Who wouldn’t love the idea of getting a house extension! But there’s no denying that many are put off by the thought of spending a mini fortune on extending their homes. Which begs the question, why not opt for affordable house extension ideas. Yes, there are ways in which you can extend your home without filing for bankruptcy.
1. Bypass the architect?
While a majority of renovation projects necessarily require the expertise of an architect, others like minor extensions or remodels do not. Which is why it’s a good idea to ask yourself if you can go ahead without an architect for your house extension. After all, you can save up to 10% of the final extension cost by doing so.
So how does one manage without an architect, you may wonder. For starters, you can ask the contractor to take charge of the planning and designing tasks. The other option is hiring a draughtsperson, who’s an individual skilled at technical art and can put to paper the design ideas in your mind. As a final resort, you can create the designs on your own as the planning department doesn’t bar homeowners from doing so.
2. Seek a small-time supplier
Stylish websites, slick brochures, and smooth-talking salespeople can all appear very convincing. However, that the supplier employs several people and flaunts an attractive sales pitch is no guarantee that their supplies will be of good quality. In fact, there’s a higher chance of these suppliers charging you more than traditional individual- or family-run businesses.
3. Be the captain of your own ship
One of the most popular ways of saving money on house extension ideas is to manage the entire project on your own. That means you’ll choose and hire the various tradespeople needed for the house extension and oversee the entire task. Essentially, you’ll be stepping into the contractor’s shoes and handling important aspects like the expenditure on labour and materials and the securing of various planning permissions.
4. Hunt for bargain deals
Buying every material needed for the house extension from a solitary supplier is an easy and quick way of doing things. However, it can also turn out to be expensive. Instead, scout around for deals from different suppliers. For instance, if you are working on your kitchen, hunt around for the best bargains on appliances, furniture, and worktops. Although it take more of your time and energy, the savings in costs are certainly worth the trouble.
5. Consult multiple contractors
Carrying on from the previous point, do not settle for the first contractor that comes your way. Get quotes from at least three contractors in addition to asking for recommendations from reliable sources like friends, family, and co-workers. You’ll be surprised to know that prices quoted for the same task can differ by hundreds, or even thousands, from one contractor to another. However, be wary of contractors that quote too low a price; instead pick the one that offers the most value for your money.
6. The novelty of the incomplete look
Since any reduction of labour or material cost is welcome, why not consider an incomplete look for your extension! For example, leaving the brickwork exposed on one side of the wall cuts down the plastering cost by that much. While this can save quite a lot of money, make sure you get it done only by a professional plasterer. This also holds for any other unfinished look idea that you might want to create.
7. Repurpose old materials
Lots of house extension ideas involve taking down certain parts of the house and if that’s the case with your plan too, consider reusing their old materials. Just salvaging the bricks from the demolished part of your house can result in significant savings. Other items that you can reuse include roof slates, tiles, and even timber windows.
8. Use a mix of standard & premium materials
Sticking to only top-end or premium materials for the entire house extension can stretch your budget significantly. A smart idea instead is to use a combination of standard and high-end materials. And while not every cheap material offers value for your money, there are numerous bog-standard options that you can use as carcasses or unit fronts.
9. Plan your house extension in advance
This is one of the most effective and easiest ways to make house extension ideas cheaper. Plan the entire thing in advance; right from procuring permissions to hiring architects, consulting contractors, finalizing tradespeople, and buying materials. When you get all that done as early as possible, you are likely to save a tonne of money. Think of it like planning a vacation well ahead of time, from booking flight tickets to the stay and travel insurance. Approach any of these tasks at the last moment and you have no option but to shell out a huge premium. So be an early bird when it comes to planning your house extension.
10. Consider DIY
A house extension is not nearly half as complicated as building a house from scratch. It needs far lesser planning and labour and doesn’t meddle with the fundamental structure of your house. So if you have the time and the inclination, rolling up the sleeves to execute house extension ideas on your own is not a bad idea at all.
And just like the greatest risks entail the greatest rewards, the reverse too can be true for DIY house extensions. Even a single wrong step can nullify the cost advantage that DIY enjoys over a paid professional service. Moreover, every one of us knows a DIYer who botched the job and ended up paying far more than he saved for a professional service to set things right.
While they do save money, each of these ideas also need you to get your hands dirty. That is to say, you have to involve yourself in the house extension task at the cost of missing out on your personal and professional commitments. If that’s not palatable to you, consider going with a builder or contractor who offers affordably-priced house extension services. This way, not only do you get the house extension you always wanted but also save a fair bit of money in the process.