We all hear from the media about the price increase in real estate and some people can’t help but blaming the greedy builders for the expensive cost to build the houses. The truth is (at least in metropolitan areas) that it is actually the value of the land which represents major portion of the real estate price tag.

However, when we put aside the cost to purchase a piece of land, what can we do to reduce the cost of building? There are so many factors in the whole process can impact on the cost of building. Below are just a few to give you some ideas.

Firstly, most of cost will be confirmed during the design stage which means you can not change later on or it will simply be too expensive to alter it. Thus, it is important to remember this is the time when you have to be realistic about your budget, your needs and your wishes. (Yes, needs and wishes are two very different things). Spending time to do your homework and research beforehand will save you much more time, money and energy later on during the process.

Secondly, let’s be honest, nobody likes uncertainties. To the builders, this means unrealistic expectations, fancy and exotic materials which cost fortune but with no guarantee of functionality etc. Simple and straightforward design will give you most bang for your bucks. For example, square or rectangular buildings will give you the best external walls / floor area ratio as well as good energy performance. On the opposite, houses with many external corners and unusual shapes will need much more external wall to wrap relatively small space which will cost you more and reduce energy efficiency.

Apart from the design and shape of the building, the types of materials can also impact on the cost significantly. Not just the cost of purchasing it, but also how familiar your builder is with this particular material. Because builders who are not familiar with particular materials will likely hire expensive subcontractor and charge their margins on top of it.

In addition, timeframe is also a key factor when negotiating with the builders. If under time constraint, builders will likely to say: Ok Mr. XYZ, we can build your mansion in 6 months but will cost you a fortune. However, if you have enough time, the longer time you can accept for the completion of the house the better position you are in the negotiation with builders and see how it can assist you in getting a better price.

Last but not least, it is of course the size. When talking building, self-proclaimed experts like talking about price per square meter which I have written in the previous blog why this is so wrong. As everyone will know, the bigger house the more expensive to build but that’s not everything. Check out my previous post for more information.

there is so much to talk about when it comes to the cost of building. For some quick tips on how to get the most value for your money, I sum it up as followings:

  • Get builders involved in the design process early. Only experienced builders work hand in hand with the designer and able to avoid unnecessary steps and mistakes in the construction stage which will cost money and time. That’s also why we have in house designer to lead you through the process from early on.
  • Keep it simple. You may get really inspired by Pinterest pictures but step back and be realistic about what you really need and how practical it will be in terms of aesthetics or functionality. Talk to your builders about your ideas during the design stage as suggested earlier.
  • Allow enough time. Time is money, you will need to give to your builder one or the other.
  • Be realistic about the size you need and the size you want.
  • Make sure your builder is familiar with the proposed materials. Any fancy, imported or non-widely used supplies will tend to blow up the costs.


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