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Save Money On Construction Building A House

Updated on August 28, 2012


When you think of construction materials, most people would think about building a new house.

However, construction materials are necessary for any type of construction.

Are there ways to save on construction materials for whatever you're building? Of course there are!

Let's take a look at some of the ways that you can save money on any construction materials, no matter what you're building......whether it's for a new home, a barn, or even an office building.

public domain photo
public domain photo


People outside the building or construction business think that there are major discounts from one store to another when it comes to construction materials. That may be true in some instances especially if a particular builder has great contacts. However, for the most part, construction materials are only going to vary about 1% to 5% different from store to store.

If you're supervising the construction on a project or if you're thinking of contracting the work out for your project and buying yourself, the key is to have a materials list and then find the best price for each item.

When it comes to construction materials, you should not only price compare but also item composition compare.

Most of that information can come from builders themselves, but ask a nonbiased builder rather than your own builder.....or several....or do your own research.

For instance, do you want a metal roof or do you want a composition roof and how much are the materials for each going to cost?

More importantly, what's the lifespan of each material and are there any environmental impacts from one product versus the other?

If something is going to wear out in 5 years as compared to 30 years, it's a no brainer as to which material is the best buy!

Or if one material conducts heat inside the building better than the other thus lowering heating bills in winter, that product would be the best buy over the long term.


The best way to save money on construction material is usually to purchase the materials yourself.  Oftentimes the builder includes the materials in his quote for the overall job.  However, the materials are also marked up. 

For some situations like electrical or even plumbing, it might be better to let the builder supply his own materials, though it never hurts to ask and then compare shop to get the same exact thing he is offering for less money.  It's like having a parts list and buying it yourself.

A good way to know the price of the materials for your building project is to have the builder separate out the cost of labor and the cost of materials.  Then you'll get the flavor for how much the materials are being marked up.  If you can live with that, fine.  If not, then get the materials list and start shopping!

Look online and offline in building material stores but don't sacrifice quality for saving a few bucks here and there. 

Always get the best price you can but make sure that the quality of the material is top notch or that it at least will do the job.  You may have to defer to the builder or another consultant builder on differences between certain materials.  Then just keep shopping until you find the right price. 

You can also find surplus supplies for free.  Check online for surplus building supplies, look in your local paper or check websites like Craigslist for freebies or materials that are low priced. 


Wholesale shopping is also a great place to save money.  You can find construction materials by bricks and mortar shopping or by using online wholesalers. 

Try and always get free shipping if buying online to save more bucks.

Local is good.  You can sometimes find friends, neighbors or family who have extra supplies or construction materials that are just sitting there going to waste.  Don't be afraid to ask and give them an offer on something.  They may even give it to you for free just to get it off their hands. 

Investigate at your local government offices to see if there are any tear-down sites.  These are excellent sources to pick up used materials such as fixtures, doors, brick, wood, and much, much more! 

Think of alternative savings.  By this I mean, if you save more on the roof, then maybe you can invest more in the flooring material for the dining room and kitchen. 

Look for ways that you can cut costs but again not safety or quality from the equation.  By saving in one column, it gives you another slide money from that column to another column where you need more money.  You come out with the best of both worlds.

Become a do-it-yourselfer.  Once you've got the supplies list whittled down to its bare minimum in terms of what you'll have to pay out of pocket, start thinking of other ways you can save on your construction project

Do some of the work yourself, such as cleanup, painting, landscaping....anything that you can do with your own skills that will save you money off the final bill. 

Check with the builder to make sure you're going to be getting a savings here and then go for it!  You might surprise yourself at how much you really can do with your own 2 hands....or get some friends or family to join in. 


In short, you can save money many ways on construction materials.

Whatever the project is, look at it from as many perspectives as you can.

Take time to investigate products and search out the most environmentally friendly at the best price.

Know what you want but be flexible enough that if a certain product is offered at a huge savings and you can get it for less than the product you originally wanted, plus you can see it working for you, go for it and save the dough.

Remember, every dollar you save is money back in your pocket for something else.

Saving money on construction materials is possible and if you do it, it's a win-win situation.


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    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 4 years ago from Central Oregon

      Steel--indeed--one would call that smart business sense--thanks for stopping by~

    • Steel Engineer profile image

      Steel Engineer 4 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine

      That is useful. I once heard a painter teaching a rookie to the industry how to really make money: by marking up the materials. She said she simply could not make a living painting until she figured out that all the other painters were doing that.

      It's not illegal, either, to purchase a product and resell it at higher cost.

    • ConcreteFloors profile image

      ConcreteFloors 5 years ago from Kansas

      Very Nice Hub. Also to add, a good plan and schedule can save you much more than savings on materials. Not to say saving on materials isn't important. The point is, do your homework.

    • akirchner profile image

      Audrey Kirchner 6 years ago from Central Oregon

      Darski - Thanks so much for stopping by and for the congrats....I'd love to have time to just try and find construction materials for less. I think it'd be a nice way to repurpose some stuff and then save money for folks on others!

    • Darlene Sabella profile image

      Darlene Sabella 6 years ago from Hello, my name is Toast and Jam, I live in the forest with my dog named Sam ...

      Another excellent hub, I love looking for the material, there are so many choices and prices. It does take time and effort to do this, however I do enjoy saving money doing it this way. Congrats again on your thrid win my dear friend. Great & peace darski