Building a Home for $70,000 or Less

"Hi Carl,

We own 5 acres with a 2000 sq ft house in WNC.

We'd like to put up a one bedroom 750 sq.ft or less house on another part of our land and rent the larger home.

We were trying to do this for $70,000 or less and thought to purchase a Garage shell from Home Depot and finish it as a living space. 
Their 20' x 24' garage installed is about $8300.

We are talking a roofed frame with a subfloor and siding.

My partner and I were wondering if there are any other alternatives out there or if a local builder may be able to build this size house for us in our budget range?

Thank you for your great website and helping us.

Hi Linda,

I have a couple of questions that might actually give you some thought as to what to do:
1. Does your local zoning allow 2 residential dwellings on the same parcel of land?
2. Is 20x24 going to be big enough? That’s only 480 sq ft.
3. Are you planning to be “on the grid” (electricity)
4. Does the 8300 Home Depot price include a foundation of any kind?
5. Are the walls 16” or 24” on center framing, and if 24”, are the studs 2x 4 or 2x6’s?
6. Are you going to frame up the garage door opening and frame in an exterior entry door?
7. Are there any windows in the HD package, and if so, are they insulated?
8. Are you going to subcontract out the house insulation, electrical, plumbing, heating, drywall (or paneling), well, septic, etc?
9. Will you need financing, because if you do, you’ll have difficulty getting a loan on a converted garage?

With careful planning and SHOPPING, I think you could build a very nice 750 sq. ft house, like the one below, for $70,000, on a crawl space or slab, without lifting a hammer!....Be Your Own General Contractor!

COOL House Plan ID: chp-1121Order Code: C101
Number of Bedrooms:2
Number of Bathrooms:1.0
Width of House:22 feet
Depth of House:32 feet
Total Living Area:704 sq. ft.

However, you might be able to find a builder who will build it “turnkey” for $70,000. Read my Build a New Home for Under $70,000.
Good luck,
Carl Heldmann,