Building your own dream home can be an exhilarating experience. If you’ve decided to build your own first home, you’re probably already aware that it will be a major commitment emotionally – and financially.

So, what can you do to reduce your costs without compromising on your vision? Here, we’ve put together some of the top insights for saving money while building your first home.

1. Know what you can afford

When building a home, you’ll need to make sure your finances are in order. Speak with your accountant or financial adviser about a comprehensive financial health check so you know what you can afford. Make sure you have a contingency plan in terms of your finances and avoid riskier situations like holding on to two loans for a long time and becoming overleveraged. When working with an architect or designer, consult a cost adviser so you can develop your design within budget.

2. Work with a specialist mortgage broker

It’s important to find a specialist mortgage broker who has substantial construction loan experience. Work with the broker to review your personal finances, and ask him/her about how to secure the best possible financing for your first home building project

3. Consider house orientation

Design and build to leverage the natural elements, and you could end up getting more value from your building budget. For example, living and outdoor areas facing north can lower your heating bills. In summer, your recreational and outdoor spaces will enjoy plenty of natural light which enhances their overall appeal. For bedrooms, face them south if possible. This keeps them cooler in summer, helping you reduce cooling costs and enhancing liveability.

4. Build for your block and local regulations

Work to your block of land rather than against it: consider its natural features, contours, and shape. If you design and build for your block, you can save a significant amount of money on elements like foundation work and retaining walls. Consult your builder about your state and local zone development codes and planning regulations so you can take full advantage of your lot when building, whether it’s maximising the space or natural features.

5. Understand government incentives

Check whether you’re eligible for the First Home Owner’s Grant, which is available also to people who are building their own houses. The grant gives you a one-off payment of up to $10,000.

6. Work with the right builder

The process of homeownership is well worth the effort, though it can be demanding – and even a little scary. This is why you need to work with a reputable builder that delivers on their promises. With the right builder, you minimise the risk of going over budget and beyond schedule, avoiding costly delays and budget blowouts. Check your builder has sufficient experience and knowledge to solve problems quickly. A great build could provide advice on which areas of the build costs less so you end up with a generously sized home at your budget.

7. Go budget on less-used spaces

If you’re on a tight budget, focus on the frequently used areas of your house and the key spaces where your friends and family will see. In less-used spaces, go budget in terms of appliances, features, accessories, fixtures, flooring, and anything else. For example, you could spend more sprucing up the powder room, living room, entry hallway, and kitchen.

8. Balance design with budget

Reconsidering design can help you save a lot of money. For example, too many indents and direction changes could lengthen your house’s perimeter, which would add to the build cost. Even roof shape can help you save money: a simple roof will be much cheaper than complex roof designs.

Other design-versus-budget factors to consider include:

  • Storey – Single storey homes tend to be cheaper than two-storey homes. If you prefer a two-storey property, work with a builder or designer who has extensive experience with two-storey properties.
  • Windows and doors – Using standard window and door sizes from popular ranges and large suppliers. This can make it easier and cheaper to build, and if the supplier’s a major one, you’ll have access to quality after-sales support.
  • Built-in storage – Built-in storage can help you save money and space as you won’t need space for freestanding wardrobes and cupboards or to spend extra on storage furniture.

9. Integrate an open floor plan

Bear in mind that open floor plans are one of the most cost-effective design features as they allow you to use spaces in multiple ways and minimise the number of walls, doors, hallways, wiring, and plumbing.

Build your first home now

Building your first home could be the best way to realise your dream home and ensure your house comes with all the features you need. If you plan it right, you can minimise your costs and spend less than you have to – and still end up with your dream home.

Think you can’t own your first home? Think again! Gemmill Homes has been making it possible for first home buyers across Perth to achieve their first home ownership dreams by building their dream home. We’ll support you every step of the way. Call us for a chat today.