House construction

How to Reduce Construction Cost 2024

Every square foot of construction adds to the cost. So firstly, one should decide one’s room/space requirements as per future family needs and then get the layout plan designed with minimum covered area. Deciding your future family needs is very important, because in my career, I have seen many people wasting their hard earned money on building homes much larger than their future family needs, such homes are then kept partially locked or without proper maintenance.

TypeAverage QualityGood QualityBest Quality
Area800 sqft800 sqft800 sqft
Estimated Construction Cost Rs 13.6 lakhRs 14.8 lakhRs 16.8 lakh 
Construction per square foot Rs 1,700Rs 1,850Rs 2,100
  1. It is advisable to never compromise with the quality of structure(brick, sand, steel cement, chowkhat material etc.). The cost of construction can be reduced by proper planning, detailing and choice of finishing material.
  2. Other points to not compromise are the floor/plinth level of the home, proper depth of foundations and proper provision of d.p.c(damp proof course) at the floor level in all the walls. The level of ground floor from the centre of road/street level must be between 30″ to 40″. A 6″ high r.c.c beam at the floor level in all the walls works as a perfect d.p.c. and a perfect seismic band.
  3. The priority should be to construct a functionally efficient, naturally lit, naturally ventilated and structurally safe home. Even a cost effective, simple house can look beautiful without any needless exterior/interior decoration.
  4. Try having maximum walls of upper floors exactly above the ground floor walls for more stable/safer structure and lesser beams in the roof slab.
  5. Try to use maximum possible locally available material and construction techniques.
  6. Take clues from traditional architecture of your area and old buildings/rural homes to reduce the construction cost.
  7. Avoid show off/costly trends w.r.t both interior/exterior looks of your home.
  8. Door/window height at the upper floors can be 6′-9″/7′ instead of current trend of 7′-9″/8′ high doors/windows. One option can be to keep ground floor door/ window height as 6′-9″/7′ + 15″ fix glass over them to keep margin for future raising of floor level by 15″. Another good option can be to keep the height of ground floor doors/windows as 7′-9″/8′ (to keep margin for future raising of floor by 12″-15″) while keeping the height of upper floor doors/windows as 6′-9″/7′. Upper floors, in any case, need lesser area/height of doors/ windows as these floors always get more natural light and ventilation.
  9. The shape of doors/windows should be kept rectangular, as round/tapered doors/windows involve a lot of wastage of material and labour.
  10. To protect external doors/windows, we can provide 18″-21″ wide sunshade at their top level instead of 2′-6″/3′ wide roof projections, leading to decrease in covered area of the home.
  11. In windows we can fix flymesh on the outer side instead of additional flymesh shutters.
  12. In windows, 4mm thick float glass is sufficient. 5mm thick glass is required only for very big size fixed glass parts. Always use clear glass instead of costly tinted/coloured glass for more natural light and saving lifetime electricity cost.
  13. Wooden section size for single rebate door/window frame can be 3″x2.5″ and for double rebate frame can be 5″x2.5″.
  14. Although every room needs a window or ventilator of area 15%-25% of floor area of room, the number of doors in the home should be kept at minimum. This applies especially to external doors, as external doors are generally double doors due to additional flymesh doors. Lesser external doors also means more safety due to lesser access points into the home.
  15. Good enough size for a single bed room can be 8′x10′, double bed room 12′x10′, kitchen about 60 sq.ft., toilet 30 sq.ft., w.c 3′x5′, bathroom 4′x5′, living cum dining room 15′x10′.
  16. Instead of attached toilets, we can have a separate bathroom, w.c and wash basin, means a toilet in 3 separate parts for all the family members. A separate bathroom/w.c/wash basin is sufficient for a family of 5–6 people, while an attached toilet with a bedroom serves only 2 people. One bedroom can have an attached toilet, if we have budget for 2 toilets. Always remember that toilet is the most costly room in the home.
  17. Height of wall tiles in bathroom/toilet can be 6′ and in a separate w.c. 3′, instead of common practice of 7′/8′.
  18. Kitchen counter can be finished with marble or kota stone instead of granite stone and open r.c.c/stone/plywood shelves can be provided instead of wooden cabinets. For plumbing part, a 24″x20″ size s.s sink with a hot+cold water mixer and a fresh water tap with an inlet for water filter is sufficient for a normal kitchen. Also an exhaust fan works as good as an electrical chimney.
  19. For more than 1 storey homes, it is advisable to have kitchens and toilets exactly above the ground floor kitchen and toilets to reduce cost of plumbing and drainage system. Also, it is advisable to provide roof slab over kitchens/toilets sunken by 6″-9″ to provide space for drainage pipes, as it saves the cost of extra masonry and earth/cinder filling at the upper floors.
  20. The height of roof can be 7′-6″ to 8′ for cold himalayan climate, max. 11′ for hot climate. Otherwise it should be min. 9′.
  21. The height of parapet/railing at the usable terrace should be between 3′ and 3′-6″ and at unusable terrace(like terrace of mumty), it can be zero to 1′.
  22. 1 wall of every room(preferably 8″/9″ thick wall with proper pointing) can be left unplastered and painted with dark coloured paint to act as accent wall.
  23. Flooring can be in plain cement concrete or marble chips. If the flooring is in tiles/stone, smaller the size of tiles/stone, lesser is the material and labour cost, lesser is the wastage, therefore lesser is the flooring cost.
  24. Cupboards can be built in the walls, like they used to be in the older homes instead of fully plywood cupboards.
  25. Generally, fully plywood cupboards are finished with laminate(mica) sheets or polished plywood veneers. But, to save the cost, the interior (or even the exterior) of cupboards can be finished with enamel paint/spirit polish over chalk putty filing.
  26. Thick wiremesh or m.s round/square bars can be fixed/inserted into window chowkhats instead of m.s or s.s grills.
  27. Avoid having big fixed toughened glass in windows instead of openable shutters as is the latest trend, if you can’t afford an a.c. For non a.c. rooms, the windows should have maximum openable shutters.

