How to Build a Home for Less: Starting With $1500 in 3 Simple Steps

Being broke and cheap is harder than it looks. At least, that’s my story anyway. For me, it was necessity which prompted me to learn cost-saving methods and almost-free ideas. And of course, I added to the ones my mother and her mother before her which had stood me well. So when I decided to stop paying rent and build some measure of wealth for my family, I didn’t become suddenly uncheap. Oh no, I wanted to figure out how to build a home for less so I started brainstorming and came up with diy home building. Better known as do it yourself home building. I then took these steps:

Step 1: Find and buy the cheapest, most unrestricted land in an area that meets your needs! For me this wasn’t too difficult. I found an old nearly rundown subdivision without ordinances anymore which although was very poor, it wasn’t crime ridden and voila. Large lot 100′ x 150′ just waiting to be built upon. My cost is $775. Yes, I am that good and you can be too!

Step 2: If you have the cash, buy a large portable building. If you are like me, broke and cheap, rent-to-own a decent size one. This is the first building of your new home or perhaps the first section if you choose to build onto it. Since these buildings are only shells, they are fairly cheap. Either way, this is the beginning.

A portable building has so many possibilities to build a home for less, there is no way I could list them all in this short article. I found the smallest one I could live with to begin which costs $100 down and $167 monthly. Naturally, if you rent-to-own, you will be told not to alter the building. But seriously if you truly intend to keep it and you can afford the relatively tiny cost (when compared to renting or getting a mortgage), then I for one wouldn’t let that stop me. This is going to be your home you will build for less, right?

Step 3: Insulate, put in electrical, and put in plumbing. So many books and articles exist on this subjects. Just pick one or more and follow along. Some of the best in diy home building are in Lowes and Home Depot. Some of the cheapest are online and at the library. Now since this building is so tiny compared to most homes with some scrounged parts, this part cost me less than $300.

Depending on how good you are at scrounging and how much of any type of misplaced “pride” you have when it comes to begging, your totals might be higher. But my total cost so far to begin (without the monthly “mortgage”) is only $1342. And this is only the beginning of how to build a home for less. I’ll let you know what happens next.

Jace Cowan is diy builder in many areas of life

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