Five ways to build a cheap house

It’s all in the design and planning

The design and planning phases of a project are where most of your cost-saving efforts will occur. It’s possible to save a lot of money by having a well-thought out design that considers all costs. This is why it’s worth spending the time to find an architect who can do this right. Although their fee is only a small portion of the total build cost, a good design will save you money and provide you with a home that you love. We know that a great architect is behind every great project. Design for Me asked our architects to share their top tips for building a house the most affordable way.

First Florida Construction was established over 40 years ago. It has a solid reputation for integrity in the luxury building sector. Paul Kleinfeld and his team are known for their dedication to building superior practices for clients who value quality craftsmanship and attention to detail.


It is a sure way to increase the cost of your self-build. The labour costs of self-build will make up a large portion of your total cost so it is worth examining every aspect of the design. Your architect should ask yourself the following questions about each detail and junction: How difficult (and expensive) is it to build?


There is no “cheap” solution. You should weigh the costs of materials against the others. The cost of your house will be affected by its durability, life-span, and maintenance over time. What do you see yourself doing in the house over the next 25-years? 50 years? 100 years? It is possible for a cheaper construction to be more expensive over its lifetime. Similar arguments can be made about the build’s environmental credentials. It may be worth paying a bit more to get high-quality insulation in your walls. This will help you keep your heating costs down for many years.


The cost of labour can be a large part of overall costs so it is worth considering doing it yourself. This will impact the type of construction you choose. reports that a 100m2 home of ‘good quality’ in the SE is 18% more costly to hire a contractor to construct and manage than a DIY project with some assistance from subbies.


Square footage is a major contributor to the cost of a self-built home. With the assistance of an architect, you can find clever ways to reduce your footprint while still achieving your goals. You will be able to see that economies of scale are important so every square foot should be slightly cheaper than the last one.


Living in an open plan home is becoming more popular. Due to the need for additional structure (often steels in the ceiling), large unobstructed spaces can be very expensive. This can be avoided by adding columns to reduce the steel span. This will require that the columns or structural walls be placed in a way that has minimal impact on views and spaces. This is where an architect’s skills will shine!

About the author