How to save costs on building a house

Congratulations – you’ve decided to build your dream home! But let’s work out how to save costs on building a house

You review your architect’s concept floorplan, “House A“, and really like it, but decide it would be even better if you moved a wall or two to make it look like “House B“.

Since they both have the same floor area, there won’t be any difference in building costs, right?

How to save costs on building a house: Design for Roofline

Moving walls on a floorplan is as simple as changing lines on paper.

Unfortunately, paper is 2 dimensional – your new home isn’t!

Changing Walls = Changing Rooflines

And rooflines are one area that can contribute significantly to home building costs.

The diagram below shows the roofline consequences of the floorplan change from “House A” to “House B”:

Compared to House A, House B’s roof will add hundreds, possibly thousands, in extra home building costs in the form of:

  • An extra roof hip
  • An extra roof valley
  • Extra roof trusses and members
  • Added complexity with tiles and guttering
  • Additional labour and time on site

Keep in mind, this is an oversimplified example – real life examples are usually far more complex (what does your current roofline look like?)

How to save costs on building a house: Conclusion

Moving one wall on a floorplan can unknowingly add hundreds, possibly thousands of extra dollars in additional roofwork.

And walls are only one aspect of an entire house.

When seeking a residential architecture/design firm, be sure to look for a firm who understands the design AND building consequences of their design decisions made.

Otherwise you may find it is the builder informing you of the ramifications of your design decisions – months later when it comes time to hand them their very handsome paycheck.