In this article, I'm going to share ways to save money on your off-grid home build. Many of us aspire to an off-grid lifestyle, even if it’s only in our imaginations. The idea of breaking free from the confines of the electric company, water company, gas company, and any other companies that expect payments every month.
The idea of no longer being indebted and being completely self-sufficient is extremely attractive. Although the long-term benefits are alluring, the upfront cost can be rather expensive for those looking to deduce their overall cost of living.
When looking to build an off-grid home, there are many different working that parts that must fall into place seamlessly and finances play a huge role.
Building a custom home doesn’t need to be expensive if you have the right knowledge and tools to help you throughout the process. With a carefully planned budget and economical approach, you can build your off-grid home while saving money along the way.
Here are a few tips to help you save money during your build.
This may seem like common sense, but it is something you may want to consider before starting your build. If you plan to stick to your budget, a few hundred square feet could make all the difference, when designing your new home.
It can be easy to think that a 1,000 square foot home and a 1,250 square foot home may cost a similar amount, but this is far from the truth.
It may seem like a small number, but an additional 250 square feet could easily end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars. At $100 per square foot, 250 square feet is an additional $25,000.
Keeping your floor plan fairly small can be a great way to stretch your dollar and get the most out of your budget.
It would also give you the chance to get creative with your floor plan by incorporating multi-purpose living spaces or adapting an open floor plan. There are plenty of options that could help you save.
Everyone has different tastes when it comes to home décor. Designing a home from scratch gives you the ability to take any and all creative liberties you’ve always desired. However, it’s important to consider how costly your taste may be before deciding on your finishes.
You may prefer the look of real hardwood floors, but this can become quite pricey quickly.
Instead of using solid wood flooring, you may opt to go with vinyl or another option that gives the same look. While it’s important to stay true to your personal tastes, it’s also important that you consider less costly options that result in the same look.
It may even make sense to leave a few projects purposefully unfinished if you prefer a more rustic or industrial look as this can save a substantial amount of time and money while adding to your overall design.
The aesthetic of the home is further amplified by the features and finishes that are chosen. Although the features are meant to complement the home, they should not be overly expensive. Choose your must-have features of course but make more cost-effective decisions.
Decide if you’d be able to live with high-quality faux pieces rather than the real one. This will ensure that your costs don’t suddenly increase once the contractor begins building.
This step is so important I had to repeat it three times! One of the best ways to reduce cost while maintaining quality is to do extensive research and this applies to any project.
Tour model homes, attend open houses, call multiple vendors, and search on a large scale. If you’re determined to save money, then a bit of research is required.
Researching beforehand will also save you time during the building phase. Look for cost-saving tips as well as good alternatives to certain building materials. Knowing pertinent information ahead of time is the best way to ensure that you’ll be getting a good deal.
Choosing the right contractor may be one of the most important decisions you make throughout this entire process. Having a competent and efficient contractor will go a long way towards cost-saving down the line.
You may end up spending a little more than you would like upfront, but you will be saving money as time passes. A good contractor will be able to deliver quality services in a timely manner while sticking to your budget and opting for a cheaper contractor may end up costing more over time as certain things need repairs.
You’ll end up with a number of bids ranging from extremely low to outrageously high and it’s in your best interest to discount the outliers. Unless the contractor can justify their bid, then it doesn’t make sense to engage with them.
You don’t want to get burned by paying more than you have to and you also don’t want to end up with shoddy workmanship that will keep on costing you in the future.
The best way to choose a contractor is to compare the pros and cons of each candidate while taking price into consideration.
It’s also important to make sure that your contractor is aware of your budget, priorities, and expectations for your future home, this will prevent any confusion moving forward.
Even though you’ll have a contractor, there are some simple projects you can do yourself that may save some money here and there. If you are handy, you may be able to install some bathroom or kitchen fixtures to lower the labor cost.
The types of projects you are allowed to work on will depend on your specific contractor, but it doesn’t hurt to get creative and put yourself to work whenever you can.
You'll also have a feeling of pride and accomplishment when you're able to personally contribute to the construction of your new home.
You’re bound to know a few people who may be able to get you a discounted price for certain materials or services. Perhaps you know a plumber, electrician, or builder who wouldn’t mind providing their services at a discounted rate.
This also applies to materials. Try sourcing your materials from vendors who offer special pricing. This is an easy way to reduce costs.
If you're looking to save money when building your new off-grid home, the first step is proper planning. Consider how your choices will help make your home more energy-efficient. Take your time and do thorough research.
By shopping around for the best contractor and ways to save money on materials, you'll get the best deal and have a lower maintenance cost over the life of the home. If you have experience with building your own home, I would love to hear your input in the comments below.