8 Ways to Save Money while Building your Dream Home

“Someday, when I build my dream home, I’m going to have …”

We’ve all said it dozens of times. And it always comes from the one thing about your current home you hate.

  • That frustrating closet in the hallway makes you say it.
  • The lack of space in your kitchen makes you say it.
  • The tiny bathroom that barely gives you room to turn makes you say it.

But what would you do if your dream came true? What if now was the time you could build your dream home, with all the features you’ve had in mind for years?

It’s possible. And you don’t have to have millions in the bank to make it a reality. In fact, there are many ways for you to save money building your dream home. Here’s how:

1. Grow Your Idea List

No matter how many times you’ve said “my dream home will have this,” you still have to voice your desires to your builder and show them what you want. And nothing can do that easier than having an idea list in place.

Home décor and building books and magazines are expensive. Instead of spending money on them, head to your local library instead. You’ll find a wealth of information all ready for exploring and checking out. When you find something you like, copy it or scan it into a file. Make notes about the things you like, the colors that please you, and the concepts that you want to live with.

You can also do this by visiting other homes. If you like a friend’s kitchen, what do you like about it? Visit model homes to see what’s new in the marketplace. Look for home tours in your area. You’ll find a variety of home tours depending on the seasons and holidays, all of which can allow you to find unique ideas that will be perfect to incorporate into your final design.

2. Find A Builder That Works With You

Nothing can be more frustrating than selecting a builder for your home, and having them tell you to stick with the plans. It’s your home; you will be the one living in it for years to come. Why should you work with a team that is anything less than flexible and willing to help you achieve your final results? Look for a builder that offers personalization and customization every step of the way.

3. Talk, Talk, Talk With Your Builder

Building your dream home is works on a time table. Within a few months, the process will end, you’ll move into your new home, and life begins.

During those few months, it’s important to understand that the only way your builder knows what you’re thinking, is if you talk to them about it. Nothing is too big or too small to cover. If a window doesn’t look right, tell them so and they can provide insight into what may be offputting.

Remember, it’s always easier to make adjustments before it’s installed. If you have a special request for the guest bathroom, say so. In many cases, your builder will have many ideas that can help you get what you want, and stay within budget too – remember, this isn’t their first time building a home and maybe they have some insight into your likes and dislikes to make recommendations.

4. Be Prepared to Search and Research

When you’re building your dream home, it’s easy for costs to escalate quickly. When you fall in love with a certain product, and it’s double or triple the price you expected, it’s difficult to know what to do. This is your dream home. Should you splurge?

That’s where a little research can save you. Be prepared to jump online and find your deals. Talk with the manufacturers you are considering. Look for places that offer free shipping. Bring your ideas to your builder; in some cases, they may know of other resources that can get you exactly what you want at the best price possible.

5. Always Be Open to Alternatives

You probably have items on your list that are non-negotiable. You’ve been dreaming about them forever and they must be a part of your finished design. Keep in mind that flexibility is the easiest way to save while designing your dream home.

For example, maybe you’ve found the perfect chandelier for your dining room. It’s been in your mind for months. Instead of paying the price, do a little searching instead. Visit second-hand stores. Talk with local lighting distributors. Look at clearance centers both online and off. You may find what you are looking for … with a twist. Maybe the color is slightly darker; the bulbs aren’t quite the same. But if you save 25, 50, even 75 percent or more, is it worth it?

6. Get Your Hands Dirty

Everyone has a skill or two they can lend to the building process. How about picking up a paintbrush and helping paint your rooms? Or lending a hand to help install cabinets or tile? Just be careful that you don’t start a project you have little or no experience with. Doing something the wrong way can wind up costing you more in the long run. You never want to have to go back and redo a job. It can cost you both time and money to fix your mistakes.

7. Find Tax Credits

Saving money doesn’t just occur by finding a good deal at the time of purchase. There are many government funded programs that will give you rebates for purchasing and installing energy efficiency products as well. From first-time homebuyer programs to tax incentives for purchasing Energy Star products, be sure you check with county, state and federal agencies to see what they offer.

Keep in mind that with many of these purchases, you’ll not only save money at the time of purchase, but the savings can grow over time. By installing energy efficient windows, insulation, furnaces or water heaters, your monthly utility bills will be lower every month as well.

8. Plan Furniture Needs In Advance

You know that couch that looks great in your current home? There’s a chance it won’t fit with your new floor plan. Whether your dream home is larger or smaller than your current residence, there’s a strong possibility that your design and décor will change. Walls and windows will be in different places. The flow will change. Which means your current furniture may not be what your new home requires.

Decide ahead of time what furniture stays and what goes. What goes can easily be sold at consignment stores (or Craig’s List) and give you an extra bump to your budget. Meanwhile, you should design your new floor plan with furniture you’re bringing with you in mind.

Moreover, by figuring out what you are selling (or giving away), you will know what you need to be able to fit into your new home. Will you need new bookshelves? A new couch? A new table? By knowing months in advance, you can shop online and in stores to find exactly what you are looking for. You can even get those custom built since that can take the amount of time it takes for the house to be completed.

Otherwise, watch for clearance events. Ask your favorite places when the big sales occur. By waiting and shopping around, you can find everything you’ll need to have ready and on hand when moving day arrives. Are you ready to build your dream home?