10+ low-budget small house design ideas (2024)

Whether you are looking to downsize or want to adopt a simpler lifestyle, there are plenty of low-cost small house designs you can choose from. Requiring significantly less material and a much lower budget, these designs are simply great for both your wallet and the environment. As a bonus, small housesare adorable. Low-cost, compact house designs focus on effective space optimisation, making the home appear larger than it is. Read on to learn more about how you can use even the smallest space to your advantage when designing a beautiful small home.

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See also:10 tiny home decorating designs for small houses

Top low-cost small house design ideas for you

Check out these lovely small house design ideas you can adopt.

Open single floor low-budget house design

One of the best single-floor home designs ever constructed at a reasonable price is the one with an open structure. An open floor plan refers to combining two or more spaces into one bigger space. The primary benefit of this design is that the house will receive a lot of sunlight and fresh air. Furthermore, everything may be visible from a single point.

See also: Ramp design ideas for you to consider

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Source: Pinterest

Low-cost house design with multiple sections

If you have the luxury of a large plot, erecting the house in pieces across the plot makes sense instead of creating multiple stories. For instance, take a look at this affordable one-storey home. The owner built a garage/storage area close to the main house, which is single-story, and connected the two with a covered passageway. By doing this, you can save money by getting additional carpets without creating a new floor.

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Source: Pinterest

Low-budget house design with an open deck

Most people don’t have enough room for a complete outside garden. In these circ*mstances, you can create a floor plan with an open deck that serves as a small garden space. Take this floor plan as an example. The house features an open and spacious patio in the backyard that offers more privacy. The open layout allows for natural light and fresh air throughout the year. In your low-cost home with an open deck, you can arrange for informal gatherings and parties.

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Source: Pinterest

L-shaped low-budget house design

The most popular option on the list of affordable house designs is the L-shaped one. A small, simple L-shaped dwelling maximises the use of a rectangular site by creating an L-shaped, one-story house at one end and a garden area in the front. If you desire an open garden in a limited space, you can consider this design.

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Source: Pinterest

Elevated low-budget house designs

Consider the scenario where your plot is situated in an area that experiences flooding during the rainy season. In that circ*mstance, elevating your residence is essential. Instead of the other way around, the water will flow in the direction of the road from the home. Another advantage of the height is having a great view of the surroundings. Look at this charming, modestly-priced house plan.

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Source: Pinterest

Low-cost house design with open patios

There may not be enough space for open gardening. But don’t forget to incorporate open patios into your low-cost house plan. An open patio can be utilised in several ways. Set up some furniture so you can take advantage of the evenings outside. Additionally, the space can store bicycles, vertical shoe racks, and dry objects during inclement weather.

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Source: Pinterest

Low-budget house design with exposed bricks

Exposed bricks are often used while building homes. In an exposed brick design, the bricks are left unpainted or unplastered and visible. Look at the modest, quaint house below, which has an exterior composed of exposed bricks. The benefit is that you may save money on materials and labour costs by using these bricks because they never go out of fashion. A single-level home with such a low cost can be built quickly, allowing you to move in sooner.

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Source: Pinterest

Low-budget house design with a lawn

Wouldn’t it be lovely to have a garden at home that blends beauty with greenery? Mainly to save money and have a large outdoor garden area, many people choose a single-floor house design. You may gasp in awe at the stunning landscaping. The single-floor house design feels more expansive because of the use of trees and tiny plants in the garden.

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Source: Pinterest

Wooden and concrete small house design

A low-cost house design of wood and concrete exudes elegance like none other. It has a straightforward design and a connected garage. The little house appears opulent due to the use of long windows. The homeowner has adequate garden space because it doesn’t take up much room.

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Source: Pinterest

Luxurious touch to low-budget house design

An open-air swimming pool can add opulence to a basic, low-cost housing design. It’s a feature that distinguishes your home from others with similar floor designs. Add a lot of greenery on the outside of the house. Use the glass railings for a more luxurious touch.

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Source: Pinterest

Open low budget single floor house design

If you are looking for a simple and affordable living space, consider an open low budget single-floor house design. This design involves an open floor plan with a living room and combined dining and kitchen space. Install floor-to-ceiling windows to make the area look spacious.

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A low budget single floor house design with an open deck

Small homes may not have adequate space for a front yard or home garden. If you are building a compact home on a small budget, consider including an open deck in the floor plan. This space can be used to keep planters and grow a small home garden. Besides, this outdoor space can also be utlised for relaxation and organising parties for family and friends.

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Low cost single floor house with multiple sections

This type of single-floor house with multiple sections is a good idea for those planning to build a home on a tight budget. It minimises the cost of constructing multiple floors. Instead, multiple sections have been designed across the plot. This is a perfect option for small families who need defined spaces, which ensures privacy.

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How to design a small house on a budget?

