Obtain Multiple BidsIf you have your choice of contractor, you'll want to make sure that the costs they've laid out for your new home are fair. The U.S. construction market was worth around $1,162 billion in 2016, and some builders will want to charge you more than others. This isn't to say that you want to work with a contractor who offers you a price that seems too good to be true (that's a real red flag). But it does mean that you'll want to shop around and get several bids from different contractors so you can compare them. Even if you get along well with the first contractor you meet with, you should still seek out more information from others. Once you narrow down the list, ask for references and talk to those customers. Keep in mind that if the estimate is low but their former clients say they had to deal with delays or problems, you shouldn't choose that contractor simply due to their affordable bid. You'll end up paying more down the line as a result.
Communicate With Your ContractorBefore and after choosing your builder, you need to be certain that they understand your financial limitations. Everyone needs to be on the same page about what your priorities are. If your builder understands that you're looking to keep costs low (particularly on the less-important features), they can offer advice along the way about ways to save without sacrificing quality or safety. Your contractor will also be able to advise you when you should splurge a little bit more on something for long-term savings (like insulation or energy efficient features). Make sure to keep the lines of communication open and prioritize your need to be a part of financial decisions.
Keep It Small and OpenUnderstandably, bigger homes cost more to build. So if you're trying to save money, you'll want to keep the square footage on the smaller side. Of course, you won't want to feel cramped in your new dream home -- but if you overestimate the size you reasonably need, you could end up paying an arm and a leg for it. Another good way to keep costs low during the building process? Opt for an open floor plan. Not only will having fewer interior walls cost less to construct, but it'll also make your home a lot trendier for 2018. Most families want an open floor plan anyway, so this is a great way to get the look you want and pay less for it.
DIY What You Can HandleWe're not suggesting that you try to DIY your insulation or the entire construction of your kitchen. But if you are able to take on some fairly simple tasks, you could save quite a bit. Plumbing and electricity should be left to the professionals due to safety concerns, but if there are jobs you're comfortable with -- like painting, installing your doors, or landscaping -- suggest this to your contractor so you can save some money.
Salvage and Source When PossibleYou might be tempted to buy everything brand new, but that will often cost you more. By using salvaged wood and other reusable materials, you'll be able to save some money and will add character. You may also be able to source your own materials, which can save money. Sometimes, your contractor will be able to get the best deal on paint or lumber; in other cases, you may be able to source your own appliances for less than your builder can offer. Do your research and make sure your contractor is okay with using materials you've sourced yourselves.
Building your dream home should be exhilarating. But substantial costs can put a damper on things. By following these money-saving tips, you should be able to stick to your budget and achieve the result you've always wanted.