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10 min read May 15, 2023

Cheapest Way to Build a House

The dream of owning a home is a universal aspiration for many individuals and families. However, the high costs associated with home construction often act as a barrier, making this dream seem out of reach for those on a limited budget.

Nevertheless, there are cheap ways to build a house for aspiring homeowners who seek to build their dwellings in the most cost-effective manner possible.

1. Plan of Simple House Design

Simplicity in design is a fundamental principle when aiming for affordability in home construction. Complex architectural designs often come with higher costs due to the intricate construction processes and the need for specialized labor and materials. By opting for a simple and straightforward design, you can significantly reduce expenses while still creating a functional and aesthetically pleasing home design.

Consider a rectangular or square layout for your house, as these shapes are inherently more cost-effective to build compared to irregular or intricate designs. The construction process becomes more streamlined and efficient when working with straight walls and standard roof structures. This simplicity extends to the interior as well, with open floorplans that minimize the need for additional walls and partitions.

Remember, simplicity doesn’t mean sacrificing style or individuality. You can still personalize your home through interior décor, landscaping, and other finishing touches. The goal is to strike a balance between cost-efficiency and creating a space that reflects your unique tastes and preferences.

By embracing a simple and practical design, you set a solid foundation for building an affordable home without compromising on quality or functionality.

2. Low Cost Small House Design

Exploring the concept of a small house is another strategy for building an affordable home in America. Small houses, often referred to as tiny houses or micro homes, have gained popularity due to their cost-effectiveness and minimalist lifestyle appeal.

The primary advantage of a small house plan is its reduced size, which translates into lower construction and maintenance costs. With a smaller footprint, you require fewer materials for construction, resulting in significant savings. Additionally, the reduced square footage means lower expenses for heating, cooling, and utility bills.

It is important to note that living in a small house plans may not be suitable for everyone, as it requires a willingness to downsize and adapt to a more compact living space. However, for those seeking an affordable housing option, a small house can provide a viable solution that balances cost-efficiency, functionality, and a simpler way of life.

In conclusion, exploring the concept of a small house layouts offers an alternative approach to building an affordable home in America. By embracing a smaller footprint, efficient space utilization, and energy-saving measures, individuals can achieve a cost-effective and sustainable living arrangement while enjoying the benefits of a minimalist lifestyle.

3. Hiring a Good Home Builder

Hiring a reputable home builder is paramount when building a house in America. Reputable builders bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the table, ensuring a smooth and cost-effective construction process. They possess in-depth knowledge of local building codes, regulations, and zoning requirements, reducing the risk of costly mistakes and legal issues. Their expertise allows them to efficiently manage the project, coordinating various trades and ensuring timely completion of milestones.

By Hiring a reputable builder, you can have confidence in their ability to select quality materials, work with reliable suppliers, and deliver superior craftsmanship. They provide warranties on their work, offering peace of mind and protection against potential issues that may arise after the construction is complete. Ultimately, employing a reputable builder is an investment in the long-term durability and value of your home.

4. Saving Money on Your Own as a Contractor

Saving money by working as your own contractor is a viable option for individuals who have the time, knowledge, and skills to oversee and manage their home construction project. You can build your own house which potentially reduces the costs by eliminating overhead expenses associated with hiring a professional contractor. However, it is important to consider the following aspects before taking on this role:

Time and Commitment: Serving as a general contractor requires a significant investment of time and effort. You will be responsible for coordinating subcontractors, managing schedules, obtaining permits, and overseeing the entire construction process. It is crucial to assess whether you have the availability and dedication to devote to the project.

Construction Knowledge and Experience: Having a solid understanding of construction processes, codes, and regulations is essential when acting as a general contractor. You will need to be familiar with various trades and their specific requirements, as well as possess the ability to troubleshoot issues and make informed decisions. If you lack experience in construction management, it may be wise to hire a consultant or enlist the help of experienced subcontractors to guide you through the process.

Subcontractor Management: As a general contractor, you will be responsible for hiring and managing subcontractors for different aspects of the construction, such as plumbing, electrical work, and carpentry. It is crucial to thoroughly vet subcontractors, obtain multiple quotes, and ensure they are licensed and insured. Proper management and coordination of subcontractors are vital to maintaining a smooth construction process.

Liability and Risk: Acting as a general contractor exposes you to liability and risks associated with construction projects. If any issues or accidents occur during the construction process, you will bear the responsibility. It is essential to have appropriate insurance coverage and consult legal professionals to mitigate potential risks.

