A big challenge of building a Tiny House, or any house, is having a small budget.
Jeffrey and I try to do and buy everything in our lives the cheapest way. This might sound a bit stingy… But now we can share the best tips from our experiences!
Check out these awesome ways of saving money with building your home.
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1. Search for cheap workplaces
We have spent months and months finding a place to build our Tiny House. We have searched a lot via company sites with big workplaces. But these are so expensive.
Our tip is to share your search with all your friends and family. And their friends and their friends… You get the idea. I think that by using connections, you have a bigger change to find a cheap workplace.
We hada placed an ad on lots of Facebooks groups near our home. Eventually we got a response of a very nice lady with a big garden. In which we could build our house!! Of course, we chose to take this offer because of the price and travel distance.
Now after a few months, we realize a place with shelter would be extremely nice. No worries about rain and temperature.
2. Buy secondhand tools
Good tools can be very expensive. Lots of people use tools once and then let them dust in their garage. Take your change and buy these tools secondhand!
The advantage here is that you can sell these products again after using it. We often sell it with the same price or higher. Then you don’t even make any loss or even make a profit!
Buying things secondhanded is also more eco-friendly 😊.
3. Don’t fall for cheap prices
Lots of companies try to mislead you into thinking they are the cheapest. Be careful there.
Check if VAT is included in the price or not. Sometimes the company makes you think VAT is included until you are ready to pay. Same for shipping costs.
Check how the price is calculated. For example, wood can be charged per meter, per square meter or per stack. It may sound way cheaper in some way, but it’s not. We always use Excel to calculate which one is cheaper.
Also, when the website says “from €..” it is always more expensive! They probably show a bulk price.
4. Buy in bulk
Buying in bulk is in most cases cheaper. If you need a lot of wood, find a company who sells most of the wood you need. In this way you save on shipping too. You must have room for it though.
Actually, we do regret buying some stuff in bulk. We bought all the plywood boards we needed in the beginning of the build. Some of them we didn’t even need in months. We regret it, because some boards got wet of the rain. Which we didn’t like at all of course.
Think about how many space you have before buying stuff in bulk. And when not having storage space sheltered, consider the weather conditions.
5. Search for overstocks
Very often people buy more stuff than they need. Afterward they will probably sell it. This is an amazing opportunity for you to buy new stuff, but way cheaper!
Unfortunately, I discovered they usually don’t send it to you. Because it takes a lot of effort to send something so big. Instead, you have to make an effort for it.
For example, we rented a van to buy overstock insulation, which was an hour driving. Even though we had to pay for the van and fuel, it was still cheaper.
If you buy overstocks, take additional costs into account
6. Treat wood yourself
Another way of saving money is buying untreated wood and treating it yourself. We saved at least a 1000 euros with this. Treating the wood costs way more time though.
We also saved lots of money by being critical about materials. For example, we doubted very much between Douglas wood and Red Cedar wood for our siding. Red Cedar wood has a higher lifespan, even when not being treated. Douglas wood has a lower lifespan and gets grey when not being treated.
Nevertheless, we chose for Douglas wood and to treat it very well. Because it was way cheaper (at least in the Netherlands). We also liked that Douglas wood comes from Europe.
Balance time and money for yourself
7. Do everything yourself
The last way we saved a lot of money is doing everything ourself. Watch a lot of YouTube videos, read blogs and books. I’m sure you can do it!
You can also ask friends or family to help, who have more knowledge about some parts. People love to help! They will be glad you ask. To be honest, we could have done this way more. But we are stubborn haha.
Where didn’t we save money on?
Somethings we didn’t save money on, because quality had a higher priority to us. The most important things were the trailer and windows.
The trailer is the whole foundation of your house, so you want to be sure this has good quality.
Also, windows are important for the insulation in your home. It would be a big shame if your windows affect your insulation badly. Also, we had specific measurements in mind. So, we rather wanted new windows.
Does this mean you can’t save money on your windows and trailer?
Of course not. You can still use the ways we spoke about. The best way to buy windows cheap, is to find someone who bought or a company which made windows in the wrong measurements. Finding a trailer cheap is a hard job, but it is possible.
I hope this blog has helped you. Do you have other ways to save money for building a Tiny House? Let us know in the comments!
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