Cost to build a house yourself – [Step-by-step guide]

Cost to build a house yourself

What is the cost to build a house yourself?. It is a huge problem you have to face when you start house construction. However, we know we haven’t sufficient skill to build a house 100% yourself. So we have to hire different professions to do it like architectures, engineers, contractors, etc.

These all make different cost value to your budget.

So how we reduce our cost in a house construction project by yourself. It is a large scale topic we want to discuss because cost management is essential for everything. Not for the only house build.

Large construction companies spend their huge time to manage the cost of their projects.

So now you have an idea of how vital cost management to us.

But next query, how we do it?.

Of course, we have to hire an architect, engineer, or contractor. Because we haven’t the skill to design a house, create the structural elements, and build a house. But if you have any expertise from these, you can reduce the cost of doing it yourself.

That means if you have the skill to build a house (It may not be everything, but one or two skills like masonry, tiling, or painting), you can do it yourself without hiring.

Cost to build a house yourself: What are the factors.

Cost to build a house yourself: What are the factors
Exterior view of house

A lot of factors have to depend on the cost to build a house yourself. So if you can understand these factors, you can manage the cost analysis of your project.

House makes a large number of processes. It can categorize the three main parts. These are the,

  1. Design stage 
  2. Construction stage 
  3. Finishing stage

In the design stage, you work with your designers, and it can be a little bit expensive period for your project. And the construction stage is the most costly stage of the project. However, the finishing stage will give you relax period because it is not so expensive.

Design type of your house.

Design type of house
Design type of your house

The design type will decide the cost to build a house yourself because you need to understand your budget and design your home according to it. If you discuss with your designer, they first ask from you, “What is your budget to build a house?”

After understanding your budget, they will make and design your house according to your budget. But it can differ a little bit. Because when you start the construction material and other service charges can be various in the current market.

The size of your house belongs to the type of your home. If you design a small house, your cost will be minimal. But if you plan a large house, your cost will be expensive. The number of floors in your home has a significant effect on the value of building a house yourself.

The roof design is a significant part of all plans. And the roof has a lot of design types effect to view of house and budget of the project.

Read our article about “Roof Design.”

Furthermore, wall type, floor type, door, and window types are other factors to cost to build a house yourself.

That means a simple wall or decorative wall, tile floor, or another type floor and aluminum or wood door window.

The architect that you hire.

The architect that you hire
The architect that you hire

You can find an architect or architectural designer in your local area. But what is different between architects and architectural designers?.

It is the topic you need to understand before hiring an architect.

The architect is who has a professional degree in the architectural industry, that calls an “Architect.” And someone has a talent in the architectural design industry; we call “Architectural designer” to them.

Who is the best?.

There is no one answer. We can’t decide skill and talent according to educational qualifications because the architectural designer may have the expertise than an architect who has a degree. And architects can be talented in design technologies than architectural designers. But sometimes, architectural designers so creative more than architects.

How we find the best one?.

It’s not a simple task. But you can find previous works and client recommendations before hiring an architect or architectural designer.

However, architects can be more expensive than architectural designers because they have a value for their qualification in the industry. So that is the reason how architects or architectural designers hiring affect the cost to build a house yourself.

The structural engineer that you hired.

Concrete and steel structure
Concrete and steel structure

This same to the architects and architectural designers concept. Because of structural engineers and structural designers available in the industry.

Structural engineers have a degree of structural engineering, and structural designers have the talent to design the structures.

However, massive constructions require qualified licensed structural engineers to design their structural components. But small or medium scale projects sufficient structural designers to create the structural elements. They have a degree or diploma in civil engineering.

However, structural engineers can be expensive, more than structural designers in the structural design industry, which is why you find the best structural engineer or designer according to your budget.

However, don’t think this is an extra cost to build a house yourself.

So why we need a structural engineer or designer?.

When you built a house, it is not for only 3 or 4 years. You should focus it on 30 or 40 years with an only simple repair. That is a long time. So you need the advice to make the right house from a skilled person with basic design knowledge.

Your house should be secure with the depreciation of materials and in the case of ground shifts. And deflections of structures.

Location of your land

Location and ground preparation
Location and ground preparation

Sometimes you have selected land for your house build already before reading this article. However, land location is the most important thing you should think about when you build a house.

Read our landscape architecture article for more information.

So how to land location affects to cost to build a house yourself.

It affects during the construction stage because you have to prepare the land to build your house.

If you buy land with a mountain top, you have to do a lot of work to prepare the ground using heavy machinery. So it can be more expensive work.

