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10 Money-Saving Tips

  1. Use an architect. The money you think you might save by doing it yourself will quickly disappear when the construction process runs astray and you have to pay for “fixes.”
  2. Budget according to your needs and wants. Prioritize them and make your decisions accordingly.
  3. Take advantage of economies of construction. For example: common plumbing walls for kitchen, bathrooms and laundry rooms.
  4. Don’t sacrifice quality of construction for size. Life cycle cost will be substantially lower if higher quality of certain products is chosen over additional space. The architect can master plan your home to allow for future additions when additional money is available.
  5. Plan for accessibility needs. Planning now can save you money on renovations later. Even if you are young and healthy now, the day may come when you are a primary caretaker for a family member who has mobility issues. Kitchen and bathroom size, location and arrangement can do a lot to make a disabled person, and their caretaker’s, life much easier.
  6. Look to the future. Again, planning now can save you money on renovation later. Is there someone in your family that may have to move in with you in the future? While you want to keep your toddler under your watchful eye right now, down the road, you’ll probably be glad to have a finished basement where they can disappear for a while.
  7. Make the most of space. In many homes, the space above the garage can easily and inexpensively be converted into a large walk-in closet or play area. Please be aware that building codes do not permit heating and cool vents to penetrate into garage areas, so these rooms tend to be warm in the summer and cool in the winter.
  8. Finishing a basement is great way to add livable space to your home because the cost per square foot is a fraction of the cost compared to the rest of the house. Be aware though, that it doesn’t add as much to the appraised value of your home if the entry to the basement is through the garage. It needs to be from the main part of the house.
  9. Build up, not out. It is more economical to build up than out. In other words, a two-story with a basement is much less expensive than a sprawling ranch with the same square footage.
  10. Make good window decisions. You can save yourself a lot in utility bills over the years. First, don’t go cheap. You get what you pay for. Stay away from putting large spans of glass facing North or Northeast due to cold winter winds. In general, orient the house with its long axis in an East/West direction to optimize nature’s ability for cooling.