9 ways to stay on budget while building your home

Genista Jurgens Genista Jurgens
Casa en Barrio Cerrado, Fainzilber Arqts. Fainzilber Arqts. Rustic style conservatory
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While renovating or building a home, most of us will be conscious of sticking to a budget. And more often than not there are many hidden costs that sneak up on us, or extra details we hadn't considered during the planning stages that need attention, causing the overall costs to soar through the roof.  

Sometimes we may have a particular type of material in mind that we want to use. Granite for example, is a popular choice when it comes to kitchen counter tops, but it's also an expensive one, and may cost more than first expected. There are some things in the home that can't be done on the cheap – insulation is one of the things that should be the highest quality possible, as it will save on heating costs later. But for many other parts of the home, there is usually a cheaper way to get them done. Let's find out what. 

1. Masonry in furniture.

Outdoor furniture or a bench space like this one can easily be built out of bricks and mortar. So instead of building tables and cupboards out of expensive wood that needs staining, sealing or painting, try using something more sturdy and hard wearing. Bricks are waterproof, weatherproof and don't necessarily need to be covered. 

If you really want to add a stainless steel bench on top, go ahead, but this will raise the costs once more. A cheaper alternative is polished concrete, or even a tiled surface. 

2. Use concrete for floors.

For floors that are outside, or even in bathrooms, think about pouring down some concrete. It's a great versatile material that is durable and can be customized. Great for large shower cubicles, or patio areas. 

Either personalize your concrete floor with a DIY mosaic border around the edges, insert recycled colored glass from old bottles, shells, or try colored concrete for an artistic look. The choices are limitless. (If you are uncertain, or want to know more options for mixing and laying concrete then don't hesitate to ask a professional floorer.)

3. ..And for walls.

Concrete definitely isn't only limited to floors. This dark and dramatic bathroom by EE.ARQUITECTOS has actually been created with colored concrete walls. As has the shower base – like we mentioned before, concrete is perfect for wet areas like this one. 

You can add texture to your concrete with exposed aggregates for a rustic feel, or polish it for an industrial vibe. Whatever you do, concrete is the number one material choice when it comes to sticking to a budget. 

4. Up-cycle wooden palettes.

Lately recycling has gone one step further – it's called up-cycling. More and more, old furniture and materials are being turned into something even better than their original state – and it's especially true when it comes to wooden palettes. The wood they are made from is extremely high quality and long lasting. 

To buy these palettes is usually quite expensive, but if you hunt around, you should be able to find supermarkets or even your local grocer giving them away. 

5. Build with bricks.

As with the outdoor furniture, you should give bricks a look in when it comes to building your walls. We've seen some fantastic houses that use bricks outside as well, with brick pillars that double as grills or fireplaces. Or use them to create a striking entrance way, leave them exposed in interior rooms, or build garden walls and boundaries with them. 

However big the wall is that you are wanting to build – go with bricks and you won't break the bank. See this romantic apartment that features brick walls throughout the home for more inspiration. 

6. Roofing made from reeds.

If you are wanting to build a garage, a covered patio space, or finishing off your main house, then consider using reeds for the roof. Thatching in particular, is ideal for an outer layer to keep the water off the inner layer of roofing, and is suited for both tropical and temperate climates. 

Not only are reeds inexpensive, but they are also ecologically friendly, so you can rest easy knowing you are living a sustainable lifestyle – when it comes to the roof anyway! 

7. Keep it rustic.

If you like the rustic look, then you are off to a good start. Materials like stone, brick, ceramic tiling, and cement are all inexpensive options, and will have your property looking authentically rustic and natural. 

Things like wood and glass are the things that raise costs, and if you are lucky to live in warmer climates, they are not an essential to keep you warm at home.  

8. Embrace the industrial look.

Living in a loft apartment downtown? Then don't deny your surroundings and try to cover up industrial pipes or ventilation pipes. Leave them exposed and integrate them into part of the decor, alongside stainless steel surfaces and metal shelving. 

Simple metal shelving cost a fraction of wooden ones, and will add to the appeal of your urban home. 

9. Re-cycle and re-use.

Again it's the wooden palettes that go a long way – here they are used as a built-up sofa. They are also ideal to use as beds and for outdoor seating. And if you love a challenge, then why not borrow a sewing machine and make your own cushion covers or sofa sleeve? You can use old curtains or old bed linen to sew into unique covers and no doubt impress all of your friends!  

When you can, recycle and reuse and you will save many pennies. 

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