5 tips to keep new home constructions affordable

Belgians have a saying that they have a "brick in their stomach," signifying their deep-rooted desire to own a home. However, with the escalating prices of construction materials, that proverbial brick might be getting a tad too heavy for some. So, how can you ensure that building your dream home remains within a reasonable budget? Here are five actionable tips to consider.

house building
Josh Olalde

1. Save on your building plot

The cost of land can significantly impact your overall construction budget. With land prices continually rising across Belgium, it’s essential to be strategic. Some provinces, like Hainaut, are more affordable than others, such as Brabant Wallon. If you have a specific area in mind, consider looking slightly beyond its borders or even crossing into a neighboring province. Remember, the orientation and nature of the land can also influence construction costs.

2. Consider demolishing an existing property

By taking advantage of the demolition and reconstruction scheme, which reduces VAT from 21% to 6%, you can achieve substantial savings. However, act quickly as this incentive has been extended only until December 31, 2023. If you haven’t yet applied, this VAT reduction might only apply to a portion of the total amount. Ensure you can prove that a significant part of the cost was genuinely incurred in 2023 and not an advanced bill for future work.

3. Prioritize your needs

A larger house means higher construction and energy costs. Engage in a thorough discussion with your architect to determine what you expect from your home, both now and in the future. Explore smart solutions that make spaces multifunctional or adaptable over the years. Reflect on the type of materials you wish to use for finishes. Basic yet durable materials can be more affordable and timeless compared to the latest trends.

Moreover, consider if it’s essential to finish every part of your home immediately. For instance, a well-constructed wall without plaster can have its unique charm in specific settings. When it comes to the actual construction, think about simpler designs to cut costs or explore alternative building styles. Your architect plays a pivotal role in these decisions.

4. Get hands-on

If you’re handy, discuss with your contractor about possibly taking on some tasks yourself. While not all contractors will be open to this, some might let you handle less technical jobs. Ensure you have a clear agreement on what tasks you’ll undertake and how to avoid costly mistakes that professionals might later need to rectify.

For more technical tasks, consider seeking assistance from specialized companies that can guide you. When outsourcing tasks to professionals, ensure everything is documented, from material quality to how potential price hikes will be managed.

5. Consider a turnkey project

If DIY isn’t your thing, a turnkey solution might be the answer. While this might seem contradictory to the previous tip, turnkey construction companies can offer budget-friendly options. They have pre-designed house plans and an in-house team that can handle almost every construction aspect.

Furthermore, these companies purchase construction materials in bulk, often securing better prices than individual buyers. Opting for a turnkey solution also ensures consistent quality, regular monitoring, and comprehensive guarantees.


Building a home is a significant investment, both emotionally and financially. While the rising costs of construction can be daunting, strategic planning and informed decisions can ensure that your dream home remains within reach. Whether you’re considering a DIY approach or seeking a turnkey solution, remember that thorough research and open communication with professionals can pave the way for a smooth construction journey.