be used at substantial savings. Not only do these panels cost less they take less time to install. They are also stronger than wood in the event of storms or earth quakes.
Incorporating used shipping containers in the design can save a lot of money. These containers are extremely inexpensive, about $2000 each for 8 by 40 foot units. One popular idea is to buy two, place them about 12 to 15 feet apart, and connect the distance between them with a wall on each end, a flooring system, and a roof. You will probably want a foundation, but some people just put them on a slab, or on pillars. Setting them up on pillars and underpinning them later is not a bad idea either. Create a 1240 square foot home for under $45,000. You will need the following subcontractors: concrete foundation workers, carpenters, a plumber and an electrician.
The most efficient homes to heat or cool are either round or square. With traditional materials square is best. While adding on to a smaller home is a great strategy, be sure to avoid tacking on rooms in different directions. Instead keep the home square, or rectangular for efficient use of HVAC. Building a small home in a square shape is the best way to reduce building costs as well. One good technique is to put very few windows on your north wall, but at least one door for adding on. Create a solar wall for passive solar on the south side, and make sure your eves point north and south for an easy add on. If your evens point east and west, plan to add on to one end, to keep the roof line simple. Extra eves cost more.
Of course there are many other ways to build a dream home for less. Savings are only limited by an absence of creativity. Use your imagination. Some people who are more conventional prefer to build within a subdivision of small inexpensive homes. This is also an option which may allow you to use at least some of the money saving ideas. Hiring a building contractor who feels strongly about providing affordable homes, is also an option. For some home building contractors affordability is a matter of principle. These are really good people, who don’t believe you should have to sign your life away to a 30-year mortgage. If you can find one of these people willing to help you with your home, this is an ideal situation. If you wish to build your dream home for less, it is entirely possible to do, but it takes more thought and more research.