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Building A Home - When Finances Matter

Updated on February 22, 2014

Know the Difference Between Frugal & Cheap

Let’s face it. Finances do matter for some of us, so help make your home building experience less stressful on yourself, as well as your pocketbook, by planning ahead.

Remember the “cheapest” while building does not necessarily mean the most cost effective in the long run. Know the difference between frugal and cheap. Building codes can be different for different states, cities and areas, so it pays to be familiar with the codes in your area.

Below are some tips to keep in mind while you select your house plan and make decisions on features for your new home. Some tips will help with immediate cost. Others are planning ahead to save funds and trouble at a later date.

1) Cut corners, literally. Fewer corners mean less cost.

2) A plain roof without valleys or dormers is naturally going to cost less than a cross gabled or cross hipped roof. While you are on the subjects of roofs, take your heating/cooling bill into consideration when selecting color. Remember dark draws heat and light reflects, making it important to take into consideration the climate in your area when making roofing color decisions.

3) Where is the hot water heater located in relation to the kitchen and bathrooms? Insulate pipes if the water must travel the length of the house. You’ll be surprised how much water you waste waiting for it to warm up.

4) Some businesses offer a sizeable savings for shoppers purchasing all their appliance needs from one location. Some businesses deliver; others don’t. Factor those costs into your budget for appliances.

5) Energy efficient windows may cost more when installing, but will provide enough savings on energy costs through the years to make them a wise purchase. Some states require them in new homes built.

6) Keep in mind that light fixtures inside closets aren’t going to be prominently visible like those in high traffic areas, so do you really have to have high end lighting fixtures inside a closet or in the laundry room?

7) Another point to consider with light fixtures is how many bulbs and the type bulb a fixture uses. A strip of light that requires 6 bulbs, rather than 2, is going to cost you more over a period of time. Multiplied by the number of fixtures using more bulbs, it may add up to more than you realize.

8) Keep the future in mind when deciding on accessibility issues. If you have frequent visitors that need special consideration or an elderly parent that may, at some point, move into the home with you, keep that fact in mind as you decide on door and hallway width, the type showers or tubs you install, etc. It is always easier to include it in the beginning than it is to go back and remodel at a later date.

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