  1. Window a.c’s are cheaper in cost and also cheaper to get serviced compared to split a.c’s, but we need to keep slots/ space for them in the walls/windows at the time of construction itself.
  2. Avoid the use of electrical lights for decorative purposes.
  3. Rooftop of home can be finished with local traditional material. For example, in north India, brick tile terracing over mud is a very efficient and cost effective rooftop finishing.
  4. The home should have adequate natural light and ventilation for proper hygiene and to reduce lifetime electricity cost.
  5. One geyser can serve 2 adjoining toilets or adjoining toilet/kitchen. Also, a single geyser in common open area with one hot water tap can serve full family. Similarly, for fresh municipal water, we can have a single tap in common area or a second tap in kitchen also.
  6. We can have an open staircase in the exterior instead of a covered internal staircase. Atleast the staircase from top floor to its terrace can easily be open.
  7. If toilets have proper natural ventilation, then exhaust fans are not required. Also, fixed flymesh or brick/concrete jaalis in the upper part of walls can be used for the ventilation of kitchen and toilets.
  8. Always try to search the market well for flooring tiles/stone, carpentry material/ fittings, sanitary accessories/fittings/ fixtures, electrical fittings/fixtures. ISI/ISO marked building material of lesser known brands is generally cheaper and equally good as building material of reputed brands. Also, try to check the literature available at the building material shop and internet to get the fair idea and information about the material you are buying.
  9. White coloured electrical switches/ boards/appliances are always cheaper than the colourful ones. Also, in sanitary fixtures, white or ivory(pale yellowish) coloured toilet seats/wash basins are the cheapest and most widely used.
  10. The doors can be flush doors made of 32/35 mm thick blockboards, painted or finished with 0.8 mm thick laminates.
  11. Even for r.c.c slab roofing, the topmost roof of the home can be built in a little slope to avoid rooftop terracing.
  12. Always try to have a simple house plan with rectangular rooms and minimum wastage of space.
  13. We can have openings with or without curtains inbetween common areas like living room, drawing room, kitchen, puja room instead of doors. Also an opening without door works well between a dressing room and bedroom. The height of openings will be same as door height.
  14. Although the external walls need to be 8″/9″ thick, the internal walls can be 4″/4.5″ thick, if there are sufficient r.c.c columns to take the structural load.
  15. Avoid the current trends of false ceiling (under r.c.c roofs) in the interior and full tile/stone cladding on the front elevation, these are total waste of money. There is another current trend of fixing curtains upto ceiling height, which is again undesirable.
  16. In toilets/bathrooms, we can use separate hot and cold water taps or mixers instead of diverters. Also we can avoid overhead showers as these are hardly used and consume a lot of water.
  17. Plumbing and drainage pipes can be exposed/clamped to walls instead of concealing them on the terraces, open areas, courtyards of homes. This proves cheaper and easier to maintain/repair.
  18. Always try having multi-purpose rooms. For example, a living room can easily serve as a drawing room, dining room and guest bedroom (by having dual purpose furniture like a sofa cum bed). Similarly, providing a dressing table and cupboard in bedroom can avoid the need for a separate dressing room. A proper provision of space for washing machine in kitchen/toilet/verandah/ balcony can avoid need for a separate washing area.
  19. Always plan the number of plumbing and electrical points of your home as per your fast needs, i.e. for an average size room, 1 fan, 1 tubelight, 1 lamp point, 2/3x5A sockets, 1 power point is sufficient. Similarly, you can decide for number of taps/plumbing points.
  20. The space under the staircase can be used for storage, cupboard, computer/study table, resting space or a toilet.
  21. The height of roof in store and mumty can be as low as 6′-9″, but kitchen and toilets should have normal height or 6″—9″ less than normal height to make provision for the sunken slab above.

