Building an extension can be a great opportunity to increase your home’s size and value at a much lower cost than buying and moving to a new property. However, extending your home is still a rather costly endeavour that can eat away at your budget, not to mention that some rookie mistakes may end up blowing up your expenses. Today we’re looking at 7 different ways to shave off extra spending that will help you keep your extension well within your budget.
Simplify Your Design
Cost-efficiency starts with a simple and effective building plan. First, scout out the ground for your extension – demolishing old constructions, removing tree roots and evening out any inclines can add some unexpected expenses, so make sure you choose a reasonably clear area for a ground floor extension or consider going for a second storey extension instead!
Second, adding corners or curves racks up your extension costs without adding much space or value, so avoid complex and extravagant designs. Simple rectangular shapes with a pitched or flat roof would serve you best.
Lastly, be sure to consider and plan out the location of all the necessary utilities – from taps to power points. Consult with your builder to get the most energy-efficient layout. It will save you a lot of time and money down the line and spare you the trouble of having to re-do some of the works later just because you haven’t laid down some piping.
Create a detailed schedule for your project with your Melbourne extension builder and write down a budget that accounts even for the smallest expenses like light fittings and slipcovers. While it’s unlikely that you’d be able to follow your plan to the letter, detailed estimations will serve as guardrails for your project, preventing it from getting out of control. Plus, giving yourself enough time to conceptualise and itemise your design means you’ll have a better chance to anticipate and prevent any potential problems with the build.
A schedule is even more important when setting the timing for your deliveries. Wasted labour costs can be devastating to your budget, so make sure you have all the necessary materials at hand for the tradespeople.
Choose Ready-Made Solutions
When working on your building plan, make sure your design relies on off-the-shelf products rather than requiring too many custom-made elements. That includes sticking with standard-size doors and windows wherever possible and readily-available materials such as concrete, bricks and timber.
Measure Twice, Cut Once
Avoid wasting materials by always knowing precise measurements for every part of your extension. Make sure to measure everything on-site and keep your plans accurate and properly scaled. That way you won’t run into any nasty surprises down the line – like finding out you don’t have enough materials or that your doors don’t fit in the frames you’ve made. Also, factor in the distance between the furniture into your design plan and make sure you have enough room to fully open doors and drawers and reach different parts of your extended home without having to move sofas and armchairs.
It is also important to find the right balance when it comes to stocking up on materials. Over-ordering is very wasteful and will eat up your budget quickly if you are not careful. However, falling short means a greater risk as delays and extra delivery charges may hurt your wallet even worse. By the time you realise that you need more materials, the design you have previously bought might already be out of stock.
Recycle and Reuse
If you have some leftover materials, it might make more sense to try to sell or re-purpose them, rather than throwing them away. Some recycling facilities would even pay you for your materials, so check for them before getting rid of leftovers. Even if you only have a few bits here and there – like a few unused tiles and a bag of glue – you can use them in a variety of DIY projects from home improvements to fun decorations to make together with your kids.
Purchasing reclaimed materials for your project can also save you a good chunk of change, in addition to being environmentally-friendly. Check out your local salvage yards and second-hand stores to find discounted recycled building components or to sell off your own old materials!
The key to getting the best discounts is assertiveness. Don’t feel shy asking for a bargain and don’t give up too easily. Check if there are any discounts for paying in cash (just don’t forget the receipt!) or if the supplier has any end-of-line deals. Also, don’t chase after famous brands when purchasing supplies. Instead, look for cheaper equivalents from less known companies and compare product reviews online before committing.
Find the Right Builder
Entrusting your project to an inexperienced or untrustworthy builder can undo all your best efforts of creating a cost-efficient and functional home extension. Always check your builder’s certifications and references and be wary of those who offer unrealistically low prices or work without a contract. Such “cowboy builders” may end up costing you a lot more than even the most overpaid professionals due to low-quality workmanship and shady business practices.
Instead, look for a builder with a lot of experience and an impeccable reputation who can also think on their feet and find budget-friendly solutions to any problems that may arise during the construction. Organisational skills, good communication and professionalism don’t just make for a better building experience, they come with a quality guarantee that will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.