The Best Ways to Save Money When Building a House

Think you’ll never be able to afford to build your dream home? Despair no more: Landmark Homes can help make it happen!

There’s nothing more off-putting than the constant media reports about the high cost of building a house in New Zealand.

Well, forget what you’ve heard – because Landmark Homes can help you build a spectacular home at a lower cost – without compromising on quality or style.

New Homes Consultant Melissa Newton says a dream home can still look and feel luxurious without draining someone’s life savings. It’s all a matter of working with the client to ascertain their price point and the style of home they’re hoping for. From there, the Landmark Homes team can offer loads of suggestions for the best ways to save money when building a house
Here’s a glimpse into how Landmark Homes can make your dream come true without breaking the bank!

1. Pick your site carefully and get a feasibility study to establish what is possible…

Establishing your new house budget begins by understanding what type of dwelling is possible with the section you have purchased.

Ask yourself, do you have all the information you need about the access to boundaries, consents and utilities? A site that is difficult to access or requires retaining walls can add many thousands to your costs- before you even begin building!

Getting all the information you need and navigating the process of consents and design options is what Landmark Homes does best. We can visit the site, look at the geographical plans and help guide you through all the options to then be able to make the right design choice to fit the section.

2. Make good design choices…

The shape, size and structure of a home plays a major part in overall cost of building a house in NZ. Simply building a home that’s an L-shape or U-shape will cost more than a simple rectangle.

A simpler design with fewer complexities can reduce costs in engineering and roof design.

For example, a home with numerous ‘ins and outs’ and angles will need a lot more cladding and specialist engineering. That means more time, labour and materials.

Stud height can also be altered to reduce cost. While Landmark Homes are known for their distinctive 2.7m ceiling height, this will mean a higher stud height for joinery – which in turn increases the cost of interior and exterior finishing, insulation and framing.

A slight reduction to 2.5m brings the joinery down to 2.2m, which can cut costs substantially.

3. Elect for a Smaller, Open Footprint

The bigger the home build, the higher the cost – it’s just basic math.
Granted, if you have four kids, two dogs, and your elderly parents living with you, a smaller house plan may not cut it. But the point is to focus on the things you really need.
One of the best and most efficient ways to do this is to opt for an open floor plan.
It can enable you to use a space in multiple ways. For instance, The Cameo house plan design is a good example of this style of home. At 195m2 it is one of the more cost-effective homes to build, it has a kitchen with a large island that opens up to the living room that can be used as a living, dining, and working space.
And, even though the uses are many, the open plan prevents it from feeling cramped.

4. Pick your cladding carefully

One of the first things to consider when building a home to a smaller budget is the type of cladding you’ll use. Choosing a cladding that requires low-level maintenance will wind up costing less in the long term.

Cedar weatherboard is very popular, but it’s also very expensive – both in terms of purchasing and maintenance.

Fortunately, the exterior of a home can still be modern and interesting without costing a fortune. A great option that’s being used more frequently on Kiwi homes is board and batten. This is a classic, look that lasts for generations. It comprises alternating wide boards and narrow wooden strips (battens) covering the joins. It can be used as exterior or interior paneling and fits well with both rural and suburban environments.

Insulation is a big factor in reducing cost. Spending more on properly insulating your home will go a long way in reducing the cost of both heating and cooling when you’re living in it.

5. Make smarter bathroom choices

Image: James Hardie Hardiegroove Lining.
HardieGroove Lining is made of premium fibre cement, sanded smooth, it’s easy to paint in any colour you choose allowing you to create stunning design features within your home.

Tiled bathrooms and showers are high on many homebuilders’ lists – but they come at a cost!

Bathroom tiles are the Rolls Royce of the shower world. However, tiling the entire bathroom is both pricey and difficult to maintain. It also makes the bathroom colder and allows cold moisture to cause condensation.

Fortunately, there are plenty of handsome alternatives that won’t break the bank.

Acrylic-lined showers are a fantastic solution for the busy homeowner. They’re easy to clean and much more affordable in terms of installation and maintenance. And, while acrylic showers have gotten a bad rap in the past for looking ‘cheap’, the modern options are now far more luxurious.

Using moisture-resistant HardieGroove lining for the bathroom internal wall linings or ceiling linings can substantially reduce long-term costs. You’ll save on waterproofing maintenance as well as a tiler.

Or, an even more economical solution, don’t be afraid to stick with painted aqualine. It provides a clean, easy-care finish without frills.

Those who are set on tiles can still do so within a budget if you select from the economic builders’ range. A tiled splashback in the kitchen behind the hob is a much more budget-friendly option than glass or stone splashback options.

It’s also worth considering which bathroom you want to spend the most on. Some homeowners might use their ensuite bathroom more than their main bathroom, so they will splurge a little more on their ensuite.

6. Explore your flooring options

The Landmark Homes Taupo /Kinloch Showhome features redwood sleepers as a border for the outdoor patio off the living area to achieve the level entry from inside to out, and then flagstone pavers butting up to the sleepers.

Timber floors are the dream of many – but the price tag is less so!

Fortunately, Landmark Homes can offer up plenty of alternatives. It’s possible to forgo the expense of timber by using beautiful European laminate flooring. You’ll still get the wooden look, but you’ll save on the installation and care.

The same goes for outdoors. A timber deck looks great, but the cost is high – and so too is the maintenance. Landmark Homes’ Taupo-Kinloch showhome is the perfect example of a much more sustainable alternative where they have used redwood sleepers as a border for the outdoor patio off the living area to achieve the level entry from inside to out, and then flagstone pavers butting up to the sleepers. This creates a fantastic and functional indoor-outdoor flow that still looks elegant but requires far less maintenance.

7. Use an experienced master builder to work with you every step of the way…

Landmark Homes pride ourselves in delivering exceptional quality homes that our customers love.

As registered Masterbuilders we make no compromises in the quality of our building so you can be sure your home will be built to a standard that will last the test of time.

As a design and build company, we understand exactly how to make the right decisions across the entire process, helping our clients get the homes they love at the level of investment they choose.

Our team works with you every step of the way to make sure you get the home you have always dreamed of. We understand that building your home is the biggest investment that you can make so we are also committed to make sure you have the best advice to save money when building your house. Speak to us about your project, it’s our job to bring your dream home to life.