Cheapest Way To Build a House

What is the cheapest way to build a house and how can you plan a low budget process for it? Discover top tips and ideas that can be useful for new home builders and buyers. Let's dive in.

How To Build A House for Cheap

Building a house can be an expensive endeavor, but with careful planning and strategic choices, it is possible to construct a home without breaking the bank. Understanding how to build a cheap house involves a combination of smart budgeting, location selection, design simplification, and deciding between DIY and professional assistance.

This guide will provide comprehensive insights into the cheapest ways to build a house and help you make informed decisions.

Budgeting and Cost-Saving Measures

The foundation of any affordable home-building project is a well-planned budget. Start by determining how much you can afford to spend and then stick to it rigorously. Here are some key cost-saving measures to consider:

  1. Plan Thoroughly: Detailed planning helps avoid unexpected expenses. Consider every aspect of your project, from land purchase to final finishes, and include a contingency fund for unforeseen costs.

  2. Buy in Bulk: Purchasing materials in bulk can save money. Collaborate with other builders or join a buying group to get discounts.

  3. Source Local Materials: Using locally sourced materials can reduce transportation costs and support local businesses.

  4. Energy Efficiency: Invest in energy-efficient materials and appliances. Though the initial cost might be higher, the savings on utility bills over time will offset the expense.

  5. Recycled and Reclaimed Materials: Using recycled materials, such as reclaimed wood or bricks, can significantly cut costs and add unique character to your home.

  6. Minimalist Approach: Stick to the essentials. Avoid unnecessary features and expensive materials unless they are crucial for the house's integrity.

Choosing the Right Location

The location of your home can dramatically impact the overall cost. Here’s how to choose the cheapest place to build a house:

  1. Research Affordable Areas: Look for regions where land prices are low but where you can still access necessary amenities. Rural areas or outskirts of cities often offer more affordable land options.

  2. Consider Infrastructure Costs: Ensure that the location has existing infrastructure such as roads, water, and electricity. Building these from scratch can be prohibitively expensive.

  3. Local Regulations: Investigate local building codes and regulations. Some areas have less stringent requirements, which can reduce costs.

  4. Future Development Plans: Choose a location that is likely to appreciate in value over time. This can make your investment more worthwhile in the long run.

Simplifying Design and Layout

A simplified design and layout can significantly reduce construction costs. Here’s how to achieve this:

  1. Compact Floor Plans: Smaller homes are cheaper to build and maintain. Opt for a compact design that maximizes space efficiency.

  2. Open Floor Plans: Open floor plans reduce the need for multiple walls and doors, saving on materials and labor.

  3. Simple Rooflines: Complicated roof designs can be costly. A simple, single-pitch or gable roof is more affordable and easier to construct.

  4. Standard Sizes: Use standard-sized materials and fixtures. Custom pieces are usually more expensive.

  5. Minimalist Aesthetics: A minimalist design approach focuses on functionality and simplicity, reducing the need for decorative elements that add to the cost.

DIY Versus Hiring Professionals

Deciding whether to build the house yourself or hire professionals is crucial in determining how to build a house cheaply.Here are the pros and cons of each approach:

1. DIY (Do It Yourself)


Significant cost savings on labor.

Complete control over the project.

Personal satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment.


Requires significant time and effort.

Necessitates a certain level of skill and knowledge.

Risk of mistakes that can be costly to fix.

2. Hiring Professionals


Expertise and experience ensure high-quality construction.

Faster completion of the project.

Reduced risk of costly errors.


Higher upfront costs for labor.

Less personal control over the project.

Potential for contractor-related issues, such as delays or miscommunication.


What Is the Cheapest Type of House to Build?

Choosing the right type of house is essential when looking to minimize construction costs. Here are some of the cheapest types of houses to build:

Tiny Houses

Tiny houses have gained popularity due to their affordability and minimalist lifestyle appeal. These small homes, typically under 500 square feet, use fewer materials and require less labor. Their compact size also means lower utility costs and maintenance.

Colonial Homes

Colonial homes, characterized by their simple, rectangular design and symmetrical facades, are another cost-effective option. Their straightforward structure reduces complexity and labor costs, making them a practical choice for budget-conscious builders.

Ranch Homes

Ranch homes are single-story structures that are easy and inexpensive to build. Their open floor plans and simple rooflines reduce construction costs, and they are typically more energy-efficient due to their compact design.

Shipping Container Homes

Shipping container homes is an innovative and eco-friendly option. These homes repurpose used shipping containers, which are durable and readily available. Their modular nature allows for quick assembly, and their affordability makes them one of the cheapest types of houses to build.

Modular Homes

Modular homes are prefabricated in a factory and then assembled on-site. This method of construction reduces labor costs and construction time. Modular homes can be customized to fit various budgets and design preferences, making them a versatile and affordable option.

A-Frame Houses

A-frame houses are known for their distinctive triangular shape. The simplicity of their design makes them easy to build and cost-effective. The steep roof allows for efficient drainage, which can reduce maintenance costs over time.

Cheapest Place to Build a House

The cost of building a house varies significantly depending on the location. To find the cheapest place to build a house, consider the following factors:

  1. Land Prices: Look for areas with low land costs. Rural regions and less populated states often have more affordable land.

  2. Construction Costs: Research local construction costs, including labor and materials. Some areas have lower costs due to the availability of resources and lower living expenses.

  3. Permits and Regulations: Investigate the local permitting process and building regulations. Areas with less stringent requirements can reduce overall costs.

  4. Infrastructure: Ensure the chosen location has existing infrastructure to avoid additional expenses.

Some of the cheapest places to build a house in the United States include states like Arkansas, Mississippi, and West Virginia. These regions offer lower land prices and construction costs compared to more urbanized areas.

Building a House vs. Buying: Which is More Preferable?

When considering the cheapest house to build, weighing the pros and cons of building versus buying an existing home is essential. Here’s a comparison to help you decide:

1. Building a House


  1. Customization: Building allows you to design a home tailored to your needs and preferences.

  2. Modern Amenities: New constructions can include the latest technology and energy-efficient features.

  3. Quality Control: You can ensure that high-quality materials and construction practices are used.


  1. Time-Consuming: Building a house takes time, often several months to a year.

  2. Potential for Delays: Weather, supply issues, and other factors can delay construction.

  3. Initial Costs: Upfront costs can be higher, though long-term savings on maintenance and utilities can offset this.

2. Buying an Existing Home


  1. Immediate Availability: You can move in as soon as the sale is finalized.

  2. Established Neighborhoods: Existing homes are often in established communities with mature landscaping and amenities.

  3. Cost Predictability: The total cost is known upfront, avoiding unexpected construction expenses.


  1. Limited Customization: You may have to compromise on certain features or undertake renovations.

  2. Potential Repairs: Older homes may require significant maintenance or upgrades.

  3. Outdated Features: Existing homes may lack modern energy-efficient systems and amenities.

Ultimately, the decision between building and buying depends on your budget, timeline, and personal preferences. If you’re looking for the cheapest way to build a house and have specific design needs, building might be the better option. However, buying an existing home could be more suitable if you prefer immediate availability and predictability in costs.


Building a house on a budget requires careful planning, strategic decision-making, and a focus on cost-saving measures. By understanding how to build a house for cheap, choosing the cheapest type of house to build, and selecting the right location, you can achieve your dream home without overspending.

Whether you decide to build or buy, the key is to align your choices with your financial goals and lifestyle needs. With the right approach, you can create a beautiful, affordable home that meets all your expectations.