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How To Save Money Today And Tomorrow With Structural Insulated Homes

December 7, 2008
With the high costs of energy only getting higher when it comes to home-based electricity, many people are looking to fight back from the start. If youre one of those people and the idea of building a structural insulated home to keep your electric or gas bills down and more money in your pocket appeals, youre on the right track.

While theres no denying this type of construction can save some serious cash in the long run, it can cost you a fair amount at the start. This is, unless you know how to save money on the actual construction.

Its true! If you take the right steps, you can have a structural insulated home built from the ground up without breaking your budget in the process. There are a number of ways you can have the home of your dreams constructed for a fraction of what other homeowners might pay. The key lies in exploring all your options and then choosing the best money-savings steps to fit your abilities and even lifestyle.

Just What Is A Structural Insulated Home?

Structural insulated homes, or SIPS as theyre called in the business, are created using specialized materials. Rather than plain 2-by-4s, sheets of plywood and other framing materials, sips call for the use of special panels to create the walls and roofing. These panels are made using polyurethane, which is a much better insulator. This means they hold cold air in during the warmer months and keep heat from escaping during the winter.

The panels created for structural insulated homes offer a few choices, depending on the manufacturer involved in the purchase. Some companies, for example, sell panels in preset sizes for cutting and fitting on-site. Others also sell panels that are precut to fit plans so a house will go together almost like a giant puzzle. Panels range from those meant for roofing and wall structures to those with a finished exterior to quickly become the outer walls in rooms.

The advantages of going with insulated panels over regular wood framing are found not only in the potential ease of construction, but also in the future energy savings a home will enjoy.

Owning Land Matters

If it is your plan to build a dream home and not have to auction off your first born to foot the bill, having a piece of land already in place (or buying one) can be an essential piece of the equation. When you have the land and are not purchasing it as part of the construction process, you are freed up to take a number of money savings steps.

Owning your own land on which to build gives you the ability to:

Act as your own contractor If you own the land and your construction company doesnt, you can act as the general contractor on the job. This means you can pull the permits, schedule subcontractors and oversee every phase of the construction yourself. Make no mistake this will take some work on your part. It can, however, result in some serious cost savings. When a builder or developer owns the land during construction even if you have an agreement to buy it you will not be allowed to act in this capacity.

Handle some of the work If you are a do-it-yourselfer by nature, chances are you can save some major cash by handling some of the phases of construction on your own. You will not be able to do this if you dont have title to the land in question.

Areas Where Money Savings Can Come In

When you do own your own land on which to build, there are a host of areas that can present money-saving opportunities for you. Even if youre building a structural insulated home that might have more costly material expenses, you can still keep your wallet and even your banker happy by considering these potential shortcuts on pricing that wont impact the quality of your dream home in the end:

Saving on the plans Before you can even turn a shovel of dirt to build your dream home, youll need blueprints to map out the job. You can save yourself a serious amount of money on this step by considering the purchase of ready-made plans. There are builders and architectural firms that specialize in the creation of stock plans and even stock plans they are willing to alter for a more customized feel. Just check into the background of the company youre buying from to make certain a good deal is really good. Should an architect sound like a better avenue, take the time to get quotes before you dive in. Doing so can save you some money on the front-end.

Acting as your own general contractor This, as was already mentioned, will take some work and mad organizational skills on your part. Not only will you have to hire your own subcontractors and schedule work, you will have to make sure inspections are scheduled, contractors are paid and permits are in order. Taking on this role, however, can save you a whole lot of money. If you oversee your own project and hire your subcontractors, you can make certain every price you get is the best possible.

Tackling the major jobs you can If youre in the least bit handy with tools, you can save yourself some major cash by cutting out as many of the trades as you possibly can. Do keep your own skill set and time in mind though. Even if you take one piece of the puzzle, such as framing, you can save a bundle on the bottom line costs.

Schedule wisely When it comes to construction, timing is everything. If you live in an area where weather patterns can slow down or even stop work, try to schedule the construction of your home out of this period. Doing so can save you on lost time and even money involved in replacing weather-damaged materials.

Finish it off yourself Even if you arent all that handy with tools, chances are you can handle at least a bit of the finishing touches yourself. Painting, putting in counters, picking out and installing appliances and even tackling the floors can save you some major money and offset the costs of materials for building a structural insulated home.

Building a dream home can be a very costly proposition. If you want to have the home of your desires and make sure its energy sound in the process, there are things you can do to keep costs lower. Even with structural insulated homes, saving on costs is possible if you take the right steps to fit your abilities and schedule.