For most people, buying a home is one of the biggest investment of their lives as they continue to pay for it so long as they own it. Some people prefer building from scratch over buying an existing house particularly because of the benefit of greater control over the cost of the building. However, it’s quite a challenge to design and build a cost-effective home.

The level of control that you can exert over the cost and other aspects of building a new home depends on your ability to plan well. And proper planning is a product of due diligence and the investment of ample time into the decision making processes which guide the building project. And you may fail to fulfill your desires to minimize cost if you fail to make cost-effective and dynamic choices from the onset.

This article outlines 5 principles for designing and building a cost-effective home:

1. Optimize the Strategic Positioning of your Home on the Site

The geographic situation, climate, and other environmental variables around the construction site have a significant bearing on the plan best-suited for the construction of your home on the site. The topography, rock formation the presence of trees with extensive root systems on the site, and other environmental factors can all dictate the cost, the positioning, the appropriate foundation, as well as the best configuration of the building.

Climatic conditions like solar orientation and wind patterns should also form major parts of considerations when making decisions regarding the shape, size, floor plans, window placement, and roof profiles. The impact of environmental variables on your home design is also a major determinant of the energy demands and maintenance cost of your home. For instance, there are affordable home designs that come with features that can be used to harness the cool breezes and solar heat gain in a particular location.

2. Implementing Simple House Designs with Efficient Floors Plans

Complex home designs with intricate wall curvatures and multi-angled roofs are much costlier to build than simple, rectilinear buildings. Also, with everything being equal, a smaller home is always cheaper to build and run than a larger home of the same design. The smaller the footprint of the building, the lesser the materials used in its construction, the lesser energy needed to heat and cool it, and the lesser the efforts needed to clean and maintain it.

cost-effective home - affordable home design

Your affordable home design should utilize space maximally, and come with compact, highly efficient electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems. In order to optimize your floor space, you need to eliminate redundant spaces and implement layouts with multi-purpose spaces that minimize the interior wall sections and circulation spaces in your home.

3. Using Cost-Effective Materials and Products

The costs of construction materials come not only in form of the price paid for acquiring them, but the cost of installing, maintaining and replacing them. Therefore, the cheapest materials are usually not the most cost-effective.

When considering exterior material materials, consider their capacity to withstand the elements and negative effects of other environmental variables like rate of temperature changes, sun exposure, and levels of precipitation.

When choosing interior materials, you can alternate between using nicer materials and modest ones in different spaces to minimize costs.

4. Root for Energy Efficiency in the Home Design

When it comes to the energy efficiency of your home, it’s not just the materials and products used in the home that matters; how you use those materials also matter a lot. To conserve the energy in your home, minimize your shower time, turn off the lights and electronics when they’re not in use, and maximize your use of natural daylight and natural ventilation.

The insulation also determines the energy required to heat and cool your home. When your insulation system efficiently takes care of air gaps through which heat seeps in or out of your home, your home becomes more energy efficient.

An excellent affordable home design hones environmental factors such as solar orientation sun paths and wind patterns to provide natural alternative energy sources for your home’s energy needs. Rainwater can serve as a free source of water for outdoor use like watering flowers, washing outdoor items, etc.

Finally, you can root for energy efficiency in your home by making energy efficiency a priority when choosing equipment. A cost-effective home should also utilize alternative energy sources like solar power and wind turbines for specific purposes.

5. Mastering the Construction Methods Deployed

In order to implement an affordable home design, you need to understand the nitty-gritty of the construction modules and dimensions deployed. You can minimize the accumulation of costs and excess material by using standard construction modules. Advanced framing techniques can also help fast-track the construction and reduce the use of materials.

To construct a cost-effective home, it’s imperative for you to be proactively involved in the construction process to reduce the cost of labor as much as possible. For instance, if you’re well-acquainted with construction, you can take up the role of general contractor for your construction project. It’s also advisable for you to be actively involved in sourcing and ordering materials like light fittings, plumbing fixtures, kitchen utensils, and appliances, etc. That way, you can save more money by taking time to search for discounted deals on both online and on-ground supply stores.


Cost-Effective home design can turn out to be as elegant as the lovely homes you find in magazines and editorials. You can implement a highly cost-effective home design without negating splendor and stylishness by deploying the cost-saving principles outlined above.