8 Ways to Save on Building Your Home

Building your own home is a dream many have, but turning that dream into reality can be a serious financial challenge. It doesn't mean you have to give it up, though. Make it happen with a little sweat equity, a good amount of planning, and a lot of smart shopping. Ready to get started? The eight tips below will get you on the road to building your own home without breaking the bank or your dreams, so let's get going!

1. Plan Ahead

As you plan your new home build, don't just plan room sizes. Know what materials you'll be needing and when you'll be needing them. Shipping costs can add up quickly, especially if you didn't plan right and need something ASAP. Be organized so you have items delivered when you need them and allow time for shipping delays.

2. DIY (AKA, Sweat Equity)

A couple of DIYers working on the interior of a house together.

It should come as no surprise that a way to save money when building a home is do as much of the work yourself as possible. This is sometimes referred to as "sweat equity." You can save a lot of money by putting your own work and sweat into your home, whether it be painting, landscaping, flooring, etc. Of course, depending on your skill level certain things, such as electrical and plumbing, should be left to the professionals because these will require a license in order to get the permits.

3. Be a Smart Shopper

Don't just shop locally for construction items; online shopping can yield less expensive results. As you shop around, check each retailer for sales and coupon codes they may have for discounts or free shipping. If you do find an item online or locally for less than it is at a store you prefer to shop through, ask them if they'll do a price match. Many do, including Lowes and Home Depot.

4. Used and Salvage Materials

A pile of metal in a salvage yard.

Whether you're doing most of the work yourself or have contractors, buying used or salvaged materials can save you a lot of money when building your home. Check out home demolition sites, auctions, and stores that carry salvaged materials like Habitat for Humanity ReStores.

5. Builder's Discount

Builders often get discounts because they buy in bulk or have an established relationship with local vendors. Builders not only get discounts on materials, but they also get discounts on appliances, so check with them before you buy something on your own.

6. Research Contractors and Builders

A contractor wearing a hard hat and shaking someone's hand.

One way to lose money quickly when building a home is with bad contractors. Hiring a contractor that doesn't know what they're doing, or worse, doesn't have a license and insurance, can be disastrous. That's why it's so important to do your homework before you hire anyone to do work on your home. Be sure to meet with references and check with the Better Business Bureau and state licensing authority before you hire.

7. Rebates and Tax Credits

Before you invest in anything that consumes large amounts of water, electricity, or gas, check for energy efficient rebates. Rebates and tax credits are common for solar power, heating or cooling systems, water heaters, dryers, dishwashers, and even refrigerators. Rebates can be found at the manufacturer site and through your local utility company. Tax credits are very helpful and available through federal, state, or county authorities.

8. Keep The Design Simple

The more fanciful your design, the higher your building costs. Consider keeping your rooflines simple, and utilize an open floor plan. Rooms that serve multiple purposes will help save on square footage costs, as well as operating costs like heating and cooling. Lastly, don't waste money on big brand names when you can still find great looking fixtures that work the same as their high-end counterparts.

By doing as much work as possible on your own, being a smart shopper, and planning each step along the way, you can save a lot of money when building your home.