Home Buying & Selling
March 3, 2022

What Are the Most Affordable Ways to Build a House?

Home building can be a financial alternative for people who are wondering if they should buy a home but worry if they can afford it. The cost of buying a home has increased significantly in recent years. These rising home prices have led to a national shortage of starter homes. More aspiring homeowners are now opting to building their own homes to save money.

Not only does a home build help save money, but it also allows for full customization. If you’re looking for the more affordable way to build, you have a multitude of options available to explore.

Cost-Effective Building Materials

Using inexpensive materials can help save both time and costs during construction. Let’s look at a variety of construction materials and their advantages.

Prefabricated Panels

Commonly made of wood, steel, or concrete, prefabricated panels are built off-site, piece by piece, and then shipped to you for assembly. The build time is typically faster than standard, stick-built houses. This means fewer workers and less skill, saving you money on labor costs. In addition, pre-made pieces can often be eco-friendly as they prevent excess material waste. Since they are often of modest size and have an enclosed design, prefab homes are also considered more energy efficient.

Precast Concrete

Building with concrete can often be expensive. However, precast concrete sheets, much like prefab panels, are a budget-friendly solution that still provides security, fireproofing, and insulation.

Shipping Containers

Shipping containers aren’t just useful for transporting goods, they’re also becoming an increasingly popular housing choice. This is an eco-friendly living option because you’re recycling and repurposing unused materials. Since these containers are pre-made with a flat metal roof, exterior walls, and a sturdy metal frame, the pre-existing structures have the potential to save you money on labor and materials, all while generally reducing the build time.

Reclaimed Wood

Unlike fresh lumber that’s harvested from forests, reclaimed wood is often repurposed from old barns, shipping crates, boats, and other wooden structures that are no longer in use. This is not only cost-effective and eco-friendly, but it also provides an opportunity for your newly constructed home to look unique and have its own history.


Since bamboo grows faster than trees, it’s generally lower in price than wood. It’s also extremely versatile and can be used for framing, roofing, flooring, and fencing. This material is sustainable as it is fast-growing and self-regenerative. Bamboo is also stronger than steel, due to its tightly packed molecular structure.


Although they have the reputation for being a high-end building material, bricks can still be a cost-effective material. It ultimately comes down to the brick type. While solid bricks can be expensive, building a home with a freestanding brick wall on an exterior wood frame can often save about half the price. It’s important to keep in mind that this construction method is labor-intensive. If you decide to hire a contractor to build your home, this could lead to high labor costs.


This natural building material is a combination of clay, sand, and a fibrous organic material, such as straw. Since it’s a soil-based building material, cob is incredibly flexible. It’s even possible to make bricks and stack them up to create a solid foundation. There are thousands of old cob dwellings that are still residences in the UK and Ireland, as their soils have a high clay content.


Ecobricks are constructed of plastic bottles packed with other pieces of plastic waste. This not only helps to reduce pollution and the amount of loose plastic in the biosphere, but they’re also relatively less expensive compared to other building materials. While this construction method is less common, it’s quickly growing in popularity among eco-conscious homeowners.

Using low-cost materials isn’t the only way you can save money during construction. Keep these other factors in mind, too!

Easy Shapes

When some people picture their dream home, they may imagine sprawling hallways with twists and turns. Experts suggest simplifying these ideas as much as possible. Squares and rectangles are easy shapes. If a simple build meets your needs, this choice can save you time and money when building. Adding square footage by building upward rather than outward is also generally less expensive.

This concept also applies to roofing: simpler designs will cost you less. Although multilevel roofs may look nice, using a simple roof design will not only save you money, but may also offer less risk for leaks or damage over time.

Do it Yourself

For those who have previous construction experience or have a network of experts in your personal circle, DIY-ing your build can save you a lot of money in the long run. This is only recommended for those that have access to the right resources, such as skilled laborers, reliable and safe-to-operate tools, construction knowledge, and the correct materials.


Building a home with eco-conscious aspects in mind not only helps to reduce pollution and harm to the environment, it also can save you hundreds in energy bills each month.

Skip the Expensive Finishes… For Now

If your budget is running low, don’t panic! You can always install flooring or countertops later. Focus on building a solid home foundation with essentials before splurging on extra touches or finishes.

Keep Water Usage Areas Together

You can save money during construction if you eliminate a need for excess plumbing materials for your kitchens, bathrooms, and even your laundry room. Whether you’re grouping these areas together vertically or horizontally, keeping these areas close to one another can help reduce costs.

Whether you’re looking to build a unique or conventional home, there are plenty of options when it comes to building the home of your dreams in a cost-effective way. Our Loan Originators are available to answer your questions and guide you to the home loan that best suits your needs as a homeowner.

It’s important to note that some of these creative, inexpensive ways to build a house might have financing challenges. It’s best to consult with your Loan Originator about your ideas, as they are the best resource for qualification guidelines on our construction loan options. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you build your dream.

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