Exterior framing of a new house under construction frame stick abstract a blue sky

Are you planning to build a new home? From unlimited customization to less maintenance in the first few years, building from the ground up has many advantages over buying an existing home. However, constructing your own custom home can be expensive. With an average cost of $283,535 to build a new home in the United States, many prospective homeowners are looking to save money wherever they can. Here are five easy ways to cut costs when building a new home.

Choose Simple Shapes

Complicated architectural elements like roof gables, curved walls and round porthole windows can add unique beauty to your home, but they also add thousands of dollars to the cost of construction. Choose a rectangular floor plan with a sloped roof and simple designs to reduce material and labor expenses.

Add a Metal Roof

Choosing a metal roof over asphalt shingles is an easy way to lower the cost of your new home. Metal roofs are not only cheaper upfront but also last longer, improve your home’s energy efficiency and require less maintenance.

Use Gravel Instead of Cement

Cement driveways and walking paths can cost a pretty penny, but gravel gets the job done for a much lower price. Installing a gravel driveway can be as easy as putting down wooden forms, having a stone gravel supplier drop off a load of gravel and spreading it around with a shovel.

Do the Work Yourself

Labor accounts for much of the cost of building a new home, which means you can save a lot of money by doing some of the work yourself. Easy projects to DIY include flooring installation, interior and exterior painting, cleanup, and simple plumbing projects like putting in sinks and toilets. You can consider taking on more complicated tasks if your handyman skills are above average. Otherwise, stick to the simple and less dangerous tasks.

Invest in Efficient Materials

The true cost of your new home is more than just the closing price. You can save hundreds or thousands of dollars over the first years of home ownership when you choose efficient materials and appliances. Although you might pay more upfront for efficiency, the energy savings over time can more than make up the added cost.

Are you still over budget after taking every possible cost-cutting measure? Consider scaling back your house plans. You can always add on more bedrooms, your dream porch or a three-car garage later. Starting smaller allows your family to have a livable home while you save up for the extras.