How to Build an Affordable Custom Home

September 14, 2021

A custom home will cost a lot of money to put together. A cheap custom home is rather challenging to find and not necessarily what many custom home builders offer. Custom construction is all about providing a premium to create something one-of-a-kind for you. As such, the costs tend to be higher than anticipated.

Affordability is something that any custom home builder can work towards, however. A few choices off the beaten path can reduce costs without compromise in terms of quality, functionality, safety, and efficiency. Here is how to build an affordable custom home.

1. Plan Ahead

Plan and map out every detail of your custom home so that there is no room for mistakes. Fill out and submit all the necessary paperwork, including the building permit, to ensure there aren’t any delays. Ensure deliveries are scheduled accordingly. At the planning stages, look at all rebates and tax credits that may be available to you. Talk to your builder regarding the construction process so you’ll know what to expect from start to finish. List down all the materials needed for your custom home to make sure everything is ready once the building process begins. 

2. Choosing the Land

You need land to put your custom home on. The price of land varies drastically from region to region. Depending on where you want your lot to be situated, this is one area you can save money. There are costs with excavation and reshaping the land as well as for installations on utilities and such.

If you have a lot of land, try to build upwards and not outwards. It will often cost less to build upward and add multiple floors compared to expanding the floor plan. This won’t need as much excavating and working on the foundation. Consult with your home addition contractor to find the best option.

3. Simplicity Over Complex

This can defeat the purpose of it being a custom home, but it’s worth saying. A simple square home’s easier to build than a more complicated shape. The more elaborate you get with anything, the more cost will be involved to accommodate it. Once the main structure is set up, naturally, you can continue to customize there. In terms of the framing though, simple is affordable.

Hence, if you prefer simplicity over a complex building, you may consider buying affordable tiny homes or transportable cabins from suppliers like Unit 2 Go. They don’t involve a complicated construction process and they can be transferred from one location to another, making them a perfect option for those looking for simple housing solutions.

4. Come Up with a Floor Plan

Your floor plan will make a lot of decisions as they relate to rooms, layout, and the sort of construction needed to sustain your home. You may want to work with an architect or custom home contractor to help you in the planning stages. They can offer up their input on important decisions as they relate to how to make the most affordable custom home possible without impacting your vision in a significant way.

5. Restrict Water Usage to One Area

Plumbing, now there’s something that costs! If you can keep your water usage together – clustering the bathroom, laundry room, and kitchen – you can save on some costs relating to installing pipes. That said, the savings here can be negligible if it’s more important to have a specific floor plan and layout.

If you’re looking to restrict water usage to one area to get the most out of your custom home, make sure to talk to your licensed builder and plumber to discuss the process. They can assess the situation and look for ways on how you can make the most out of your plumbing system when building a custom home. 

6. Install Energy-Efficient Materials

Energy efficiency costs more upfront, but it will save you money long-term in utility bills. Plus, it can potentially ward off damage relate to climate and temperature. For example, an eco-friendly aluminum roof lasts a lot longer than an asphalt shingle roof. Small choices like this make a difference and add up quickly. However, what it says on the balance sheet initially might not be worth it to you. It’s all up to the homeowner.

Moreover, aside from an environmentally-friendly aluminum roof, there are also other energy-efficient materials to use for your custom home. Some of them can include recycled steel, spray foam insulation, triple pane windows, and solar panels. Don’t hesitate to talk to your builder to know which materials will work best for your home.

7. Look for Quality Repurposed Materials

Every day, there are excess construction materials left over from jobs that get thrown out. You might be able to find old cabinets and appliances that are otherwise perfectly alright that can be purposed in your new custom home. Especially with wood, there are many ways to build and redesign certain pieces to fit them exactly where you want. You can likely uncover some deals on tiles and other building materials – and sometimes even free!

8. Shrink Your Home Down in Size

Although it’s unappealing to some, a tiny home is a potential option. It’s the most affordable way to build a custom home. A tiny home can come as cheap as under $100,000, although so much is lost when it comes to space. If you are a family, for example, a tiny home might not work. For a single person and a pet, it certainly can. Another alternative is a shipping container home or simply taking an existing home design you had planned and shrinking it to something smaller.

9. Skip Your Finishes

Your flooring and countertops can come at a later date. If you settle for a cheaper option momentarily, you can at least enjoy a functional custom home and then make exchanges later. Once again, there are some excellent deals on repurposed older materials or construction materials that were bought in excess. These finishing touches can add a lot of costs. Although it can feel like a compromise, it will save you money and that we can promise you.


Constructing a custom home can be a major decision you can ever make in life. It requires thorough planning and preparation to achieve a more positive result. While many people think that building a custom home can be complicated and expensive, the truth is that it can be affordable and easy. By following the tips mentioned above, you can own a custom home without breaking your bank account or wallet. 


Carlos Diaz
I believe in making the impossible possible because there’s no fun in giving up. Travel, design, fashion and current trends in the field of industrial construction are topics that I enjoy writing about.

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