  1. Since most of the r.c.c roof slabs these days are cast with the help of steel shuttering, the bottom of the roof can be left unplastered and even unpainted. Such a roof surface provides contrast to the painted and plastered walls.
  2. For gates, grills, railings, m.s can be used instead of aluminium or s.s.
  3. Always get the layout plan of your home designed by a competent architect by telling him your space requirements and budget constraints. It costs only a few thousand rupees. Still better is to get your home fully designed by a reliable architect alongwith his weekly site visits. He will charge fee equivalent to 2–4% of construction cost, but he can save 10–15% of construction cost.
  4. Parking space can be covered with g.i/fibreglass sheets fixed to m.s. frame or even with a shade net instead of a permanent roof. Cost effective options of flooring for parking space are_ stone tiles/slabs, bricks(laid on edge) or concrete pavers fixed on rammed earth base.
  5. It is preferable to have your own 8″/9″ th. external walls, but in some cases these walls can be common(half part in your side and half in neighbour’s) to save the cost. This is generally the norm in some of the municipal/town planning localities or when the neighbour is your family member(like 2 brothers having adjoining homes).
  6. Compound/boundary walls or roof parapets can be in 4″/4.5″ thick masonry with 8″/9″ thick pilasters at about 10′ distance. Also to separate your compound, there can be many cheaper options like fibreglass/g.i sheets/m.s wiremesh fixed to m.s frames, bamboo fencing, hedges etc.
  7. Always avoid too much variety of the finishing material. For example, if we have different designs of flooring tiles and different shades of wall paint for every room, when the work ends, there will be wastage/residue of 2–3 tiles and 1–2 litres of wall paint in every room. So, the best is to use minimum variety of finishing material in the home.
  8. Don’t dispose off/sell of the residue building material during the course of construction, as it might be required in the later stages of construction. For example, broken bricks can be used as brick ballast for flooring base, residual flooring tiles/stone can be used for flooring in unimportant rooms like a store, residual pieces of mild steel bars can be used in kitchen or store shelves.
  9. It is cheaper to construct a bigger house as a double/triple storey building, as construction at ground floor is costlier than upper floors by about 10-15% due to foundations, e.g. for a house with covered area 2000 sq.ft., area at ground floor can be about 1200 sq.ft. and at first floor about 800 sq.ft., while leaving 400 sq.ft. as open terrace.
  10. Always sign written contracts(preferably on a stamp paper) with the contractors (masonry, flooring, carpentry, electrical, plumbing, steel work contractors etc.) to avoid any payment dispute, delay in work or getting overcharged at the end of work. The contracts must include the work specifications, agreed rates, terms of payment, time period of work. Your architect can guide you in this process.
  11. If you have a big plot/land area (mostly possible in semi urban/rural areas), then try to keep the excess land as lawn or vegetable garden. Apart from other benefits, It will save the flooring cost and also you can save the cost of rainwater pipes/manholes by allowing the rainwater from terrace to fall directly on this area through spouts.
  12. Avoid depending upon/accompanying contractors/masons/construction workers or even architects/engineers while deciding from where to buy the building material. In India, 95-99% contractors/construction workers and 70–75% architects/engineers get commission when they accompany/ advise you while buying the material. The same system of commission works when you get labour from someone.
  13. Coats required for painting of new house after surface preparation_ For plastered walls/roof- 2 coats of paint(1 coat for white paint on roof) over 1 coat of cement primer over 1 coat or 2 coats(for smoother finish) of white cement putty. For woodwork- 2 coats of enamel paint over 1 coat of wood primer. For m.s grills/gate/railings- 2 coats(1 coat for black enamel) of enamel paint over 1 coat of red oxide primer. More coats than these lead to wastage of money. Also, remember to have 1 or max 2 shades for the interior paint and 2 or max 3 shades for the exterior paint to minimise the residue at the end of work.
  14. Some tips to avoid wastage/theft_ Make sure that a family member/ reliable person is present at site to count or measure the quantity of building material when it arrives. Labour should be constantly reminded not to waste cement mortar/concrete. Store the cement bags away from water and covered with polythene sheets. Purchase of 20 cement bags at a time is sufficient for a normal size home, more bags can lead to setting/wastage/ theft. Try to make the building lockable at the earliest possible stage of construction. Store the residue material like m.s bar pieces under lock. Take extra precaution for storing breakable material like floor/ wall tiles. M.s bars, copper pipes for split a.c, electrical wires, taps are the most theft prone material., so work involving these should be done when the building is lockable and the work is in last stage. Don’t employ more than 2–3 labour (masonry, carpentry, electrical, plumbing etc.) teams at a time, otherwise it becomes difficult to control the site, leading to wastage and theft. Employ labour only in the daytime, overtime work is costly and less productive.

