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Saving Money On Smart Home Construction

December 7, 2008
If its your dream to one-up the Jetsons and have more technological gadgets and doodads in your home than you can count on your fingers, there are ways to make the vision reality without destroying your budget. Should you choose to build a smart home from the ground up yourself, you will find money savings opportunities at every corner.

Acting as the owner builder on your project will be the best way to go to realize cost savings. If you happen to own your own property on which to build or plan on buying some, this option will become wide open to you. While working as the general contractor on your homes construction will take a great effort, it can afford you some incredible budget-stretching options.

The Key To Savings

Even if you want to have a high-tech smart home constructed, you can save money on the prospect. The key to making this a reality is to make sure you own the land where youre going to build. If you do, youll be able to oversee the project personally. This can save you thousands of dollars that would normally be paid out to a general contractor.

If you dont have land and need to purchase some, this is the very first area you can afford yourself some savings. Dont rush a purchase and make certain to review more than just the location and the looks. Its the hidden costs involved in building that often hurt the most. To make sure youre getting a good deal on land, consider such things as:

The work involved in site clearing While you might want a heavily wooded lot, if that lot doesnt happen to include a good open space, you will have to pay for clearing.

The availability of infrastructure If a parcel of land isnt located near sewer, water, cable and telephone lines, these are things you might have to figure into your overall expenses. This can add an appreciable amount on to the bottom line if availability isnt in place. It might be worth it to have the plot of your dreams, but you need to check into the real numbers to be certain.

Other features of the property Take a look at what geographical features are included on the property. While a lake, for example, might appeal to you, it could end up costing you more for flood insurance coverage.

Finding the ideal piece of land on which to build is the first step in making your smart home dream reality. Just take the time to carefully review parcels before making the final selection. Not doing so could wind up costing you a whole lot more down the road.

Working As The Builder

This is one of the best ways to cut thousands of dollars right off the top of your smart home construction project. You will need to be certain youre up for the task of riding herd over the project. As the owner builder youll need to do such things as:

Arrange for the plans You will have to obtain your own blueprints and designs for your building project. Since youre in the market for a smart home, this is probably for the best anyway.

Obtain insurance In order to get a loan to build your smart home and legally begin construction, youll need to have insurance on your construction site. Since a general contractor wont be in place, youll have to make certain all documents and coverage types are in place.

Apply for permits To begin construction of your home, youll need to obtain the proper building permits. Once you have your plans in place, you can proceed to this vital step.

Hire and oversee subcontractors It will be your job to hire all subcontractors to work on your building project. This can take some time and effort, but it can end up being well worth your while financially. When you act as your own builder on a project, you can take the time to get the best pricing possible if its your desire.

Arrange for inspections Before your house will be considered fit for living in, you will have to make sure government inspections of the work take place. Youll also be responsible for making certain any requested changes or alterations are performed.

While acting as an owner contractor takes serious organizational skills, it is a task that can save you a massive amount of money on the construction of a smart home. There are other steps along the way that can also help you cut out expenses.

Be Wise With Your Smart House Plans

Smart houses are unique designs that require a lot of technological knowhow. Since a smart house is technically designed to have all its major systems operate automatically and for your optimum comfort and energy savings, it is wise to consider the creation and purchase of blueprints carefully. Typically, there are two main options at your disposal. They are:

Purchasing stock plans As smart houses become more popular, this is an option that is becoming available. Stock plans can save you a lot of cash over what a custom design might cost you. The best place to start an initial search for ready-made plans is the Internet. Here you can review different companies that offer plans, review their designs and even start the process of vetting their backgrounds. Before you decide to purchase plans, however, do take the time to fully examine a company. Since smart houses are very unique, it is wise to make certain a company has experience in this type of design.

Working directly with an architect This is perhaps the best option for having a smart house design created. When you work directly with an architect, you can have the house of your dreams crafted room by room. Plus, you can make certain the features of a smart home that appeal to you are included in the planning. Again, it is imperative to vet the background of an architectural professional. Look into such things as licensing, experience and past designs.

Once you have the plans in place for the construction of a smart home, youll be well on your way. Around the corner are many opportunities for cost savings.

Get Involved Personally

Choosing to act as the organizer on your building project is only the first step in cost savings. If you want to make sure your smart home has all the features to make it stand out, but your budget is tight, you can get more actively involved in construction. There are plenty of opportunities to cut bits and pieces out of the bottom line if you become more involved in the process.

Some of the areas you can save on by taking an active role beyond organizing include:

Certain phases of construction Owner builders are allowed in many areas of the country to pick up pieces of the construction process and take them on personally. If you happen to be handy in an area of construction, for example, you can tackle that job and save yourself money. Whether this happens to be roofing, flooring, drywall or even just painting, each and every task you can take on yourself will cut contractor fees out of your budget. Just make sure you dont do more than you can actually handle. Inspectors will still need to be pleased with the structural work for your home to be considered habitable.

Ordering A general contractor typically does the ordering for many of the different phases of construction. Its also possible to rely on subcontractors to do this. If you want to see what kinds of cost savings might be available, you can take on this role, as well.

Amenity selection Putting the finishing pieces into a home can prove to be a very costly venture. If you take the reins here and do your own shopping for things like floor tiles, light fixtures, appliances, counters and cabinets, you very likely will save yourself a small fortune. Look for sales, seconds and even scratch and dent items to get excellent deals on the items you need.

Building a smart home that has many of its major systems automated is a great way to embrace technology to its fullest advantage. Saving money on the prospect is possible without cutting corners. If you take control over the building project, you can keep your budget in check and still obtain the house of your dreams.