Q&A - Saving money without compromising comfort

It's a given that any home building project is going to cost money. If you're building a home from a custom plan like I am, the importance of keeping track of your costs and expenses increases tenfold. That's why from the beginning of my project until the end, I keep careful records of every expense that I've incurred and potential future expenses, in order to be square with my budget and make sure that my expenses correspond with the progress I make on my project.

I once heard an old navy quote that resonated with me. I can't remember who I heard it from but a long time ago, somebody said to me "Dave, plan your dive and dive your plan." I believe this quote comes from SCUBA divers who are getting ready to go on a deep-sea dive. From the beginning of a dive until the end when you get pulled back up onto the boat, being mindful of the situation and every stage of the dive is critically important - a failure to do so could result in serious injury or death.

Building a new eco-friendly home isn't quite as nerve-wracking as SCUBA diving, but to me it's just as much fun. "Plan your dive and dive your plan" has some relevance when it comes to planning out a budget and saving money. I decided early on in my project that I would try to save money where possible, but not unnecessarily so - I don't want my project to cost a fortune, but I don't want penny pinching to be so pervasive in my project that I end up with an unsatisfactory final product.

So let me put this out there - what do you think is the easiest way to save money on a project like this without sacrificing comfort and the home's "shade of green"? Your replies could help me shave a few dollars off my bills and maintain the quality of my project.

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