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How to keep costs down when building a house
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Jun 07 2020, 2:42 pm
We are considering building a home, but would like to make good economical decisions without compromising on quality/durability. Does anyone have advice as to which decisions could make a big difference in terms of price? For example, if one kind of flooring is significantly cheaper than another, but still good quality, that would make a great difference in overall cost of building the home. (Obviously personal taste and preference come into play, but that's a separate point). Thank you so much in advance!
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amother




Lilac
 

Post Sun, Jun 07 2020, 2:54 pm
Don't get caught up in the "as long as we're at it" syndrome. Of all the people I know who put in a Jacuzzi in the master bathroom, only one actually uses it. Consider your cooking habits when deciding if you need a six-burner range. Most people don't. Etc.

It's worth splurging on things that will save money in the long run, like energy efficient windows, good insulation, etc I like solid doors, both for the feel and the noise reduction. You may not care. Don't spend on super expensive tiles unless they are a small detail. Same for hardwoods and carpet. Generally, once you get past the middle of the price range, quality stops going up in any meaningful way.

But you know yourself best. If having that exotic granite counter top is going to make you smile every time you walk into the kitchen, and you can afford it, go ahead and splash out. Just make sure you've left enough for furniture and home maintenance.
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amother




Coral
 

Post Sun, Jun 07 2020, 3:04 pm
Design the house in a simple rectangle shape. Any bump-outs or irregular shapes will cost significantly more for the build and the roofing.

Economies of scale: Try to stick to fewer (and standard) window sizes, door styles, lighting styles, single appliance brand. You can then look for the cheapest price and even negotiate a lower price for buying in bulk.

Consider using a single type of flooring for most/all of the house. Take a look at the newer linoleums (like Marmoleum Striata), they're not the linoleum of years back. Linoleum is softer, so less injuries if you fall, durable, good for the environment, and repairable.

Don't just think about initial build cost - try to make the house airtight (within reason) so that you can save on utility bills (75% or more) going forward.
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amother




OP
 

Post Sun, Jun 07 2020, 3:50 pm
This is the kind of advice I am looking for! Thank you amothers and I look forward to hearing more sage advice Smile
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amother




Slategray
 

Post Sun, Jun 07 2020, 3:58 pm
Hire a good architect! Don’t go cheap here - it’ll end up costing you more in the long run and a good architect can help you keep your costs down and your money in the important things.
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amother




Olive
 

Post Sun, Jun 07 2020, 6:32 pm
Splurge on the architect. Stick to the plan, make no changes during construction. Dont go with custom type work like curves, mouldings. "While we're at it..." are the most expensive words.
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amother




Maroon
 

Post Sun, Jun 07 2020, 6:56 pm
Dont be cheap on the plumbing, spend the money, it's worth it! It may be expensive now bit it'll save u in the long run!
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amother




Goldenrod
 

Post Sun, Jun 07 2020, 7:21 pm
Go standard. Standard size window, bathtubs, sinks....
They are manufactured in bulk so it keeps the price down.
I think a 5 foot tub is standard and the 4.5 foot one cost 3x.
If you are building from scratch, link your plumbing up. Master bath over the kitchen and 2nd bath sharing a wall with the master, not the other side of the house. (Laundry too). If you do a lot of bathrooms, do 2 columns and stack on opposite sides of the house, but they should be in the same 2 lines.

Waterproof your basement now. It'll save you a lot in the long run as it is much more expensive to deal with the flooding and then go waterproofing after the fact.
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amother




Ruby
 

Post Mon, Jun 08 2020, 3:50 pm
How do you waterproof a basement?
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tweety1




 
 
 
 

Post Mon, Jun 08 2020, 4:41 pm
amother [ Maroon ] wrote:
Dont be cheap on the plumbing, spend the money, it's worth it! It may be expensive now bit it'll save u in the long run!

This! And electrical work too! My lighting is fantastic. I have some areas where I had to do 8 foot ceilings and nobody would guess. My lighting came out fantastic.
Abt the jacuzzi, you have to know your type. My dh has used the jacuzzi more times than I can possibly count.
I would hire an interior designer, not to design the house for decor, but they help you with the plumbing and electrical work too. I didn't cuz I wanted to save $ but I regret it deeply.
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amother




Goldenrod
 

Post Mon, Jun 08 2020, 4:49 pm
amother [ Ruby ] wrote:
How do you waterproof a basement?

Are you in Jersey?
I'll give you my guy.
He was wonderful
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amother




Ruby
 

Post Mon, Jun 08 2020, 5:55 pm
amother [ Goldenrod ] wrote:
Are you in Jersey?
I'll give you my guy.
He was wonderful


I’m not OP

I’m in Brooklyn. What is waterproofing? How do they do it?
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amother




Apricot
 

Post Mon, Jun 08 2020, 6:05 pm
amother [ Ruby ] wrote:
I’m not OP

I’m in Brooklyn. What is waterproofing? How do they do it?


Wondering the same.
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amother




Apricot
 

Post Mon, Jun 08 2020, 6:06 pm
amother [ Goldenrod ] wrote:
Are you in Jersey?
I'll give you my guy.
He was wonderful


Maybe the NJ guy does Brooklyn jobs. Please share his info.
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amother




OP
 

Post Mon, Jan 17 2022, 10:07 pm
As the OP of this thread, I'm bumping this up because now it's actually relevant, and yikes! prices are insane for everything. Will take any new advice that answers my original question, especially in light of current inflation and labor shortages.
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amother




Lightgreen
 

Post Mon, Jan 17 2022, 10:25 pm
Don’t change anything. Once it’s done it’s done it costs a fortune to fix mistakes
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amother




Peach
 

Post Mon, Jan 17 2022, 10:55 pm
tweety1 wrote:
This! And electrical work too! My lighting is fantastic. I have some areas where I had to do 8 foot ceilings and nobody would guess. My lighting came out fantastic.
Abt the jacuzzi, you have to know your type. My dh has used the jacuzzi more times than I can possibly count.
I would hire an interior designer, not to design the house for decor, but they help you with the plumbing and electrical work too. I didn't cuz I wanted to save $ but I regret it deeply.


Do you mean interior decorator after the architect as a ‘project manager’?
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amother




Molasses
 

Post Mon, Jan 17 2022, 11:32 pm
OP, are you comfortable sharing the size house and approximate amount it is costing you to build and your location? I’m looking to build in lakewood so following this thread closely!
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amother




Lotus
 

Post Mon, Jan 17 2022, 11:43 pm
amother [ Molasses ] wrote:
OP, are you comfortable sharing the size house and approximate amount it is costing you to build and your location? I’m looking to build in lakewood so following this thread closely!

Same, would love to know what it costs to build nowadays.
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amother




Lemonchiffon
 

Post Tue, Jan 18 2022, 12:43 am
amother [ Lotus ] wrote:
Same, would love to know what it costs to build nowadays.


Same here. If you don’t mind sharing even a ballpark.
Also, what does the demo itself cost?
Thanks
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