Another hand, if you buy a land with a swamp or low ground, you have to reclaim the soil using heavy machinery.

However, if you find a plain land, it will be easy to land preparation for construction. And it will save your budget and time.

But when you buy land, don’t think about only the budget because it should be a relaxed and concerned environment.

Materials that you use for construction.

Material type and colors
Material type and colors

We have a lot of material types used for our construction. Like roof materials, wall materials, floor materials, etc.

So you should decide which materials should use for your house in the design stage. And you can discuss it with your designer if you haven’t a good idea.

So discuss finishing materials with architectural designers and about structural materials with the structural designer.

How-to materials type affects to cost to build a house yourself.

Construction materials have five different costs you have to spend on it.

  1. Material cost
  2. Transport cost
  3. Storing cost
  4. Fixing cost
  5. maintaining cost

When you buy material, you have to spend on the material cost. It can be manufacture cost and seller profit. And then you should think about how it carries to your location and which vehicle you have to use. However, transport costs may depend on the distance between shop and land. And the size and amount you bought.

Some materials are required specific storing methods to preserve the quality of the product. As an example, cement requires a dry place to store. And we can’t store cement for more than 90 days.

Fixing cost is another cost type of material because some materials are required the specific skill to set into the house. As an example, roof materials, and tiles. These skilled people can be an expensive little bit.

Maintaining cost is another expense you have to spend after the build because some materials are required specialized skills to keep and have to maintain frequently.

Skilled resources that affect to cost to build a house yourself.

Cost to build a house yourself: Skill resources
Cost to build a house yourself: Skill resources

As you know, we need unique skilled persons to design our home and make the structural design. We also need qualified persons to build our house like the Mason, carpenters, painters, and welders.

However, each profession has different skills in their industry. And their charges can depend on their expertise and experience they have.

Juniors charge low budgets, and their skill cannot be sufficient. And seniors cost a high budget, and their skills can be perfect.

But this rule is not valid for everyone. Because some juniors have a lot of different skills, but they charge a low amount because they are new to the industry.

Some senior professions charge colossal amounts, but they haven’t the best skill in their industry.

If you can find a junior professional with the best skill or intermediate level person, it will help you get more value to your budget.

Check out the previous works and client reviews before hiring skilled persons.

Related services

Related services for architect industry
Related services for architect industry

Currently, the house construction industry takes a lot of improvement with new technologies. So a lot of related services were started around the construction industry.

Some of these related services are important to the construction industry.

In the current market, you can find a lot of house contractors companies are available to provide their services. So if you haven’t time to manage your construction project individually, a house contractor is the best option for you. Because when you handover your project to the contractor, they will survive and build your house for you.

Some companies have professional engineers, and they supervise your project during the construction. It is the enormous pros of hiring a construction company because you have to spend a lot of amounts if you want to hire an engineer to supervise your project.

However, you should be careful when hiring construction companies. So don’t forget to check out their previous works and client recommendations.

Another related service is architectural visualization. These days a lot of house owners and real estate companies are love to architectural visualizations.

The 3D design shows your house after the build. So if you take an architectural visualization service, you can identify the variations that you need. And the main pros are that you can understand if your architectural designer designed what you need.

It is another factor that affects the cost to build a house yourself. However, don’t think this is an extra cost you don’t need. This cost will make more value for your budget.

Read our architectural visualization article for more information.

If you are interested in architectural visualization service, visit our service page.

Cost-cutting to reduce the cost to build a house yourself.

Way to reduce the cost to build a house yourself
Way to reduce the cost to build a house yourself

Cost analysis and cutting techniques are the most critical part of managing the cost of building a house yourself.

Large scale and medium scale construction companies are spending their time and knowledge to analyze the budget and cost-cutting methods.

Because there are a lot of budget-saving methods are hide in the construction projects. But when we build a house, we can’t be like large companies because they have professional officers to manage their projects like engineers, quantity surveyors, accountants, and managers.

But we can manage our small projects with simple methods according to our knowledge.

Cost to build a house yourself: Use cheap materials.

Different materials
Different materials

Using cheap materials for your project, you can manage your budget and cost. So if you can find affordable but quality materials, it will give more value to your budget.

However, never use the low-quality materials for your house. It’s not a good idea.

In this case, I’m not mean low-quality materials as cheap materials.

There have two options to find cheap materials.

The first one is that you can find the same materials in different shops and compare the cost of materials in each shop. Now you have an idea where you can buy the same stuff for less budget. But remember, do not go to faraway places to buy your materials because transport can be more expensive.

