While it’s not necessary to break your budget when it comes to building projects, plenty of low-cost materials will look good on your walls and floors. Whether you’re planning on building a small house for your mother-in-law or organizing your library, you’re probably hoping to keep your costs low. Unfortunately, if you’re planning on using expensive materials such as marble, you might want to rethink your project. Fortunately, plenty of low-cost options can still look great without breaking the bank.

Concrete Sheets

A type of concrete sheet known as concrete board is a mixture of cement and fibers that are usually pressed into flat boards that are 3′ x 5′. While it’s commonly used as a wall covering and flooring underlay, it can also be a moisture-resistant alternative to drywall. You can expect to pay around $10 for each 3′ x 5′ board.

Reclaimed Wood

One of the most eco-friendly and economical materials that can be used for building projects is reclaimed wood. This type of wood can be used for various projects, such as decks, furniture, and fences. Most of the time, this type of wood has a weathered look that’s popular with beach-house and cottage-style lovers. However, you can give it a more contemporary look by painting it or staining it. Depending on the quality of the wood, you can expect to pay around $5 to up per square foot.

Used Brick

Although it costs less than new bricks, used bricks are still useful for various projects, such as fire pits, walls, and pathways. While it’s commonly used for its natural red color, it can also be painted to give it a more contemporary look. The cost of a thousand used bricks can vary.

Corrugated Metal

While it’s commonly used to amplify the rain on the roof, corrugated metal can also be used to cover interior walls and ceilings. This type of material can create a contemporary look by adding a splash of color to the sides of a kitchen counter or creating the walls of a backyard chicken coop. If you’re planning on using metal sheeting, make sure that it’s protected from the elements by having it protected with sealant. Although the prices vary depending on the size and type of metal, you can usually expect to spend around $1.50 to $5 for each square foot.

Stone Veneer

Although natural stone is a popular choice for building projects, it’s not always practical due to its weight and cost. One alternative is to use stone veneer, a thin sheet of stone usually installed over other surfaces, such as concrete, wood, and masonry. The price range for stone veneer panels is wide, as there are different sizes and forms of this building material. However, on average, it costs around $10 per square foot.

Shipping Containers

Since shipping containers are commonly used as tiny homes, they’ve become a popular choice. There are two standard sizes of these containers, which are 8′ x 20′ or 8′ x 40′. They can provide you with up to 320 square feet of living space. While the expenses associated with converting a basic steel box into an actual home can quickly add up, the shipping container itself can be a relatively inexpensive option.

Bamboo

A wide range of projects can be made using bamboo, such as creating a lightweight fence or creating a bar or shower. This material can also cover a wall or create a planter. If you’re planning on using it outdoors, make sure it’s sealed to prevent rot. This fast-growing material is typically less than $100 for a 6 x 16-foot roll of fencing.

Cork

Unlike other natural materials, natural cork has a distinctive and warm look that’s hard to replicate. You can easily buy tiles or sheets of this material and use them to create a variety of projects, such as covering the sides or front of a kitchen island. Not only does this material not require a break in your budget, but it can also be used to hide the top of a bland counter or table.