While working as a general contractor can save money, it is important to consider the potential challenges and risks involved. Proper planning, research, and a realistic assessment of your capabilities are key to ensuring a successful and cost-effective construction project. If you decide to take on this role, it may be beneficial to consult with industry professionals or experienced individuals who can provide guidance and support throughout the process.

5. Home Blueprints

Getting approval blueprints for houses involves submitting the architectural drawings and plans to the relevant authorities, such as local building departments or planning committees, for review and approval. This process ensures compliance with zoning regulations, building codes, and other applicable requirements.

The approval process typically involves a thorough assessment of the blueprints to verify that the proposed design meets safety, structural, and environmental standards. Once approved, the blueprints serve as the basis for obtaining necessary permits to begin construction, ensuring that the home is built in accordance with the approved plans and regulations.

6. Building a House on the Cheap

Creating a comprehensive budget and pricing out all items in constructing a house requires a detailed analysis of various components and factors involved in the construction process. Here is a breakdown of the key elements and estimated costs to consider:

Land cost: Research and evaluate the prices of available land in the desired location.

Architectural fees: Depending on the complexity and scope of the project, architect fees can range from 8% to 15% of the total construction cost.

Foundation and structure: Estimate costs for materials such as concrete, steel, or lumber for the foundation, walls, and roof.

Exterior finishes: Include costs for siding, bricks, stucco, or other cladding materials.

Interior finishes: Consider flooring, drywall, insulation, paint, doors, and trim costs.

Plumbing and electrical: Account for pipes, fittings, wiring, outlets, switches, and fixtures.

HVAC system: Estimate costs for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

Windows and doors: Evaluate prices for energy-efficient windows and doors.

Roofing: Estimate costs for roofing materials, such as asphalt shingles, metal, or tiles.

Cabinets and fixtures: Include the cost of kitchen and bathroom cabinets, countertops, sinks, faucets, and other fixtures.

Appliances: Account for the cost of kitchen appliances, washer and dryer, and other necessary equipment.

Labor and Construction:

General contractor fees: If hiring a general contractor, allocate a percentage of the overall construction cost (typically 10-20%).

Subcontractor fees: Estimate costs for specialized trades like plumbing, electrical, carpentry, and roofing.

Labor costs: If acting as the general contractor, consider costs for hiring laborers, carpenters, and other skilled workers.

Permits and Fees:

Building permits: Research the fees associated with obtaining building permits from the local authorities.

Impact fees: Inquire about any impact fees levied by the municipality for new construction.

Utility connections: Account for fees related to connecting water, electricity, gas, and sewer services.


It is advisable to set aside a contingency fund of around 10-15% of the total project cost to account for unforeseen expenses or changes during construction.

It’s important to note that costs can vary significantly depending on location, size, design complexity, and regional factors. Obtaining quotes from suppliers, contractors, and subcontractors is essential to create an accurate budget. Consulting with professionals, leveraging online cost estimators, and obtaining multiple bids for each category can help refine the budget and ensure an accurate pricing assessment for constructing your house.

7. Getting the best Material for Construction

When selecting construction materials for your house, prioritize durability, cost-effectiveness, energy efficiency, aesthetic appeal, and sustainability. Consider options like concrete or steel for structural components, fiber cement siding or brick for exterior finishes, energy-efficient windows and doors, high-quality insulation, and durable flooring materials such as hardwood or laminate. Research and compare the performance, longevity, and maintenance requirements of different materials to make informed decisions that align with your budget and long-term goals.

8. Purchase Supplies Cheaply

Research multiple suppliers and compare prices for construction materials, tools, and equipment. Look for deals, discounts, and bulk purchase options to save money. Connect with wholesale suppliers or distributors who offer discounted rates to contractors and builders. Consider joining building associations or networks that provide access to exclusive deals and discounts.

9. Go Green

Installing solar panels at your house can significantly enhance energy efficiency and reduce reliance on traditional power sources. By harnessing solar energy, you can generate clean, renewable electricity, lower your utility bills, and reduce your carbon footprint. Invest in high-quality solar panels, ensure proper installation, and take advantage of government incentives or tax credits to make the transition to clean energy more affordable.

10. Take up Small Tasks to Save Money

To save money on building a house, take on do-it-yourself (DIY) projects like painting, landscaping, or simple installations. However, ensure you have the necessary skills and knowledge, and consult professionals for complex tasks to maintain quality and safety.


Building a cheap home on a limited budget requires careful planning, resourcefulness, and strategic decision-making. By adopting cost-saving measures such as keeping the design simple, exploring small house options, employing reputable builders, acting as your own general contractor, and making smart material choices, it is possible to create an affordable home without compromising on quality or functionality.

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