How to save a significant sum when building a home extension

Expanding your home can cost you a hefty slice of your savings, for sure. But does building a home extension always have to be a pricey endeavour? Well, it’s never exactly going to be cheap, but there are some thrifty tips you can put into action, to save a significant sum nonetheless…

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How can you save money when building a home extension? There are many factors that cause costs to spiral out of control so if you’ve got a grip on these, that will certainly help to reduce your overall spend and help you to stick to a budget. These include clever architecture, careful planning, sourcing materials, getting multiple quotes and going ‘off-the-shelf’ where possible. Read on to find out even more money-saving ideas for when you’re building an extension to your house…

1. The Architect Advantage: Clever Design, Clever Savings

Hiring an architect might seem as extravagant as buying a golden toilet for your bathroom, but hear me out. A good architect can design your extension efficiently, ensuring you use every square inch wisely. It’s like having a space-saving wizard by your side, turning nooks and crannies into storage spaces and cosy corners.

2. Plan, Plan, and Plan Some More

Remember the old adage, ‘measure twice, cut once’? Well, in the world of home extensions, it’s ‘plan thrice, build once.’ Detailed planning can save you from costly mistakes and mid-construction changes of heart, so it really is worth taking the time to plan everything you can to the Nth degree, even if it does make you want to tear your hair out before you’re done! 

3. Source Materials Like a Pro

Become a master of material sourcing, and you won’t regret it. Hunt down sales, reclaimed materials, or end-of-line deals. It’s like going on a treasure hunt, but instead of gold, you’re after bricks and bathroom fittings. Or, in my case, laminate flooring!

4. Get Multiple Quotes: No Loyalty in Business

When hiring contractors, you should always get multiple quotes if you want to be thrifty, that is. Loyalty is great for friendships, not so much for business deals. Shopping around can save you a pretty penny, and who knows, you might just find a contractor who’s worth their weight in gold.

5. Consider Off-the-Shelf Over Bespoke

While bespoke fittings sound fancy, off-the-shelf options can be just as stylish and far more budget-friendly. It’s like choosing a high-street suit over a tailor-made one – with the right accessories, no one can tell the difference.

6. DIY: But Know Your Limits

DIY can be a great money-saver, but know your limits. If you’re more ‘all thumbs’ than ‘handyman,’ leave the complex stuff to the pros. There’s no point in saving money on a job you’ll have to pay to fix later. It’s like cutting your own hair – sometimes it’s just better in a professional’s hands.

7. Timing Is Everything: Avoid Peak Season

Timing your build can impact your budget. Avoid peak times like summer, when demand (and prices) soar. Building during quieter periods can bag you a bargain, and you might get the work done quicker, too.

8. Reuse and Recycle: The Environmentally Friendly Wallet Saver

Don’t be afraid to reuse and recycle materials. That old door or those leftover tiles from your last project can be repurposed, adding character and cutting costs. It’s the construction version of ‘waste not, want not.’

9. Keep Communication Clear and Consistent

Keep communication with your builders clear and consistent. Misunderstandings can lead to costly errors. It’s like playing Chinese whispers – by the time the message gets to the last person, you’ve accidentally ordered a marble statue instead of a marble countertop.

I hope these ideas will help you to cut the cost of your home extension project. Let me know in the comments below any money-saving tips you have for doing building work. Here’s to a thrifty extension build!

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Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in Lifestyle Promotion Studies and is trained in Personal Money Management. She loves to ‘get the look for less’ so regularly shares thrifty-living advice, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

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