You are building your dream home.  You have saved for it, dreamed of it, and you want a new construction home—not that there’s anything wrong with a remodel, but this is your dream.  Dreams, however, can be expensive. So how do you save money on a new construction home?  There are a few tricks, and you just have to be willing to make them happen.

In a new construction home, the first rule is to keep the expensive stuff behind the walls. If you ever have to save money, save it on carpet or paint—something you can easily upgrade next year or the year after that.  Don’t ever skimp on plumbing, electrical, or heating/air conditioning. Those are expensive and difficult to retrofit. 

The same rule goes for wiring you might want. Think of entertainment or security or lighting that you might want later, even if you can’t afford it now, and have the electricians wire in what they would need. Cutting through drywall and trying to pull wires down the road is more expensive than simply doing it now.

And maybe you’ve heard of sweat equity?  Trying to do some of the work yourself.  Not a bad idea, depending on the work and your skills and time.  Maybe you worked your way through college installing hard wood. Go for it.  But if you want that dream home, don’t plan on putting novice labor on something that you want to live in for 5 or 10 or 30 years.  Poorly made cabinetry will bother you.  Poorly installed insulation will raise your heating and cooling bills.

Instead, think of what you can replace.  Get a cheaper countertop now that you can replace later.  Put in your lawn yourself six months down the road.  Plan for upgrades to the easy stuff and put your money in the parts that matter now.