Let’s talk numbers – how modest are we talking?

Many people ask me how we built our house for as little as $150/square foot. Here are a few ways we managed to keep the cost low but still create a beautiful and unique custom modern home:

  • We used a simple palette when it came to materials – same tile in the bathrooms, same flooring and closets throughout the entire house.
  • The spaces are simple and multi-functional so they can easily convert and accommodate different activities – a dining room can become a living room, a bedroom can become an office or art room.
  • We re-used the foundation and some of the walls of an existing house – and because we recycled all of the existing home’s materials at the Habitat Reuse Center, we received a substantial tax credit.
  • We chose a simple geometry for the shape of the house – a pure cube is the most affordable.
  • By selecting affordable Ikea cabinets, vanities and faucets we were able to save a bundle.
  • If you purchase materials (like windows and doors) in the standard manufacturer’s proportions like we did, you won’t run up the bill with custom cuts and sizes

But making compromises and sticking to your top 3 list of must-haves is the most important thing you can do to keep costs low. Our top 3 were Light (which meant windows); Space (obsessing over the proportions in the drawings and 3D models); and Energy Efficiency (to keep energy bills low and lower the impact on the environment).

Dwell featured some other homes built in 2014 on a budget. Building modern but affordably and within your means is clearly important to more and more people – it was to us.