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5 Tips for Reducing Construction Cost

Time is money and money is time – this is a popular adage for a reason. This especially falls true in relation to the architectural genre. If you’re not careful, you might end up overspending on a project that could have been done in a fraction of that budget. Here are some tips you can use for reducing construction cost on your next architectural undertaking:

1. Choose a Design + Build Firm

First of all, it’s truly imperative that you find an architectural firm with at least five years of experience. Architects who’ve had more than three years of interaction in the field are usually cognizant of ways of reducing construction cost without compromising the integrity of the project. It’s usually even better if you can find a firm that can take care of both the designing and construction processes at the same time.

A professional firm which is handling both the design and execution of your project can balance your budget while relaying that unique quality in the design. Furthermore, if your design team carries out the construction, then there are less chances of any mistakes. This is because the design team can directly co-ordinate with the contractors, alter the working drawings, cloud them on the printed set, and intrinsically work with the construction crew to deliver the best end product. Site surveys and co-ordination are also relatively easier this way.

The engineering side can oversee the structure and carefully study all the bills provided by the contractor. By tallying up the bills, the cost of materials and labor is kept sufficiently in check. All of these aspects result in very little room for error while tamping down the cost of your overall project drastically.

But best of all is the fact that clients don’t have to interact with a plethora of different teams and relay messages. They can see the turnkey solutions with more ease.

2. Being Smart With Your Materials

Another smart way of reducing construction cost for your project is by being very choosy with your materials. Around 60-70% of your budget is comprised of the materials. This cost computation can be drastically altered if you limit your choice of materials to vernacular and totally indigenous. You can also opt to buy reclaimed materials. The upcycling would be eco-friendly and add more character to your project at the same time.

You can consult your designer on this matter during the initial meetings. They can guide you towards the best vendors in the market. If you opt to do things on your own, you may have to do a lot of research and will definitely have to give the benefit of a doubt to your final choice. But your designer would already be acquainted with the best vendors in the market, so whether you want straw paneling, recycled steel, cement composites, or salvaged wood, they’ll know where to take you from the get-go and help you get the best prices that suit your budget.

Moreover, since it’s the design team that calculates the estimated supply input of materials for the overall project, they will know just how much material you need. You won’t be paying for extra or leftovers this way.

3. General Design Hacks

While hiring the right firm and saving up on materials are two major ways of reducing construction cost, you also need to educate yourself on some general design hacks for the best results. Let’s take a look at a few:


  • Avoiding negative spaces: You automatically extend the cost of your construction when you indulge in luxurious negative spaces that no one’s going to use in the long run. It’s best to make your layouts as tight and ergonomic as possible.
  • Going compact and vertical: Multistory constructions are a more compact and efficient way to build. They reduce the construction cost, and the FAR (Floor Area Ratio) ensures that you don’t overspend on materials and hardscaping.
  • Internal height: The cubic foot area of your walls increases when you increase the slab heights. This means extra material and increased construction cost. It’s best to use standard wall and slab heights.
  • Avoid expensive materials: Materials like solid wood – teak, mahogany, etc. – are a luxury that can be easily replaced with an inexpensive alternative like UPVC, aluminum, and flush doors.
  • Avoid bespoke: Whether it is furniture or floor tiles, customizing things can result in a lot of expenses. Sticking to the standard can help you in reducing construction cost and minimize waste at the same time.

4. Override requirements to prefer quality

Here’s a smart rule to go by when you want to minimize construction expense: don’t depend on cheaper products. They lack in quality, will deteriorate fast, and you’ll end up spending a lot more than you initially expected on repairs. This is why you should never compromise on quality. If it comes down to it, you can alter your requirements to fit the budget.

5. Technology for the win

One surefire way of reducing construction cost is by using the right building technologies. If you’re not familiar with many, here are a few to get you started:

GFRG system:

Also known as Glass Fiber Reinforced Gypsum, this tech can minimize the cost of your construction by 20-30%. It’s an Australian panel system and can be applied on all structural elements such as walls, floors, and roof. It’s made from waste material from the fertilizer industry and is extremely lightweight. Ranging 12m in length and 3m in height with hollow cavities inside (every third one filled with concrete), you can use this alternative way to reduce your construction cost a lot.

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Porotherm smart bricks:

Areas where brickwork is the vernacular – KSA, Kuwait, UAE, etc. – would be able to truly take advantage of this new iteration of brick. Made from advanced smart clay, it can be used in all building formats, be it multistory, hospitals, hotels, etc. They’re green and a relatively inexpensive option for reducing construction cost.

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EPS Panels:

Expandable Polyester Panels are a lightweight, cost-effective, and low-maintenance contemporary material. This precast panel has excellent insulation properties, is moisture resistant, and is able to ensure air-tightness for all environments.

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As you can see, there are a number of ways in which you can reduce your construction cost. Some methods require basic know-how of designing while others just require you to find the right firm. At CAS, we provide A-Z services to our clients. From designing to construction and budgeting, our team can help you get the best of all worlds.

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