The rising cost of living has made most South Africans consider building a house rather than paying a monthly or yearly fee for rent.
However, the economic downturn and the devaluation of the ZAR has seen the cost of building a house in South Africa skyrocket with most building materials doubling in price and leaving many South Africans stuck and stranded with no hope of erecting their dream houses.
Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank when building your house. This article provides tips on how to build a house in South Africa with little money.
Building and completing your dream house on a tight budget would be as simple as getting the right design and the building at the right time.
How to Build a Cheap House in South Africa
1. Get a Solid Land
The type of land you choose to build on will make a big difference in your budget. Building in swampy areas would mean you will require more sand to fill the foundation, thereby costing you more money. You can easily tell how solid land is by checking the soil and the surrounding areas or by having a professional inspect the site.
2. Look for Discounts
While there are many factors that affect the cost of building a house in South Africa, the main factor that should be considered is the cost of the building materials. Today, the cost of building materials like cement, plywood, iron rods, and granite are higher than they were a few years ago.
Before settling on a supplier, consider quotations from multiple suppliers to ensure you pick the one you can afford. Also, look out for discounts on building materials before making a choice. It is, however, important to note that the prices of building materials vary and will depend on the brand producing the materials. A bag of cement of a particular brand may cost R$ 111, for example, but another brand may sell that same bag for just R$ 93. Of course, you also have to be conscious of quality.
3. Get the Right Contractor
A contractor will handle and monitor the building process and should be the first person to consider when planning to build on a tight budget. While you might develop your own budget, estimations, and quotations yourself, you will require the contractor to make proper estimations.
It is important to get a competent contractor to prevent wastage of building materials, delays, and mistakes in the building process.
4. Reuse Materials
It is important that used materials are not just dumped for new ones but are reused to avoid wastage. This will also save cost and reduce your expenses, which are exactly what you are looking for.
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5. Build Slowly
While most people would love to build and complete their house quickly, it is quite better to build much slowly to ensure you are able to raise funds as you spend through the building process.
6. Keep It Simple and Small
Although you might want your house to look fabulous on the exterior and interior, consider toning down on the design while on a tight budget. Several structures like extra rooms, pillars, generator houses, high-quality finishes would have to be forgone or you will find yourself spending more than you can afford.
Keeping a house small goes beyond forgoing extra bedrooms or multiple sitting rooms; it simply means reducing the size of the normal rooms you wish to have in the house. Reducing the sizes will cut costs on cement, sand, wood and many other building materials simultaneously.
7. Sell Used Materials
Rather than burning or dumping them, you would simply sell the used materials and get some of your money back. You can reinvest this money into the building project.
8. Choose to Hire
Hiring some building materials could be a more affordable option than purchasing them. You can speak to the contractor or supplier about the possibility of hiring these materials and also compare the costs before making your choice.
9. Exclude the Finishing
The finishing is a post-building process that will require a lot of money and might even cost more than the pre-building and building process combined. While you would need to roof and plaster the house, you might want to exclude painting the house just immediately. Although an unpainted house might not look really fabulous, it would save costs until you are able to recuperate and complete the building project.
Other finishing projects like fencing the house would be paused for the meantime. However, this would be a bad decision to make if you live in an unsecured area.
10. Do Away with Unnecessary Labour
While building your house, you will require the services of labourers like plumbers, bricklayers, carpenters, electricians, painters, scaffolders and more. However, many labourers like bricklayers would function as carpenters and painters, saving you the cost of hiring extra hands. Also, ensure you are not hiring too many labourers to engage in the building process.
Obviously, building a house is no small task and the cost of building materials are on the rise. These tips will guide you to make the right decision and build a comfortable house for yourself and family. Remember to keep it simple. Other addendums will follow later on.
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