6. Don’t waste your money on building waste
You will have to handle a lot of waste when building your home. It may include waste from the groundwork, cement, wood cut offs and more. Building is a very messy work! Having skip bins for handling your waste may seem too expensive for any owner-builder. If you have time to invest, try to handle all waste yourself.
You can easily do it by buying a trailer and placing it in the construction site. Let it fill with all the daily waste and then run it to dispose of them all by yourself. In this way, you will save thousands of dollars that can get wasted in removing just waste. You can also use the trailer for other purposes such as getting constructions materials to your site.
Another idea is to set up a fenced area with chicken wire so all the waste is contained in the one area, and do regular trips to the dump. Depending on the Council though, there may be fees associated with dumping building waste depending on the amounts.
7. Paint it, tile it, landscape it yourself
Doing certain tasks yourself (that are in your skill set) not only brings the joy of building your own home but also saves a fortune. Decide beforehand about the work that you will be undertaking. It will allow you to plan and perform efficiently. Depending on your skills, you may choose to do the plumbing, roofing and even painting your home to save those hourly dollars charged by contractors. But make sure you know your work as making mistakes can make you spend more.
Things you can do yourself instead of paying a builder to do can include:
- Waterproofing (you will need to do it properly and sign a stat-dec stating as such)
If you don’t mind moving into a home that isn’t quite finished, this can be a great way to save money, and have fun getting to know your new home!
Remember: Every hour you work on your house yourself, you will get back ten-fold when you sell it later on!
8. Be on site every day or as often as you can
Builders can make mistakes – and often do, and especially if you have been obsessively checking out your new house plans. Every day, check the work that the builder has done, make sure everything is where it should be, and that everything looks correct.
If it doesn’t, it is better to bring up any issues early when they can be easily fixed rather than down the road when you may incur additional charges. Taking your builders a slab of beer (or cake haha!) every week doesn’t hurt your relationship either!
9. If you can’t afford what you want now, wait for later.
To reduce initial costs, you may leave some expensive but unimportant tasks for the time when you are ready to spend more. It is not essential to get all the finishing done at once. If you want a waterfall marble bench top for your kitchen or a hand-scraped wooden floor for your bedroom but are unable to spend that kind of money at the moment, get something basic now and hold on for later when you are ready to spend on such expensive finishing. Plan it ahead to prevent a confusion and build your home within your budget.
Once you can afford to get what you want, you can always sell the item you have now on a buy-and-sell site to try and re-coup the cost. Other items you may want to put off now and do later include:
- Outdoor areas/pergola
- Pool or spa
- Concrete driveway
10. Be super organised with your paperwork
Even if you are having a builder build your home, you need to keep every little piece of paperwork that comes your way. Particularly with items such as cook-tops, hot water systems, air-conditioners, etc, and make sure all the warranty information has been filled out, sent to the appropriate company and copies kept in a file.
This helps if anything malfunctions or you need to make an insurance claim in the future. There are many apps you can now download where you can take a photo and keep it ‘in the cloud’ in case anything happens to the house.
All in all, building a house is exciting and something everyone should experience at some time in their lives. It is an incredible feeling to walk into a brand new, finished home that you have worked hard for!