building house on small budget

How to Build a House Cheap and Fast

how to build a house cheap and fast

Many homeowners have successfully built a house with a very tight budget.

You just need to know the right design and building materials for your low budget. Planning within budget makes it faster and cheaper.

What is the right way to plan for a low-cost house?

This article explains it deeper. Let's start with tips and tricks to help you cut costs when building a home.


Ways to Cut Cost When Building a Home

The following tips will guide you on the most affordable way to build a house.

  • Keep it small

small house plan

Big houses require more work, materials, and maintenance. Plan to build smaller. If your initial house plan extends 10 meters, you need to make some reduction. Building smaller doesn't mean you should build a tiny house for a large family. It will not be convenient. You may want to look into other areas you can cut costs.


  • Simple Shape

To reduce your cost, don't build a complex house. Avoid curves, trapezoids, and other quirky designs. Multi-story buildings also require more exterior and interior materials. Seek for small and straightforward designs that are not costly and will not require huge labor.


  • Low-cost location

Searching for a cheap location also has some considerations. Although building in a place with a beautiful view will cost you more, many cheap sites can also come with additional costs. You may need to break hard rocks and remove trees. Also, some locations require extensive drainage. You must consider this before pushing up to the cheapest site.


  • Be efficient about space area

If you wish to build on low-cost, don’t consider open-plan living. Although it is conventional and classy, it comes with additional specialist elements.


  • Visible pipes

Save the cost of plastering and covering areas where you have pipes. Exposing the pipes and fixtures also helps you to detect leakages and bursts.

It makes maintenance easier and cheaper because you don't have to break through your plastered and painted wall to get to a leaking pipe. Moreover, it is becoming popular in modern industrial designs.


  • Recycled and cheap materials

Recycled materials are cheaper and readily available. You don't necessarily need to use new materials for both exterior and interior. Products like recycled steel, wood, cement composites, and panels are reliable.

Ensure you buy your building materials cheaply. But don’t consider the initial cost only, also consider the cost of maintenance.


Cheap Building Materials for Houses

Here’s a list of building materials that you can obtain cheaply.

1. Stone cladding

stone house

You can use this for the whole building or a part of it. Stones are beautiful and using stone cladding is suggested for an affordable home. When cladding, stone veneers are applied to the exterior of the house.

Stone veneers are thin layers of decorative stones. They come in different thicknesses and can be used to mimic different types of finishing. Stone cladding can be used to get a rustic or modern look.


2. Plastic or Earth

Plastic is recycled every day. Hence, it is bountiful in supply and cheap. Use it for the construction of your new home. Although most people use plastic for roofing, windows, and plumbing fixtures, creative architects have come up with modern ways to use it for home construction.

Earth can be easily obtained. It's everywhere; you only need to dig. More people are using earth to build their home walls. Many also dig up and build their home on the earth. Whichever way, they turn out gorgeous and warm. Using natural walls from the earth to form confines of a home reduces labor and energy.

Another option is building with a combination of sand, clay, and earth. This combination is called a pisé.


3. Prefabricated Panel

Prefabricated panels are one of the cheapest. They are available in gorgeous designs and have also made trends in recent years.

These panels make home construction more straightforward and faster. They are building products that can be manufactured off-site and assembled on-site. So, you can reduce what you spend on the elimination of waste on-site.

There are no delays when using prefabricated panels. And homes are usually incorporated into the owner's chosen design. It doesn't look fabricated in any way.


4. Shipping containers

They are stable structures readily available for construction. Shipping containers are becoming popular. Companies have started building them up to be useful for home construction from scratch.

Using shipping containers does not mean you will have a very tiny house; they can be combined and constructed into the size you desire.

It is not necessary that you by a new container, you can opt for a fairly used one. But make sure that you go for a "one-trip" container. Shipping containers are prone to dents and rusts because of the nature of their use.

A one-trip shipping container is a little more costly than other used ones. Moving them to your site may cost you some money but all the expenses put together are still cheaper and more desirable for a low-cost home.


5. Concrete

Are you looking to build in industrial style? Concrete is a cheap option for you. Concrete buildings are durable and long-lasting. You can construct a house with a concrete look for less by using concrete sheets and panels. They are stylish, easy to install, durable, and secure.

Concrete panels are waterproof and fireproof. They also have sound suppression and insulation properties. You don't have to spend on insurance and utilities.

Concrete can also be used indoors. You can simply cut out expenses on ceramic tile by doing cement flooring. Your cement wall can also be painted or decorated with mosaic tiles on the borders.


6. Corrugated metal sheets or iron

Corrugated metal sheets were used mainly to build industries and factories but are now becoming predominant for building homes. Well-polished corrugated sheets can give your home a classy look, mostly when used for the whole façade.

Asides for this great advantage, steel is very durable and can survive harsh weather conditions. It is easy to maintain with just a coat of paint or zinc to prevent rust.

Corrugated metal sheets may require an extra cost on utility because they are heavy and not easy to work with. But they’re still cheap for building a house.


7. Fine Bamboo

bamboo house

Bamboo houses are gorgeous and classic. Although they were once regarded as poor men's houses, they are now internationally recognized.

Bamboo is flexible, strong, and recommended for building a cheap house.

You, however, need to select the bamboo you use carefully. You also have to be confident that your environment is conducive to bamboo. It is not suitable for dry and humid climates.

Also, you must get an experienced builder to guarantee proper construction. Bamboo may crack or shrink if there is not enough humidity in the air.


8. Timber

recycled timber

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Recycled or reclaimed wood is also a cheap material for home construction. As you know, old things are no longer trash. They have proven to be very useful when transformed.

Timber is eco-friendly and stylish for a new home. It is usually more durable when it is dry and less likely to split. But timber may come in different and unique shapes and sizes, which makes it a bit challenging for construction. It may also be challenging to find.


9. Bricks

brick house

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This traditional building material cannot be out of this list because it is cheap and long-lasting. Bricks are cheap to maintain but may be labor-intensive and require more hands-on-deck during installation. More importantly, it may require professionals.

Exposed brick walls can also serve as interior decoration. This reduces the cost of painting and plastering.

Bricks may not be suitable for earthquake-prone areas but are fireproof. They cost more than vinyl sidings and the likes but are durable. Traditional red bricks are very affordable.

Have in mind that bricks are weighty and can cause damage to the foundation of the house if not installed properly.


10. Straw House

Straw is light and cheap. It has been used for thousands of years as a roofing material. It is eco-friendly and has thermal and insulating properties. This makes straw bales suitable for home walls. They are thick and fire-resistant.

You can carve them out for window openings and doors. If your location has frequent rainy and humid weather, straw bales are not suitable for you.


Wrap Up

Building a house is not as complicated and costly as you think. You only need to plan according to your budget, cut costs on materials, improvise, and keep it small.

If you intend to stay in the house for as long as 30 or 40 years, you must look at the durability of any material you choose.

How long can the material last? Is the location of your site favorable for the material?  These are important questions that must be answered when sourcing for materials. Read through the descriptions of the materials and consult professionals for more advice. You can build your dream house now.

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