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How to bring down cost of building new homes

By Kingsley Adegboye
In these times of escalating costs of building materials and labour, prospective home owners have been given a tip on how to build cost-effective but quality homes that are functional and aesthetically pleasing.

An Architect, Mr. Bons Obiadi told Vanguard Homes & Property that many home builders have discovered that building square or rectangular shaped buildings are far more cost effective than building homes whose footprints have a variety of shapes.

Obiadi who is the  publisher of ABD Digest, a quarterly publication for Architects, builders and developers said  said the bay window in a home may be beautiful from the exterior, but it adds to the construction cost of the home.

He posited that architectural relief to the outside of the home can include using rough hewn wood trim to accent the windows, small pop outs that break up the monotony of a flat surface and by using a paint scheme that livens up the exterior.

Mr. Obiadi explained that builders achieve economies by using fewer plumbing resources. Noting that most homes have at least two or three bedrooms, he stated  that if the bathrooms are adjacent to each other, the cost for plumbing work will be reduced. “’The closer the kitchen and the bathrooms are to the hot water heater also helps to bring down construction and operating costs, once the home is occupied’’, he noted.

He added that ‘’homes that have fewer hallways attract lower construction costs. The cost of drywall as well as the cost of two by  four contributes a great deal to the cost of constructing a home. So, finding a design that uses almost all its floor space as living area or bedrooms is automatically a less expensive way to build a home.

Using ceiling slates that are 8 inches in size is also a good way to cut construction costs. The standard 2 by 4 is 8 feet long, and drywall comes in 8 feet sheets. The amount of work that the drywallers and the framers have to do to put the walls up is much less when they don’t have to cut pieces to fit higher ceilings’’, he said.

Continuing, he stated that it may cost a little more to add extra insulation to the walls and roof, but it is a smart move because the cost of heating and cooling the home will be much lower over the long haul. Taking advantage of installing solar roofing materials such as roofing tiles will generate electricity for the home, and in some cases, completely eliminate the need for electricity from a utility company.

”The use of carpeting in new homes is declining, and people are using more hard surface flooring. Not only do these floors cost less in some cases than carpet, they are much easier to keep clean and last a lot longer. Hard surface flooring choices are tile, decorated concrete, vinyl, laminated wood, or wood flooring.

Of these, vinyl is the least expensive, and new technologies in the manufacturing of laminate have made it look really similar to ceramic tile. They are all very cheap. Their usage in homes will bring down the costs of construction’’, Obiadi said.


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