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  If you don’t already own a home, you’ve probably dreamt about building yours at least a few times. But if you’re like most people, you may have considered the thought impractical. Reality says it costs a lot of money to construct a decent abode, so you can’t afford to do so—at least not yet. However, low-income houses are an option.
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What if you could build a house for yourself, even on your relatively low income? A lot of people have achieved this. And you can too. They’ll tell you that it takes a good deal of smart planning, discipline and perseverance, but that it’s doable. What follows are seven tips for making this dream come alive for you.

Buy Inexpensive Land

If you don’t already have land, you’ll have to purchase one. Of course, you’ll have to go for one that you can afford. Perhaps a plot or even half a plot in an inexpensive neighbourhood would do. Thankfully, these sorts of locations exist in most towns and cities, including the first-tier metropolises. Just make sure that the soil is good and the land isn’t flood-prone. These qualities will guarantee that you won’t have to spend a lot on preparing the land for construction work.

Go for a Simple Plan

Your aim here is to minimize building costs. So you’ll want a simple design, a layout that balances comfort and frugality. Perhaps it’ll mean sacrificing some of the features you’d love to have if there was more money in your pocket but be consoled by the fact that owning a decent house is good enough. Let your architect know what your budget is, so they can factor it into drawing up the layout for the structure. In all of this, don’t give up details that ensure safety. Doing so will almost certainly cost you more in future.
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Find Trustworthy Labourers

The success of your building project will partly depend on the quality of labour you employ to get it done. Workers are easier to find in certain districts than in others; there’s a chance that you’ll struggle to find personnel (bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers, painters, etc.) who are truly good at their job. One way to get around this difficulty is to seek referrals from people you know, or from anyone in the neighbourhood whose recommendation you can trust.

Source Materials Locally

You can cut the cost of transporting building materials by acquiring them from places close to your construction site. Ask the locals where the nearest supply store, quarry, or equipment rental is. If there are multiple suppliers in the area, compare the price and quality of the materials they offer. Ascertain that the items they provide are of a fair standard; you should not ignore safety in the process of limiting costs.

Closely Supervise the Project

Persons with a bigger budget may hire a site manager to oversee the construction process. But if you’re going to keep your expenses on the low side, you should definitely watch over the project yourself. This will curb costly antics from your labourers, such as overcharging you for work done, requesting unnecessary supplies, or even stealing materials. That potentially adds up to significant savings. It’ll also keep them on their toes so that they’ll complete tasks faster.

Reuse Materials

Make the most of the materials at your disposal—sand, wood, gravel, rods, etc. Use leftovers from one stage of the building process in another, where appropriate. Don’t let your construction workers dispose of them as ‘waste’ or ‘scrap’. You can also purchase already used iron or wooden doors instead of new ones if they are still in good condition.
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Fund the Project Over an Extended Period

If you aren’t earning a lot of money, you’re unlikely to have the funds you’ll need to complete your house in a few months. Your timeline will likely be a matter of years. And that’s alright. As long as you’re consistently financing the project with the little you have, the trickle will add up over time into something truly significant. It’s how almost anyone who’s built their own home on a low income has done so.

Final Words

You can certainly get a home for yourself even if you’re not allotting huge amounts of money to make it happen. This requires you to allocate resources efficiently, and be determined to complete the structure, no matter how long it takes. Slow but steady accomplishes great feats. Featured Image Source: The Guardian NG
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This article was first published on 1st March 2023


Ikenna Nwachukwu holds a bachelor's degree in Economics from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He loves to look at the world through multiple lenses- economic, political, religious and philosophical- and to write about what he observes in a witty, yet reflective style.

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