One of the top things on everyone’s long-term wish list is building their own home. Building your own home is one of the best ways to ensure you can live the life you’ve dreamed about living. When building your own home you get to customize everything to ensure your preferences and lifestyle are prioritized.
That being said, building your own home doesn’t come without limitations. After all, you may be building your dream house, but they are going to be grounded in reality. In this case, your reality is your budget. Construction supplier Tom Castle reminds us “You’ll constantly find yourself having to make compromises between your dreams and your budget throughout building your own home. It’s likely that you only have a certain amount of money and even time to invest in your building efforts. Therefore, you’re going to need to prioritize certain things during it.” While there isn’t a specific way to pay for your dreams when building your home, there are ways you can optimize the process to get the most out of your allotted budget. In this article, you’ll learn about the top things you can do to build your dream Eco-friendly home on a budget.
1. Consider The Landscape and Orientation
You will want to consider both of these things during the planning process. Try to figure out ways you can leverage your land.
“Laying a foundation on a ground that is level is going to be much more affordable than laying one that’s on a slope” says plastering and construction expert Mass, “If you need to lay it on a slope, you’ll want to consider building it vertically by turning your basement into a garage”.
Adding height variations throughout your yard is the best way to create a space that looks inviting and expensive. There are ways to enhance the Eco-friendliness of your home through its design too. You can do this by maximising the heating and cooling benefits of your home by orienting it so the longest side is facing the south. This ensures it gets the most sunlight possible. Whereas, you can build out an overhang directly on your roof which can provide shade to your home during the summers while still allowing your home to get sun during the cold winters.
2. Get Low-Cost Renewable Materials
You will find that materials can be a major factor in the total cost of your entire home. Because of this, you want to stick to using budget-friendly options including natural linoleum tile for either your kitchen or bathroom. Doing so can result in massive savings. You also want to try to find and use local goods that you can find in your area. Rather than opting for expensive and cost-prohibitive slate materials or even using non-Eco-friendly asphalt shingles, you can use sheet metal that you got from the recycling centre nearby. Cork flooring is another great material that is becoming a popular choice for new homes and renovations. According to flooring specialist Bilal Dundar from Quality Timber Flooring, “Cork flooring is the perfect green choice when considering building materials, not only is it a great renewable resource compared to many hardwoods, but it is also biodegradable, so it won’t impact the environment at the end of its lifespan”. While it will depend on the building codes in your area, you could also consider an earth-bag construction and using smaller-diameter wood.
3. Keep It Simple
One of the most important things you should be doing when you are looking to build on a budget is to keep things simple. Always build for a purpose rather than for aesthetics. A function design is always going to be better than something that is meant to look good. A basic square is going to be far more affordable to build over something complex and unique. Try to avoid adding unnecessary external or even internal design touches that can drive up costs. When done properly, you will have a functional and practical home by the end.
4. Get Insulation
One of the most important things you can do to improve the cooling and heating efficiency of your entire home is getting insulation. You need to get good insulation if you want to minimise your home’s heating and cooling costs. This will allow you to go without needing so much heating and cooling to be comfortable in your home which can reduce your home’s carbon footprint. Seal any cracks or places where air can escape. Caulk the cracks around your door, windows, and vents. The fact is, without effective caulking, even the best insulation will fail to maximise energy savings.
5. Solar Panel Installation
Solar panels can be one of the best ways to maximise your home’s Eco-friendliness. You want to install solar panels because they can power your entire home without ruining the environment. Best of all, you can sell any excess electricity back to the grid. Keep in mind, your home’s orientation plays a crucial role in determining how effective your solar panels are at providing you with energy. You want the most exposure to be pointing south. That way, you can leverage the sun’s angle in the northern hemisphere. Another option for your home is to invest in rainwater harvesting. Underground tanks expert Darren Schmutter explains “rainwater tanks not only help in reducing water bills, but they also play a huge role in preserving Earth’s most valuable resource, so really, you can’t go wrong.”
6. Pick The Right Windows and Appliances
One of the easiest and best ways to maximise your home’s energy efficiency is by installing Energy star Rated windows. Doing this is going to ensure that your home maintains the best energy efficiency. These windows will have effective insulation for keeping your home from allowing air to enter or escape. Also, you want to get the right appliances because appliances that aren’t efficient can drive up your energy costs.
7. Take Advantage Of Incentives
The government is going to offer you tax savings for building a green home. Because of this, you’ll want to take advantage of it. This is true of the federal, state, and local governments. You can get returns from solar panels. You can even get returns for investing in energy-efficient appliances. Always look for these incentives and tax credits to ensure you’re maximising your savings.
8. Fixed Energy Rate Plans
One of the best ways to ensure that you are not spending too much is by locking yourself into a fixed energy rate plan. This means you’ll be paying the same amount every month rather than a variable rate. This can keep you from getting exposed during times when the energy prices are increasing. By knowing what you are paying for your energy every month, it can help you come up with a budget that will enable you to maximise your savings going forward. These are savings that you can use elsewhere in your building project.