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Tricks For Getting The Best Pricing On Concrete Homes

December 7, 2008
Unless youre lucky enough to win a lottery that involves a free dream home, getting a great house is going to cost you some serious money. You dont have to hold the winning ticket, however, to cut some corners on the pricing without sacrificing a bit in the quality department. Even if youre in love with concrete construction for its beauty, strength and durability, you can save yourself major cash if you take the right steps.

The best way to start realizing savings in the construction of a concrete dream home is to act as the owner builder over the project. This will require some work on your part and you will need to have the land lined up and in your name. While the process might make you pull your hair out at times, it can be very worth your while for the money you will save and the pride you will have in the end product.

What Does An Owner Builder Do?

This simple answer to this question is as much or as little as he or she wants. A very hands-on owner builder (who wants to save a ton of money on the construction of a concrete home) will:

Act as the general contractor on the job This will involve everything from pulling the permits to overseeing all the work on the property. It will also entail hiring subcontractors, scheduling work, making payments and setting up inspections. While there is a tremendous amount of work involved in supervising the construction of your own home, the potential cost savings is high. The fact is if you oversee the project, you wont have to pay a contractor to do the job. Plus, you can save on the hiring of subs along the way.

Sometimes do some of the work personally Any piece of the major construction puzzle an owner builder can tackle personally is one piece that will cost a whole lot less. Whether its the roofing, framing, drywall hanging and finishing or so on, if you have skills in any construction area, you can save yourself a bundle by doing some of the work yourself.

Acting at the builder on your own home construction project is the best way to save a ton of cash. It will require that you facilitate a lot of the decision making. If youre up to the task, you can get that concrete home of yours at a fraction of the cost the guy down the street will pay!

Selecting The Concrete Style

Even before you get your blueprints together, you will likely need to decide what type of concrete construction interest you. Yes, there is more than one choice!

Some of the options you will have available include:

Blocks Concrete masonry blocks are used in this type of construction to form the outer shell of a home. This is a standard form of building that is considered very cost effective. Not only are block homes sturdy, they tend to be very affordable. Plus, they offer some insulation benefits, too.

Panels Concrete panels that are preformed to meet your building needs might cost you more, but the outer shell can go up very fast when this is the choice.

Autoclaved aerated concrete The appearance of this type of concrete home will be similar to a standard block structure. This more hands-on method can cost more, but it does have some strength and insulation benefits.

There are a host of options available when it comes to concrete homes. Select the style that fits your ideal and your budget.

Plans Are Vital

Before you can move one step further as an owner builder, youll need to get your blueprints together. Without these, you simply will not be able to hire contractors, pull building permits or even turn a shovel of dirt. Your two options for getting your hands on plans for the concrete home of your dreams are:

Purchasing stock plans There are a number of companies that specialize in the creation of stock blueprints for floor plans that range from very basic to quite elaborate. In some cases, you might even be able to start out with stock plans and have them altered for a more customized look. To find plans, look on the Internet for builders or architects that offer ready-made blueprints for sale. Take the time to review your options, check into the companys licensing and background and pricing. Dont skimp too much on the plans. Everything else you do will hinge on them!

Dealing with an architect This is an excellent way to ensure the house of your dreams really looks like you thought it would. When you have an architect draw up plans for you based on your input you call the shots in the style and appearance. If saving money on this step is desired, shop around for architects. Compare not only prices, but also reputations and portfolios. Remember, youre talking about your dream house here. This means you dont want to shortchange yourself on the cornerstone documents for everything else that will come.

Saving More Money Along The Way

There are a number of things you can do to cut corners on costs without giving up on the appearance or quality of your home. Some of the things you might want to consider to keep your concrete construction well in budget include:

Handling part of the major construction If you can swing a hammer, handle a saw or lay block, you can save yourself a bundle. Any part of the major phases of construction you can do yourself will cut subcontractor fees out of your bottom line. Try to stick with projects you know for certain you can handle and gain positive inspections at the conclusion. If youve never roofed before, for example, steer clear. If you do know the block trade, have at it!

Downsizing some options You can downsize some of your ideas without hitting your quality or appearance too hard. Go with oak cabinets, for example, instead of cherry. Select native tile rather than imported. Consider all your material options closely before making final decisions. Even slight plan changes can sometimes net big cost savings without impacting the appearance of your home.

Finishing some things yourself Even if you cant put on a roof or create block walls, chances are you can tackle some of the finishing jobs personally. Consider laying your tiles, putting in fixtures or even painting, for example. Again, you will save yourself a lot of money on each and every job big or small that you can take on personally.

Selecting the final pieces with care Before a house is considered a home, certain appliances will have to be selected and moved in. If money is a concern, consider recycling your old appliances, for example. If only new will do, look for bargain sales or items with scratches that you can negotiate on the price for. Any savings here will add a little icing to the cake as far as your bottom line goes.

Planning the construction with caution As the owner builder, youre the one who will call the shots on the scheduling of construction. Before you even begin, make sure you have a good window as far as the weather is concerned. It can be very costly to start construction and have it stall due to rains, snow or other weather concerns. While you cant control Mother Nature, you can second-guess her to an extent.

Building a concrete home is a fantastic way to get the property of your dreams. This type of construction is well known for its durability, flexibility and strength. If saving money on the project is your plan, consider stepping out as the builder. You will have to do some work and maybe even a lot of it. In the long-run, however, youll keep a whole lot more than spare change in your pocket.