Simple ways to build a more affordable home

When you decide to build your own home you may well find that you are suddenly faced with an avalanche of decisions – it's time to be the decider!

Everyone will have different needs and preferences, but here are some things to consider when planning your new abode.

Exercise moderation

Frugality can be tough – especially when you are trying to design the place where you are going to live. After all, how could you possibly live without those gold-trim curtains?

One way to keep a lid on overspending is to limit your design indulgences to certain areas of the house.

For instance, you could balance higher costs for materials or features in public spaces like the kitchen or dining room with more conservative finishes in the bathroom and bedrooms.

Go green!

Having a clear conscience isn't the only benefit to building an environmentally-friendly home – though it is a great one!

Beyond that, there are excellent savings to be had in the long-term with some green design and building strategies.

Effective insulation, energy-efficient light bulbs and good use of natural light can all help you minimise your future electricity consumption.

Other great green ideas include installing solar panels, solar hot water heating or a rainwater tank.

Know your budget

Keeping within the boundaries of what you afford will naturally be a priority.

That goes for building your house, but also the on-going maintenance of your property. The last thing you want to do is end up with a house you can't afford to live in!

Talk to a mortgage broker about your borrowing capacity and use this as a guide when selecting materials and when considering the services of builders and contractors.

They can then help you structure a home loan so that you have access to funds as you need them during the building process.