How to Save Money When Extending Your Home
With our many years of experience in the construction industry, we have assisted self-builders from the conception of their extension project, through to the very completion.
With our customers demanding the best value for money, we have the below handy tips on how to save money on your home extension project.
START PLANNING WHAT YOU WANT
It’s likely you’ll have decided very early on what your requirements are for your new extension whether it’s a larger kitchen and dining area, additional bedroom for a growing family or just want to up the value of your home. Sketching out your own ideas before approaching an architect will be a good start as no one knows your home better than you!
DECIDE ON THE SIZE
To get the maximum value per square metre, you’ll need to consider that smaller doesn’t always mean cheaper. With every construction project, there are costs to consider (scaffolding, fencing, insurances, hired in facilities, skips etc) which can, for smaller extensions, be at a higher percentage compared to a larger size extension. Look at two storey extensions, get double the space with one set of foundations.
CONSIDER KEEPING IT SIMPLE
Straightforward designs will be cheaper to build. If you are thinking of adding in complicated wall formations, cantilevered designs, or unusual angles, expect a sharp rise in the costs. Discuss design ideas with your chosen architect, they can advise on likely costs and where best to channel your funds to ensure you make the most of your money.
BE UPFRONT WITH YOUR BUDGET
Whether you are working to a tight budget, or one that is flexible. Being as upfront as you are comfortable to be is best. Particularly when discussing your design ideas with your architect. It will reduce the urge to get carried away with design ideas that later in the project, prove uneconomical.
DON’T RUSH THE DESIGN STAGE
Take your time in the design phase, have the drawings you know are the ones for contractors to work from with their pricing. If you are sending out provisional drawings, be aware that any changes to the design after the quoting stage may alter the prices.
ADHERE TO YOUR DESIGN
Making changes to the design once you’ve instructed contractors can lead to additional costs as well as potential delays to the build timeline.
CHECK YOUR QUOTES ARE LIKE FOR LIKE
When obtaining comparative quotations, ensure that all your requirements are being included for (watch out for the ‘not included’ items) and that you aren’t being misled with an ‘estimate’ rather than a fixed price quotation. The best way to monitor the prices you receive is to send a clear and concise tender pack to potential contractors. This should include architect’s drawings, technical details, structural information, and a detailed specification.
DO YOUR DUE DILIGENCE
Completing due diligence when choosing your builder is crucial. Local, reputable builders will be able to offer client testimonials and photos of their previous projects. Why not ask to see a local build of theirs? They may also have accreditations which have meant they’ve gone through a strict auditing process on their works/products. Corrections to poor-quality works can be costly and time consuming.
PUT A CONTRACT IN PLACE
Having a cast-iron contract in place with your chosen contractor will help you both in being clear on where you stand with payments, works included and what should happen in the event of any disputes.
RECYCLING EXISTING FIXTURES & FITTINGS
In our ever growing environmentally conscious climate, recycling any materials you can not only goes towards saving the planet… but also saving you pennies! Less waste to be removed from site and if you have perfectly good appliances or kitchen units, make use of these until finances allow for purchase of replacements.
MANAGING YOUR OWN PROJECT
Choosing to project manage your build will certainly save you money. It will, however, require a lot of time, organisation of trades, materials, and services; all with a level of skill to make sure the build runs smoothly. If you are concerned you might struggle with managing the complete build, why not share the responsibilities with your builder and manage parts of the build you feel most confident with.
MUCK IN WHERE YOU CAN!
With the simpler jobs, like decorating, carrying out these yourself can save on the overall build costs. Sweeping down and tidying the workspaces yourself at the end of each day will also help to reduce the labour costs from the builder. Unless you have qualifications or experience in a specific trade, things like plumbing, electrics, timber frame, roofing – best to leave these to the professionals to ensure no expensive mistakes.
SHOP SMART AND CUT COSTS
Searching for the best deals on materials i.e. kitchen tiles, flooring, appliances and sanitary ware can save a huge amount of money. Why not head to your local trade suppliers like Howdens rather than a top of the range kitchen supplier and use their bespoke kitchen design service which means you don’t need to compromise on the quality or design features you’d hoped for, but without the large price tag.
OFF THE SHELF RATHER THAN BESPOKE
When it comes to fixtures and fittings, choosing an off the shelf design will be less expensive than a made to order which can not only add additional costs, but lengthen the time of the build. At your designing stage, particularly for windows & doors, look at readily available products that won’t break the bank.
BUILD YOUR EXTENSION WITH TIMBER FRAME
Using timber frame as the construction method for your extension will save on time with all the components fabricated off-site. This significantly lowers the labour costs and helps to keep the disruption of the entire project to a lower level with little to no mess. Timber frame offers a cost-effective structural system with excellent thermal properties meaning less heating requirements in your new extension. Timber frame can also be finished in many external facades, brickwork, cladding, render board so aesthetics don’t have to be a consideration. Build fast, strong and energy efficient with a timber frame system.
The next panel has some useful links to assist with planning and progressing your extension project as well as our contact information.