The second one is you can try related low-cost materials instead of the expensive materials. Once again, I’m not mean about low-quality materials.

Think about wood and metals. These materials are we can use for the door and windows. So you can compare the cost of these materials.

You have a lot of flooring methods at different costs like tiling, laminated wood floor, terrazzo, and titanium. So you can compare the price of these methods according to your local market.

So you can apply this method to other parts of your house.

How skilled workers affect to cost to build a house yourself.

Making the wood floor
Making the wood floor

When you hire skilled workers for your project, they will give you the best output.

But how they are affecting to cost to build a house yourself.

The skilled workers have a lot of working experience from their previous works. So they know what tricks to reduce the cost of the building are. And they know what are the result if they are making a mistake now.

What that mean?. Think about your walls. If your walls are not vertical right, then you have to recover that mistake from plaster. So you have to fill the plaster unnecessarily. It is not a good practice for the house construction project.

If your concrete columns and beams are not aligned right, you have to break the concrete in the finishing stage. But your structural engineer will not like to damage the structures. Because when you destroy the structure, your structure becomes too weak.

Tacklife hd60 laser measuring tool
Laser measuring tool

However, if you hired skilled workers, they will minimize the mistake they are making.

Reuse the materials.

It is another significant point that helps to maintain your cost to build a house yourself.

Some materials are we can reuse 3 or 4 times without discard.

As an example, think about formwork in the project. The plywood sheet that uses for formworks it usually can use 2 or 3 times without damage. But if you can use it four times, you can reduce the enormous amount cost of the project.

How can we protect the plywood?

We can apply the lubricating agent on the damaging surfaces when we use it. So when applying it, you can remove it quickly after the use without damage.

Forme oil and grease are the best lubricating agent that we can use for formworks. However, forme oil is a recommended lubricating agent for construction projects. It does not damage the quality of concrete structures.

What are the other materials that we can reuse?

There are a lot of items have we can reuse to minimize the wastages like forme tie, p-cones, cutting disks, paintbrushes, etc.

If you can reuse the materials a few times, you can save a lot of your budget. However, we can’t reuse the unable to return stuff.

Minimize the damages in the project.

Cost to build a house yourself: Concrete damages
Concrete damages

Sometimes we have to face the damages during the construction process. It can be natural causes or because of negligence. But we always try to minimize the losses of the project because it will be an unnecessary extra cost to our budget.

Damages are we can categorize to the main two parts.

  1. Structural damages
  2. Material damages

Structural damages are happening from natural disasters, accidents, and mistakes.

Floods, hurricanes, and tree crashes are natural disasters that we have to face. However, we can’t control natural disasters, but we can think about when investing in the location. It is not essential only in the construction stage. It can make an impact when you live in a house.

We can control accidents and mistakes and minimize the damages. We should always give priority to the “Safety First” concept. Accidents and mistakes can make from the heavy machinery that we use for the construction works.

Often material damages are happening in the storing process. So if you have an excellent storing method, you can protect the materials without any damages. And you should be careful when you use the elements because some substances can damage during the use, like glass and tiles.

Cost to build a house yourself: Minimize the reworks.

Reworks are effect to cost to build a house yourself
Reworks are effect to cost to build a house yourself

There are two ways to affect the reworks to your work. The first one is that reworking is not the right thing to your budget if you are concerned about the cost of building a house yourself.

Another one is that rework is not a good hint about the quality of your house.

However, simple reworks can do in every project. It is not something to be surprised about it. But if your workers are doing this frequently, it is not a good practice.

What is the reason for reworks?.

Reworks can happen because of 3 factors.

  1. Design errors
  2. Construction errors
  3. Variations

Your architectural designer or structural designer can be making errors when they design your drawings. If you identify those mistakes before the build, it will not affect your budget. But if detected during the construction, you have to re-correct those issues. It is a rework for your project and wastes your time and money.

But if you are going with 3D visualization, you can identify architectural design errors before the construction.

Construction errors can make from your workers because some workers can’t understand the detailed drawings right. But if you hire a civil engineer to supervise your house, you can avoid these mistakes.

Some house owners require variations during the project period. However, this is not a good practice if you have a limited budget. Understand all your requirements and notify your designer to avoid the reworks that happen because of variations.

Bottom line

This article is the step-by-step guide about the cost to build a house yourself that help you when the house build. All information was writing by my experience and result from research in the industry. I hope this article will help you manage your budget as the more valuable.

So now this is your turn. Let us know how important this article to you and what is you learn from this. Use the comment section to share your ideas with others. And let me know if I missed something about this topic.

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