Building on a Shoestring Budget

  • Creation Date: Wednesday, 12 June 2019

Building on a Shoestring Budget
12 April 2019

Shoestring budget 1

Dr. Johan Dippenaar, one of our readers, sent me these amazing pics of a little cottage he built on his smallholding and it just goes to show with some ingenuity and lots of scouting around for good prices and great ideas, you can build something really pretty and very functional at a fraction of the cost.

Shoestring budget 12

Johan's tips:

We make our own blocks - not difficult. You can buy moulds.
We make our own lintels - pack blocks in a row, line the space with damp
course put enough wire lengthwise for reinforcement [about 6 lengths],
pour concrete in and leave for a few days to dry.
We don't plaster, joints just to be smoothed with a sponge or block brush.
No skirting or cornices, they just add to the price!
Paint with Cemcrete, you probably never have to paint again. 
We used Cemcrete inside too.

Shoestring budget 3
Ceilings as on the picture from a supplier who supplies crates to the car
trade, very cheap, about 18 mm thick pressed wood.
Small kitchen counter with shutter board, with 2 layers of good varnish.
No bath, just a shower, it's cheaper. And use plastic shower curtains!
If any of our other readers have great tips to add to this, please let us know, owner builders are always looking for ways to keep the costs down.