Designing a house on a low budget requires careful planning and creative solutions. Here are some steps to consider when designing a house with limited financial resources:

  • Set a realistic budget: Determine the maximum amount you can afford to spend on your house design and construction. This will help you make informed decisions throughout the process and prioritise your expenses.
  • Optimise the use of space: Focus on maximising the functionality of every square foot in your house. Design an open floor plan that allows for multi-purpose spaces, such as combining the living room, dining area and kitchen. This approach minimises the need for additional rooms and saves construction costs.
  • Keep it simple: Choose a minimalist design concept that reduces the need for excessive decoration and complex architectural elements. Simple lines, clean finishes and a straightforward layout can create an elegant and cost-effective design.
  • Utilise natural light: Incorporate ample windows and skylights in your design to maximise natural light. This reduces the need for artificial lighting during the day, saving on energy costs. Additionally, natural light enhances the sense of space and creates a bright and welcoming atmosphere.
  • Use affordable materials: Explore cost-effective building materials without compromising quality. For example, consider using locally sourced materials or recycled materials that are budget-friendly. You can also opt for durable, low-maintenance materials that save on long-term expenses.
  • Prioritise energy efficiency: Design your house with energy efficiency in mind. Incorporate insulation, proper ventilation and energy-efficient appliances to reduce utility costs over time. This includes selecting energy-saving lighting fixtures and installing solar panels if they fit within your budget.
  • DIY where possible: Take on do-it-yourself (DIY) projects for non-structural elements, such as painting, landscaping or simple interior renovations. This can significantly reduce labour costs and allow you to personalise your space according to your preferences.
  • Consider modular or prefabricated construction: Explore the option of modular or prefabricated construction methods. These approaches are often more cost-effective and time-efficient compared to traditional construction methods. They involve the use of pre-made components that can be assembled on-site, reducing labour and material costs.

Small house design: Challenges

Decorating a small space poses several challenges that require creative solutions:

  • Limited design ideas: The restricted space may limit the incorporation of numerous design ideas.
  • Cluttered appearance: Even a few furnishings or decorations can give a small house a cluttered look.
  • Insufficient windows: The lack of enough windows can be addressed by strategically placing large mirrors to enhance natural light.
  • Dead spaces: Figuring out how to utilise dead spaces, such as small reading corners or galleries, can be confusing.
  • Maximising functionality: Achieving more functionality with less space can be a challenging aspect of small space design.
  • Small kitchen challenges: Small kitchens may appear cramped and cluttered, making organisation a challenge.
  • Limited floor space: Finding ways to free up floor space becomes a significant concern in small spaces.

Tips to maximise space while designing a low-budget small house

Designing a small house on a limited budget requires smart strategies to make the most of the available space. Here are some tips to help you maximise space while designing your low-budget small house:

  • Opt for open floor plans: Embrace open floor plans that eliminate unnecessary walls and barriers, creating a sense of spaciousness. This layout allows natural light to flow freely, enhances the visual appeal and provides flexibility in furniture placement.
  • Utilise vertical space: Make use of vertical space to maximise storage and functionality. Install floor-to-ceiling shelving units, wall-mounted cabinets and overhead storage to store items and keep the floor area clutter-free. Consider utilising wall space for hanging plants, decorative elements or even a folding desk.
  • Multi-purpose furniture: Invest in multi-purpose furniture that serves dual functions to save space. Look for sofa beds, folding tables, storage ottomans and wall-mounted desks. These versatile pieces allow you to make the most of limited space by providing functionality when needed and easy storage when not in use.
  • Built-in storage: Incorporate built-in storage solutions to minimise the need for additional furniture. Custom-built shelves, cabinets, and closets can be tailored to fit the available space and provide ample storage for your belongings. Utilise under-bed storage, hidden compartments and recessed niches to maximise storage options.
  • Use light colours: Opt for light colours on walls, ceilings and furniture to create an illusion of a larger space. Lighter shades reflect natural light, making the room appear more open and airy. Consider using a cohesive colour palette throughout the house to maintain a cohesive and spacious feel.
  • Mirror magic: Strategically place mirrors to create an illusion of larger space. Mirrors reflect light and create a sense of depth, making the room feel more expansive. Consider placing mirrors opposite windows or near light sources to maximise the effect.
  • Sliding doors: Replace traditional hinged doors with sliding doors to save space. Sliding doors take up minimal floor space and provide easy access to different areas without obstructing walkways. They are particularly useful in compact spaces like bathrooms, closets, and small rooms.
  • Outdoor living: Extend your living space to the outdoors by creating a functional outdoor area. Utilise balconies, patios or rooftops as an extension of your living space. Add seating, potted plants and lighting to create an inviting outdoor retreat.


What are the general features of a low-budget house design?

A front patio or balcony, a living space, a kitchen, a dining room (optional), one or more bedrooms, and bathrooms are all essential characteristics of such a low-cost single-floor house design. Depending on the size of the plot, there might be extra features.

What will be the cost of building a low-budget house design?

A low-cost house can be built within any financial range. You can choose from a few house plans with a budget of Rs 7 lakh to Rs 10 lakh.

Can I design my own house?

Designing your own house is an achievable goal, and you can create house plans using floor plan software, even if you're not a professional. Drawing your own plans allows for customization and a personal touch to your home.

What is the cheapest shape to build?

The cheapest shape to build a home is often a simple floor plan. Opting for a square or rectangular layout makes the construction and design process more straightforward. Building upward, such as having multiple floors, is generally more cost-effective than constructing a sprawling one-story home.

What is a floor plan?

A floor plan is a scale drawing that illustrates the relationships between rooms, spaces, and physical features when viewed from above. These plans serve as a visual representation, allowing you to understand how people will navigate and move through the space.

Got any questions or point of view on our article? We would love to hear from you. Write to our Editor-in-Chief Jhumur Ghosh at jhumur.ghosh1@housing.com

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10+ low-budget small house design ideas (14)

Dhwani Meharchandani

Dhwani is a content management expert with over five years of professional experience. She has authored articles spanning diverse domains, including real estate, finance, business, health, taxation, education and more. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication, Dhwani’s interests encompass reading and travelling. She is dedicated to staying updated on the latest real estate advancements in India.
Email: dhwani.meharchandani@housing.com

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