Date Friday, 12 September 2014 12:00 AM

Building a new home is one of the most exciting milestones in anyone’s life. It is also one of the biggest investments, which means setting a budget and sticking to it are crucial steps in the home-building process.

But an affordable property shouldn’t mean missing out on the home of your dreams – there are plenty of ways to save without sacrificing quality. Here are our tips for building on a budget.

Customise an existing design

Whether you’re a first-time builder, a growing family or approaching retirement, it’s natural to want your new home to have the best of everything. However, this means it’s also easy to get carried away when designing a property from scratch.

To ensure your building project remains within your budget, opt for an existing home design and customise from there. Working with an existing design ensures a well laid out home and takes the guesswork out of estimating costs. Importantly, you can still add your own touches: G.J. Gardner Homes has more than 150 fully customisable designs that allow you to mix and match colours, fixtures and fittings to your heart’s content.

Opt for a fixed-price contract

Building projects can be highly variable, and the final cost of your home will depend on a range of factors. When you’re building on a budget, the best way to ensure your home remains within your price range is to enter into a fixed-price contract with your builder.

A fixed-price contract allows you and your builder to agree upfront on a lump sum cost for the majority of your home build. This lump sum will include some provisional items (such as appliances) and prime costs, or costs that cannot be determined to an exact dollar figure prior to contract. Although you will still need to budget for reasonable variations, a fixed-priced contract ensures you won’t receive a final invoice for triple what you budgeted for.

Read How Much Does It Cost To Build A House here!

Think long-term

Property is a long-term investment, and if you are planning to live in or tenant your new property for years to come you need to consider long-term maintenance costs.

When you’re building on a budget it can be tempting to scrimp on appliances and extras, but you’ll regret this when things start breaking down in a few years’ time. Instead, invest in the best quality materials, fixtures and fittings you can afford. To save some cash, be thriftier when it comes to furniture and décor, so you can update your home’s interior at low cost in years to come.

Don’t cut corners

In any building project, the largest cost by far is likely to be your builder’s time and services. While it’s important to shop around for the best quote, don’t be tempted to choose tradespeople based solely on cost.

Investing in the services of qualified and experienced tradespeople is key to building a home that looks great – and will last. Rather than choosing the cheapest quote, opt for a builder whose work you can trust and be upfront about your financial position. Good communication is key to a building a beautiful home on a budget.    

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