Part 1 dealt with the physical side of building. Part 2 covered the young lady who’s helping hundreds of children in Nepal. This blog post points out ways to reduce housing costs. The common theme here is looking for workable solutions despite the challenges you’re up against such as lack of money, skills, tools, sufficient help or other things. Put another way, there never seems to be enough money, so if you want your own home then you need to find ways to cut costs.
Making earthbag houses affordable has been covered at length in this blog, but here the ideas are presented in a slightly different way:
A. The first part is a naysayer’s perspective [Insert downtrodden, negative, whiny voice];
B. The second part is from someone with a can-do attitude [Insert proactive, positive, upbeat voice].
– A. I can’t afford my own home. B. Build small, pay cash, use low cost building methods such as earthbag building, and add on later.
– A. Good windows are too expensive. B. You could look for close-out specials at building supply centers — dented windows, discontinued product lines, windows that were ordered but never picked up.
– A. I can’t afford to hire lots of workers. B. Look for simple building guides (often around $5) that explain only the key how-to steps. Trade work for jobs you don’t feel qualified to handle.
– A. I can’t afford lots of books. B. Use your library instead of buying books you’ll use just one time. Look for free online information – almost everything you need to know it seems is now available for free on the Internet.
– A. Building materials are too expensive. B. Avoid buying things at full retail value. Buy everything or most everything from yard sales, picking things up from curbsides early in the morning, talking to tradesmen who have surplus items such as old sinks, bathtubs and faucets.
– A. I can’t afford building materials. B. Search out locally available natural resources such as poles, stone, sand, subsoil, gravel and so on. Think of who might sell what you need for low cost. Excavators, for instance, would love to dump their loads of subsoil and old broken concrete within a short distance of their job.
– A. I don’t have time to look for all those low cost materials. B. Develop a network of friends and other contacts who can spread the word and help locate things you need. You can’t go to every yard sale, but several families working together can cover far more places and phone you when they come across a great bargain.
– A. I’m afraid contractors will cheat me. B. Rely on your trusted network of friends for finding people with special skills you don’t have. When money is tight, the last thing you need is to get shafted by an unscrupulous construction worker. And be careful, there are an awful lot of dishonest people who do construction work.