Building Your Own Home? Don’t Cheap Out on These Things

Two key focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money and Home and Property Discussions. Many people want to build their home, versus purchasing a previously lived in structure. If you’re building your own home, there are some things you should scrimp on. The following contributed post is entitled, Building Your Own Home? Don’t Cheap Out on These Things.

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Designing and building your own home is an exciting journey. You get to build your dream home that has everything you could ever need. It can be exhausting, even if you’re not doing the hard work of actually building it, but the results are worth it. Building a home from scratch is certainly not cheap, but there are ways to save if you want to. However, there are some things you should almost definitely not skimp on if you want to build a solid home. Before you start looking for ways to save money, be sure to take the following things into consideration.

Windows and Doors

The windows and doors of your home are two of the most important elements. They not only keep your home secure and protect it from the elements, but they also provide ventilation and sunlight when you need them too. Trying to buy and install doors and windows cheaply could lead to problems. It might mean you end up with leaks and drafts or it could mean you need to repair or replace your doors and windows sooner than you had expected. Choosing good quality products will protect your home and ensure both the interior and exterior look good too.

Image from Pexels – CC0 License

Insulation

Insulating your home properly keeps the heat in when you need it most. As well as keeping you warm, it’s good for the property itself. A warmer home will prevent mold and mildew, plus it will help you to reduce the amount that you spend on your energy bills. You can find different insulation materials and methods at varying price points, so it’s worth considering it carefully. Once you’ve insulated your new home, it will be difficult to change it after everything is finished. It’s better to get it right the first time if you don’t want to spend too much.

The Roof

Similarly to your home’s insulation, the roof will protect the structure of your home. Without a roof over your head, it won’t even be a property. The roof that you choose is also an aesthetic choice, and it forms a big part of what your home will look like. When you want to get the roof right, consult with a roofing company to find out what options you have. They can help you with different roof types, materials and other factors. Consider things like how long your roof will last and how easy it is to maintain.

Labor

Someone will have to carry out all of the work to build and finish your property. This is something that you definitely don’t want to cheap out on if you want to build a quality home. Cheap labor is more likely to produce poor results, so it’s worth paying for people who are going to get it right the first time. When you collect quotes from contractors, going for the cheapest option available isn’t always the right choice.

There are some ways you can save when building your home, but investing more in some things is a must. You should know which is which before you start construction.

The difference between being Cheap and Frugal

cheap-and-frugal

The following piece was originally published on the Examiner back in December of 2013, and actually turned out to be one of my most popular compositions.  It visited something very emotional; one’s money management and how it is perceived by others – families, friends, significant others, etc.  It discusses how two groups of people are classified in terms of their money management; those who are cheap and those who are frugal.

It was in part inspired by the late Deborah Aguiar-Vélez, founder of Escuchame who came to my job and gave a discussion about wealth building.  Prior to publishing this piece she granted me permission to use a slide from her talk as the accompanying visual for this article.  Lastly it falls under my “Financial Literacy” principle.

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“The difference between envy and jealousy Anwar is that there is no malice attached to envy,” my mentor and friend Mark told me in a recent meeting.  “When someone is jealous of you, you have something that they want which upsets them and they will go to great lengths to make sure you don’t have it anymore or don’t even get it in the first place.  They may even go as far as to cause you harm.  Envy is simply when someone wishes they had what you have with no malice attached.  Envy and jealousy are two different words that most people confuse.”

Mark and I frequently have discussions like this spanning numerous areas/topics.  This one reminded me of another confusion of words; the definitions of cheap and frugal, two very important concepts in the worlds of financial literacy and intelligence, and thus the basis of this article.

“Hell yeah I’m cheap and proud of it too.  I want to save every single penny that I can,” a coworker named Hardy said smiling during a random conversation at work a couple of years ago.  “I don’t mind getting perfectly good stuff for free either.  My wife’s family frequently gets rid of really good stuff, and I willingly take it.”

“You’re proud of being cheap?” was my question to Hardy after hearing him revel in his self-diagnosis.  Cheap was not a flattering word in my vernacular.  The word had recently been pinned on me by a girlfriend leaving me feeling snake bitten and sickened by just hearing someone say it.  This conversation with Hardy gave me a new perspective on the matter and actually made me laugh at the word.

Another word that was assigned to me years ago by another female during graduate school was frugal, which is actually an important attribute to have when you are in school but also later in life.  It wasn’t exactly clear to me at that point what that word meant as my behavior was simply the recapitulation of the spending habits of my mother and father who themselves were frugal.

During Hispanic Heritage Month almost a year after my discussion with Hardy, entrepreneur Deborah Aguiar-Vélez, owner and founder of the company Escuchame visited my job and gave a really good seminar on wealth building.  Much of her talk discussed sound financial decision making, living within one’s means and saving money which sound like common sense ideas but for many people are not.  Interestingly a couple of her slides described the differences between being frugal and being cheap.

Mrs. Vélez eloquently described being frugal as:

  • Living within your means
  • Careful management of anything valuable which expends nothing unnecessarily, and applies what is used to a profitable purpose
  • Finding ways to save money
  • A conscious decision and you are therefore in control of your actions towards a goal

That slide was followed up with a description of what frugal is not:

  • Cheapness
  • Meanness
  • Bizarre behavior
  • Suffering
  • Difficult

Her talk helped me to see that there is in fact nothing wrong with being frugal, and re-enforced why it’s a good idea to be this way versus the alternatives; impulsive, frivolous and wasteful.  My discussions with Hardy described above and Mrs. Velez’s seminar also reminded me that labels and titles that we assign to each other are often subject to one’s point of view.

Though this post was written partially in a humorous way, these are important and serious lessons for everyone, especially in our society which actively promotes consumerism to all economic classes poor and rich, and attaches self-worth to material objects and luxuries of all kinds.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy:

Are you getting your Matching Contribution? A discussion on saving for retirement
A look at the Law of Compounding Interest and why you should care
We should’ve bought Facebook and Bitcoin stock: An investing story
Your net worth, your gross salary and what they mean
Simone Griffin discusses homeownership and the African American community part one (also parts two and three)
Chris Brown Chris Brown discusses true stewardship and financial peace

A special thank you goes out to Mrs. Deborah Aguiar-Vélez of Eschuchame for allowing me to cite her and her materials in this piece.  Thank you for taking the time to read this post.  If you’ve found value here and think it would benefit others, please share it and or leave a comment.  To receive all of the most up to date content from the Big Words Blog Site, subscribe using the subscription box in the right hand column in this post and throughout the site.  Please visit my YouTube channel entitled, Big Discussions76. Lastly follow me on Twitter at @BWArePowerful, on Instagram at @anwaryusef76, and at the Big Words Blog Site Facebook page.  While my main areas of focus are Education, STEM and Financial Literacy, there other blogs/sites I endorse which can be found on that page of my site.