Please feel free to ask any question on this topic in the comments section.


keep a simple home design

One of the best ways to reduce construction costs is to keep your home design simple. Another benefit of a simple home design is that it has become a trending thing. Minimalism can give your dream home a modern look plus it will also save you from over-budgeting problems. 

A simple home design paired with a modern interior is what makes your living space stylish and comfortable. Work on the “less is more” principle to bring out the best outputs. Also, make this principle an important part of the construction cost reduction strategies you’re working on.

The following are the ways to reduce construction costs and some of the practical strategies and best practices for reducing construction costs while maintaining project integrity.

1. Selection of Plot

This starts with selecting a plot for your home. Always go for a roadside plot where transportation facility and communication to every necessary center is possible. Because that can reduce your transportation cost for a lifetime.

But many sellers are there who take the opportunity of high demand and sell the roadside plots at a very high price. So be careful while choosing the plot. If you are getting it a little far from the main road then it is ok.

Choosing Construction Materials

Construction Materials
Construction Materials

In any type of construction building materials play a major cost-effective role. Among all the construction materials bricks, cement, rod, and sand make a large part of the construction material.

If you purchase material in the lot (mane one order for whole material) manner then there will be less expenditure regarding construction material. Because the dealer will give you more discount as you purchase more amount of material.

Prepare Structural Drawings

Preparing structural drawings for the house is essential. The majority of people ignore this and don’t know about the structural drawings of buildings.

They only thought about the architectural drawings of the building. But structural drawing is all about foundation plan detail, framing plan detail, column & beam plan detail, and other structural components of buildings.

From this structural drawing how much amount of rod, sand, cement, and bricks will be required can be calculated in advance.

And if this is done accurately then there is a chance of saving lots of money. This is important while you are searching for how to reduce building construction costs.

