My mom is an engineer and I’ve seen her plan houses using a language that a web design major like myself will never come to understand in this lifetime or another. But building houses have always fascinated me, I think there’s a sense of immeasurable, incomparable satisfaction to watching the birth of your dream home. 🙂
So I’ve decided early on that I would want to build my house from scratch when I first got here in the busy district of Kuala Lumpur, after I heard how promising Malaysian real estate is. However, now that I’m older and practically more aware of how the world works (aka money makes the world go round and price tags are the wheels that make it move), I realized that it won’t be easy neither would it be cheap.
There are many pros and cons to building your own house. It’s also a process of asking yourself thousands of questions about property just to get started. But if you have fully decided that the pros are enough to outweigh the cons, but still would want to save up on money, here are some tips to save money doing so. I find these tips very helpful too, so let’s all just give it a try.
Ditch the contractor.
Settle for an independent builder a la Igor on Restaurant Makeover. I reckon you’ve already decided on the style and design of home you want to see built on your house so more or less you know what you would tell your builder. You can hire the services of a freelance engineer to help you.
Go out to your local DIY and Hardware stores.
Give yourself a good view of the prices of materials you’ll need. Buying them yourself will help you save more on your expenses on the house. Get a list from your builder of the materials with size and amount specifications so you’ll know what to look for when you’re there. Also, ask for a wholesale price whenever you can.
Arrange with your builder to do things that you can do yourself.
That does not include building the fences and posts and laying down the foundations, fixing the electric connections, and other more technical stuff. You can, however, opt to do the house painting yourself. If you want to save up on the fencing too, save yourself the expense of a custom made fencing and go to your DIY Fence makers and yes, exactly do that – DO IT YOURSELF.
Keep your house open for adjustments and extensions in the future.
I’ve seen our house get extended and extended time and again. My mom designed it in a way that we can add anything anytime we want and anytime our budget will allow. So our foundations were built for a two-story house even when before we added the second floor home. This will keep your house easier to extend when you have the money to do so. Don’t rush things.
Unless you’re a celebrity, you really do not need the help of a professional interior decorator. Watch home makeover shows, read Interior Design magazines, click on this interesting article, and read books for inspiration. Remember, you’ll never know what you’ll find in the thrift stores and yard sales! Good luck!
– Avery 🙂