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  • Writer's pictureLady Of The House

How We Saved Money Building Our Home

The cost to build a house was outrageous last year and of course thats when we decided to build. We were in an odd predicament. We were already in our second home which was a two bedroom mobile home. My husband and I were both 26 with no children and didn't have a size issue with the trailer but we loved the thought of being able to have large groups of friends and family over. Our long term goal for the next few years was to build our dream home on the family farm and stay there forever. Whenever it came to pinching pennies while saving, it was a must for us! We could have afforded something more but are minds were set on a budget and we did not want to go over.

Main view of the front of our house done


We Found The Perfect Contractor For Us

When we started the house planning process, we thought we wanted to be our own contractor. We were told that was the best way to save a bunch of money. We started trying to gather quotes and realized how difficult it was to actually get call backs from the subcontractors. After speaking to a few people, we found out that most subcontractors will not take a random person calling about a quote as seriously and they would a contractor who works with them all the time. Most banks will not give a loan to someone contracting out their own house either. We tried for several months to do it ourselves. At the time, we both were working full time jobs and we each had our own business. Trying to contract it ourselves just wasn't going to work for us.


We then wanted to try and get a few quotes from contractors. We got a few bids by email and we met with a few people. I highly recommend meeting with several different contractors and seeing how it goes. Even if they had given us a great price, I truly felt like some contractors we met were just not for us. We heard about a local contractor that would work with someone if you wanted to choose a few of your own subcontractors. Since we had friends and family that could help us on cost if we used them, it was perfect! We sat down and met with him and knew it was going to be a great fit so we continued on with the quoting process of our blueprints.


We Changed House Plans Multiple Times

I remember the first cost estimate we got from our contractor. After leaving his house we got in the car and my husband was like NOPE not gonna happen.. I bawled like a baby all the way home. All of our dreams were shot down because of the build cost of the blueprints we had given our contractor. After a few days I reached out to the contractor and told him it was way out of our budget and asked him if there was anything we could do to make this all possible. He straightly told me to get a piece of paper and draw a rectangle. He said then fill that rectangle with the rooms you want and how you want them. I thought he was crazy but he ensured me that the cost of building a simple shaped house would cut the cost drastically.

hand drawn house plan on graph paper

Growing up, my parents had drawn out house plans several times and I had remembered some things they would do. I sat down with my graph paper and drew a rectangle and its like it all just came together. I had a rough draft done that night and I remember my husband really wouldn't even look at it because he just didn't think it was possible for me to create something that would work and be in budget. I sent it to our contractor and he quickly approved and made a few changes and sent for new quotes. It came back a little over budget but we knew we could cut cost multiple ways. It was go time!


We Searched For Low New Construction Loan Interest Rates

We have a bank we use for all of our bank accounts. When we first started we had filled out an application with that bank thinking it would be the best bet. Luckily, we had some friends that were also trying to get a new construction loan and they told us what percentage they were getting their loan for! Surprisingly, the percentage was extremely lower and we set up an appointment with that bank to get the lower construction loan rate. So key advice, shop around to make sure you get the lowest interest rate you can! The goal is to save money wherever you can. For anyone who is wondering we used Edmonton State Bank in Glasgow.

new construction with our walls up


We Bought Things We Could Without Using Our Loan

We had planned on building a house for several years. The trailer was our second home. We almost bought another house before we got the trailer and it fell through. That year when I thought we were moving was whenever I started buying stuff for our new house (little did I know life would get in the way and we wouldn't build for 4 more years). For Christmas I asked for all of this new home stuff thinking I was moving into a new home. Whenever we moved into the trailer the master bathroom had a jacuzzi tub and a small stand up shower in it and I filled them to the brim with new house items! Who knew a jacuzzi tub and shower could also be great storage space? Most of the stuff I bought before we had a contractor was just home decor. I easily had been buying things for our dream home for 3-4 years before we built it.


As soon as we started the building process I would buy a light fixture or two every paycheck we recived. I did this hoping I could cut out around $6000 off our mortgage buy purchasing what I could with our normal income. I managed to buy all of our light fixtures, most of our faucets, most of our furniture, a full kitchen of new dishes and plates ( I can thank selling Tupperware for that), and so much more! We easily cut off $10,000 from our mortgage by buying what we could while we were building.


You can find most of my Amazon Purchases for our new house on my storefront by using this link- https://amzn.to/3p2ryue



We Built Smaller But Left Easy Ways To Add On- Thinking For The Future

current attic space that can be converted into another room

Our house has roughly 2300 Sq Feet finished but only 3 bedrooms. We wanted to focus on a bigger entertaining and living area so most of our square footage is found in the kitchen/dining and Living Room/ Family Room areas.

I added a bathroom upstairs that is attached to our small family room in the mindset of, if we needed to convert that room into a bedroom, it would have its on bathroom as well. It would be perfect for an older teen to have their own space upstairs. We also have a large attic space that we will convert into a family room if we had to use the current family room as a bedroom. On top of all of this, because of our simple house plan, we can easily add on rooms to the back of the house and even the layout up with our attached garage.


We Let Go Of Things We Could

Pintest is a wonderful platform but it really got my hopes up. I had all of these 'must have' things on my boards that I quickly found out I did not need. I wanted a butlers pantry but decided it was better to just have a large walk in pantry that had shelves with plug ins, so I could store small appliances in! We have a large giant shnazuer and I really wanted the dog bath area but realized I could easily just use our large walk in shower with a detachable shower head to achieve the same thing. Black windows were a big deal but after finding out they were just coated with a black coating and that they would cost twice as much as a white windows, that was an easy no. Instead of stamping all of our concrete we just stamped the front porch. I could go on and on but you guys get the point.


Home Decorating On A Budget

If you know me, you know that I am the type of person If I think of something I want to do or buy I try to make it happen as fast as I can. Whenever we moved in I expected to have all shelves hung, wall decor up, landscaping finished and final touches done quickly. Something my mother said to me stuck with me. She said "Kelcie.. this is your forever home. That means you have forever to figure out what you want to do with it. People do not expect to walk into a fully furnished house as soon as you get it built."


A lot of the stuff you will find in our home that I used to decorate with was bought second hand or we already had! I am a BIG believer in grabbing what I can if some of my girlfriends on Facebook are selling some home decor! I have a bunch of stuff in the attic I haven't even found places for yet. We also took as many things from our old place and brought it back to life. Spray paint works wonders! It may not last forever but in a year or so its easier to have to replace one end table than having to buy all new furniture as soon as you are done with building your house.



Last Thoughts From The Lady Of The House

With all this being said, splurge in areas you think will be worthwhile. Penny pinch as much as you can but don't cut out so much that you don't love your house. Do not be afraid to tell someone no. If you do not like the prices given to you by a contractor tell them you want to take time to look around and find another one. Do not be afraid to tell the contractor your opinions and concerns. Try your best not to over stress because it is already a very stressful life event. Just remember things that are 'in style' right now may be pricey and then go out of style next year. Be on the lookout for more post about our building process and home!


Have any questions for me? Comment on this post or shoot me an email at ladyofthehousekygmail.com

<3 lady of the house xoxo

You can find most of my Amazon Purchases for our new house on my storefront by using this link- https://amzn.to/3p2ryue

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