7 Easy-to-follow tips to lower your home building costs

A house under construction in Kiambu County.
A house under construction in Kiambu County. PHOTO/FILE
Putting up a house is always an expensive affair. However, it is possible to lower home building costs by adopting these easy-to-follow strategies.

1.) Size – It is advisable to build a house with a depth of less than 32 feet as this eliminates the need for specially designed trusses. Try working with even numbers and having the size of your house rounded up or down to the additions of two feet. This enables you to minimise wastage of materials.

2.) Style – The style of your house largely influences the cost. A two-storey house will, for example, cost less (per square foot) than a single-storey house of similar square footage. It will have a smaller roof and foundation. In any case, ventilation and plumbing in a two-storey house tend to be more compact.

(3.) Floor plans – Minimise corners and angles in your house as these increase the amount of materials and labour required to complete your home. If possible go for a rectangular house as it will cost less to build.

4.) Roofing – Although a roof is a major design highlight that draws the most attention to your home, you should avoid complex roofing designs that tend to be expensive. If possible, go for gable roofs as they are less expensive compared to hipped roofs. Besides, they do not require additional framing.

5.) Building materials – It is advisable to use materials that are common. These materials are less expensive and they have a high rate of supply – enabling you to avoid hold-ups and interruptions. In any case, you should consider doing away with features that are too expensive for you.

READ: The most common types of building materials in Kenya

6.) Find great prices – Instead of sending your contractor to buy materials for you, consider buying them yourself. This way you will get materials cheaper since most contractors mark up the price before billing their clients.

7.) Minimize change orders – Planning ahead can greatly lower the number of change orders in your project. Change orders are the most common reasons a project exceeds the budget as they are not planned for in the original budgeting.

Although the above strategies can help you lower building costs, you should never cut corners when it comes to the quality of building materials. Be sure to spend your cash on materials that are durable.