A Frugal Guide to Designing Your New Home

Last updated on September 30, 2023

When you buy a house that’s already been completely designed, you are paying money for someone else’s design. While these designs may be great, they may not be the one that you really had in mind. Why would you want to pay tens of thousands of dollars for designs that do not meet what you want?

The convenience is very lucrative and attractive; after all, you’re buying a house that you can simply live in instantly after you paid the money. Putting serious effort into anything yields good results.

If you have the right amount of time and a tight budget, you’d be mistaken if you choose to go with the option that provides instant gratification. A cost-efficient home means a home that you have to design yourself, which in turn means effort on your part. So, before you choose to design your own home, you need to get yourself acquainted with the commitment.

Floor covering choice, air-conditioning, roof styles, and many different options can save you thousands of dollars. You also need to understand that the concept behind designing your own home isn’t just about money. We’ve seen people actually pour far more money than needed into getting their home designed the way they want.

People like to decorate their homes in their own unique way, which is why they offer a lot of financing options to make that possible. A home is one of the biggest financial investments of your life. If you’re going to pay a lot of money, wouldn’t you want it to be for exactly what you want?

In this guide, we’ll provide you with some foreknowledge which will hopefully help you get started on your cost-efficient, new home.

Setting a Budget

This is one of the most important things you’ll need to do before you begin hammering in a single nail. You want to know what your budget is before you start conceptualizing your design. You may be able to afford an expensive roof, for example, but would have one affect the quality of other aspects?

Determining what your budget is and what can you afford to spend on is the only way to know the answer to this question. Having a tight budget doesn’t mean that you can’t build the house of your dreams; it only means that you will have to research more in order to fully materialize your vision.

A common mistake people do when they’re designing their homes is that they may be tempted by initial designs that may tear through their budget. This, in turn, will definitely force them to compromise on many other aspects, including quality.

And in the end, the results can be devastating. These temptations are a double-edged weapon; you can either go over-budget or find a way to complete the design without disasters striking.

Choosing Your Builder

Building a house from scratch isn’t an easy feat. It may take you far too much time to be able to finally build the house of your dreams. This is why settling on a builder you can entrust with a concept is very important.

Choosing a builder is not a must, but if this is your first time building a house, hiring the experts sounds like a good idea. We highly recommend not going with the first builder or contractor you come across.

The only way to know if you’re getting a good deal is by seeking out multiple bids. You may think that a builder shares your vision and is like a match made in heaven, but when it comes to actual work, you can get stuck with difficult obstacles.

A bad builder will underestimate the true costs of building the home; they may agree to your budget, but that doesn’t ensure that they won’t go overboard.

Also, you never know if they’re just another ‘yes’ man agreeing to anything you say just to make you happy. A good builder will know which designs are within your budget and which aren’t, then he’ll tell you what kind of compromises you can do to reach the final product.

DIY Attitude

You need to understand that when you assign a professional to do something, you’re going to pay a professional’s price. You’ll notice that some of your projects can be entirely done by you if you do enough research or if you’re ready to do manual labor. Sometimes the installation price can be more than the hardware price.

Installing your own sink and countertop can be done for less than $100 if you decide to do it yourself; a professional would probably quote more than $500.

You’ll need to have the foresight to handle not having your house completely ready before you move in to be able to undertake the responsibility needed for DIY installations.


A lot of people are allured by the concept of using hardwood floors because they’re authentic and give a nice aura. What many don’t know is that this is merely a preference that can actually set you back.

Laminated and vinyl flooring are quite viable options when it comes to floor designs. You can get far better designs with less if you decide to think outside the box.

You can also look at designs that are scratch and water-resistant for increased functionality. It will only require some extra research to find exactly what you want, especially if you already have something specific in mind.

The process of designing your home starts very early, from the initial building plan to the chrome door handle. You can always think about upgrading later if your budget is tight and you want to focus on getting a few things exactly the way you had in mind.

Remind yourself constantly that you shouldn’t go wild with your expenditures, since one of the purposes of designing your home is to be able to save money. No one said it’s going to be cheap, but it’s definitely more budget-friendly if you have a plan.


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