Most people make the mistake to assume we live in a world where things are set in stone and what today costs $100 will cost $100 tomorrow as well.Instead, in reality, things are always in motion and prices are constantly driven up and down but what is known as the “law of demand & supply“.
Demand and supply
Without going into much detail, let’s say that when more people want the same thing, that thing becomes more valuable. Think for example to what happens during an auction: the more people bid on an object, the more its price goes up.
On the contrary, when no one is interested in buying, the price of the goods (or services) goes down big time.
This happens because the seller needs to sell. In fact, he cannot just sit there without rendering any service or with goods in stock which just cost him in storage fees.
So, usually, the seller accepts the situation and he is willing to take the loss to keep his business moving.
What does this have to do with building houses?
The busiest periods
In the building industry, there are two periods which are the busiest of all: spring and autumn.
In spring, nature wakes up and so do people.
It gets warmer, days become longer and it is pleasant to start working outside.
For this reason, people think this is the best time to start building their home… and so they do.
In autumn, we are just back from summer holidays and we feel like “now is the time to get to grind again” and we are compelled to rush into completing a building before Christmas.
More often than not, this is a suicidal plan (not gonna happen that one wakes up and plans and builds a house in just 3 months), nevertheless, this is how most people think and operate.
Take advantage of that
I always suggest to my clients that it’s best to get their building works started off-season, when builders are less busy and desperately in need of some work.
In fact, due to the law of demand and supply we briefly discussed above, when builders have no work they’ll be happy to get an assignment for a lower price.
Also, when building crews are not busy, you’ll be able to find more than one and get a few competing offers for your build.
This will put you in the position of choosing the one that works best for you.
TIP: don’t just go with the cheapest. You should keep in mind that good craftsmanship and a good line of communication play a big role in construction projects.
When to start the kit assembly
If you are keen to follow this advice, the best time to start the assembly of your kit is towards the end of the winter.
Usually, in this period everything is on a stand-still because it is too early to start foundation works. Everybody is waiting for the temperature to rise.
In order to start assembly in this “golden time”, you need to have your foundation ready.
When to build your foundation
The foundation must be done before the winter gets harsh and the snow covers the ground.
In most places, November is a good month as the amount of work of companies making foundations starts to decrease,
Again, the same law applies here. Find a few contractors and get offers for your foundation works.
Don’t forget that together with foundations you need to take care of the connection to utilities (water, sewer, electricity) and of the groundworks.
When to get your construction permits
If you are to start pouring concrete in November, you need to excavate at least by late October.
When you start the groundworks, you need to have your construction permits in order.
This means you need all the paperwork to be done by early October.
This is probably the most challenging part because, after summer vacation, there are lots of people who want to start building… and now you are competing with them.
But you have a different plan.
Again, their plan is to get the permits and rush into building the house to have it ready by Christmas.
The perfect building schedule
Your plan is to just get the permits as autumn starts and then take it slow, leveraging the quiet time that comes right after new year.
So in autumn, you are 1-2 months behind schedule compared to other home-builders and in spring you’ll be 1-2 months ahead.
This will maximize your chance to find one or more good building crews that are in need of a job.
This year we started building a TRIO 75 somewhere in Estonia, on the first week of February.
It took just one week to complete the A-frame structure. For the entire time, the 2-men crew was working at freezing temperatures. For them, this was no problem at all.In order to get the opportunity to start at the end of January, the foundation was cast in mid-November.
The timing of the whole operation was perfect.
The house is scheduled to be completed during March and, by the time spring comes, the owners will be able to move in and start working on landscaping and greenery.
Meanwhile, they saved money both on foundation kit-assembly works.
Time it right
If you live in a place where there is a lot of snow, the commencement of your assembly works will have to come closer to spring.
However, you can still build the foundation at the end of the previous year and get the full benefit of this construction hack.The most important thing is to get the permits by autumn and to get the kit on the construction site on the week you start the assembly.
In fact, you don’t want to get the kit too early or the material will have to stay there for a long time, incurring in the risk or water damage or theft.
Sometimes, doing things differently from the horde comes with benefits.
If everyone builds in spring and autumn, you can save money by offsetting your build so that you start later and finish earlier.
Plan everything so that you get your permits by early autumn.
Get a few price offers for the foundation works and build your foundation before winter comes. Then order the house kit and let the winter pass.In the meantime, find a couple of carpenter crews and get price offers for assembling your kit BEFORE spring begins.
Get also offers for all the other works you’ll have to do in order to complete the house.
As soon as the snow starts to clear out, get the house kit on your construction site and have the carpenters assemble the A-frame structure.
Try to complete all the works before spring.
Voilà, you just saved several thousand bucks. You are welcome.WARNING: as usual, good planning is the key component to making this work. Timing the works poorly or overlooking something can easily set back your economic advantage.