Creating extra room in your home is one way to improve your quality of life—especially if you love your current home and relocating simply isn’t on the menu. But extensions, of course, can be quite costly. Here are a few of our best tips on saving money – or maximising a small budget – when you decide to improve your home with an extension.
Simple is best
Rectangular and square footprints are the least complex and therefore the least costly when it comes to adding an extension. Curves and extraneous corners will add design expense as well as labour time, and frequently may increase materials costs as well. A traditional pitched roof can also help save money.
Off-the shelf options are nearly always less expensive than custom ones, so design with this in mind. For example, standard sized doors and windows will not only save you costs in the initial building, but also in terms of maintenance and replacements in the future.
Finally, opt for materials that are readily available: timber, brick, or render cladding, cast concrete for sub floors, and concrete blockwork walls can all be money savers.
In most cases, a majority of costs—up to two thirds—can be put down to labour expenses. If you’re able and willing to do even a portion of the work yourself, you may find some significant savings. That doesn’t mean you need to build your entire extension from scratch, of course. Take a look at each stage of the project and consider carefully what aspects you might be able to take on yourself.
However, keep in mind that you should only take on the aspects of the project which you are skilled enough to take on competently, and which you have the time to devote yourself to. Inexperience can lead to wasted materials as well as costly professional corrections, turning your money saving strategy into one that end up costing you quite a bit more than anticipated.
When you go professional, do it the right way
There’s a temptation to always go with the lowest price contractor, but many so-called contractors are mavericks that will underestimate costs and time requirements. This can be due to their inexperience, or in worse cases, the intention to deliberately deceive in order to obtain a project. In the end, trying to avoid spending can result in spending more in the long run.