Saving in Finishing Materials:

Not only is the construction material only responsible for rising costs. Along with that finishing, the material is also responsible.

While we consider finishing work there is flooring material, doors and windows, and especially wooden works for the interior absorbs a huge cost.

But this can be reduced if you are choosing the proper material and buying material in bulk amounts at a time. If you are purchasing this material in a phase-by-phase manner the shopkeeper may not give you a discount, but if you are purchasing in a bulk amount and from one shopkeeper then you can save your money.

Do not Make Change After Construction Starts

Sometimes people approve one plan before construction and during construction, they suddenly change their plan. This is one of the major reasons which again increases the construction cost. Try to avoid this thing unless & until it is necessary.

Use Fly Ash Instead of Red Bricks

Fly Ash Brick Instead of Red Brick
Fly Ash Brick Construction

If you want to reduce the cost then choose to fly ash bricks instead of red bricks or other bricks. Fly ash bricks are less costlier than red bricks but have good strength for construction.

It can reduce the cost of construction by a considerable amount. By adopting these tips you can significantly reduce the construction cost of the house.

Select Good Color and Putter

If you wish to reduce color cost then go for lime-based color. Put the color twice to make the color brighter. Don’t use putty. Generally, putty is often used when we need a smooth wall surface the wall is very rough or there are larger sand particles showing.

To avoid extra cost for putty always purchase the standard size of sand for the purpose of plastering. If it is used according to standard size you may not be required to apply putty in your house, and it will save your cost.

Buy Material from Local Vendors

While purchasing materials for construction try to purchase from local vendors because it will reduce your transportation costs as the transportation of construction materials is costly.

Saving in Labor Cost

Construction Labor
Saving in Labor Cost

Labor cost is also a large part of the construction which can not be cut easily. But try to calculate the work in hours how much labor will be required to finish work and how much time.

In this way you can save your cost by estimating the labor cost otherwise the labor will work according to their time and you have to spend more.

Saving in Machinery Cost

Machinery Cost

Construction machines are always hired on a rental basis and their rental cost is too high. So try to take maximum advantage of construction machinery in a calculated way by which construction costs can be saved. By taking care of this point you can save costs in construction.

Saving in Flooring

House Flooring Work

Flooring can be done both costly and economically. Tiles come in a wide pricing range. Select one of them according to your budget. Also, cement flooring is a great option for reducing cost and is one of the long-lasting floorings. Red oxide flooring is also a good option.

Saving in Wooden Work

As far as possible, if there is no essential need for wooden work try to avoid it. You can also try to avoid the use of costly woods for construction Instead You can use a jackfruit tree, wild jack (jungle jack), and similar wood most available in your place to reduce the total cost of wood up to 50%.

Selecting a Good Shape of the House

The shape of the house also contributes to increasing the cost of construction. When the size of the home increases it increases the surface area and ultimately the cost of construction.

So try to design a house in such a way that it will reduce the surface area and reduce the cost. This is the best suggestion for your search of how to reduce construction costs in India

Reduce the Number of Wall

Make the home more spacious by reducing the number of walls. It ultimately reduces the surface area and also decreases the cost. It also permits natural light to enter the house and decreases the number of electricity expenses.

In this way, you can reduce the cost of construction.

Bulk Purchase

Buying construction materials in bulk can result in volume discounts from suppliers. This is especially beneficial for materials like lumber, concrete, and other commonly used items.

Use Recycle Construction Waste

Implement a waste recycling plan to reduce disposal costs. Recycling construction waste materials can also contribute to sustainability efforts.

Alternative Foundation Types

Explore alternative foundation types that might be more cost-effective for your specific location and soil conditions. Different types of foundations have varying costs, and selecting the right one can result in savings.

Multifunctional Spaces

Design multifunctional spaces to maximize the utility of each area. Spaces that serve multiple purposes can reduce the overall square footage needed, leading to cost savings.

 Regular Cost Reviews

Conduct regular reviews of project costs at various stages. Identifying potential cost overruns early allows for proactive measures to be taken, preventing budget deviations and ensuring the project stays within financial constraints.