If you want more room but don’t want to move from your house, an addition may be the right option for you. These extra spaces can be as small as adding an alcove or a half-bath or as large as an in-law suite or upstairs apartment. Additions can get pricey, but there are ways to reduce the cost. Here is the most cost-effective way to build a home addition.
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One of the worst mistakes you can make when building a home addition is choosing to develop before you know what you really need. If you start the addition before thoroughly researching and examining what works best for your household, you could end up having to redo work. Whenever you have to purchase more materials, move outlets or plumbing or change the design, you spend more money than you ever intended.
You can adequately plan your addition by consulting with an architect who may already have plans they can sell you for a discount. It’s possible to make your own plans as well, but you need to evaluate all parts of the surrounding spaces to know where you need to make connections and how to make the addition structurally sound without damaging the house. Discuss the plans with the other members of your household so you can know what you need to plan.
When you want to build an affordable home addition, you should take advantage of all the discounts you can get. You can often find low-cost materials during the winter months as fewer people are working on home projects then. Get the small but pricey items — such as tools, tarps, electrical equipment, small pipes and safety equipment — during that time to bring your overall budget down. If you have the storage, you can purchase your larger items then as well.
Another option is to get a contractor discount at a home improvement store. You can sign up to get a deal whenever you buy bulk construction materials. These discounts can eliminate a significant amount of your material costs. Keep an eye on your local hardware stores’ advertisements to know when there is an opportunity to get items you need at a discounted rate.
Every project must have a budget and for a home addition, you're going to want a pretty strict one. Do your best to create a budget that focuses on material costs, the need for professional help and any unexpected situations that may come up.
Ensure your budget is one you can afford. There are loans available to help with home improvements, but the process may not be something you want to go through. If you wish to build a significant addition to your home that you can't put a good down payment on, you may want to wait until your finances are in a better position.
One of the best ways to find out how much your project will cost is to talk to local contractors to see what they usually end up spending. Different areas tend to have different project costs thanks to supply and demand. Another way to find an estimated price is to research the price trends within the home improvement market.
When you know what your project will likely cost, when you expect completion and when to purchase your materials, you can have an idea of what you will need for a down payment. Securing your finances is the first major step to beginning your addition.
One of the best ways to save money when building an addition is knowing what you can and can’t do ahead of time. Whenever you have the skills to do something on your own, it will save you money. Contractors have to make a living, after all, so you’ll be paying more for their services than just the cost of materials.
Don’t do anything you aren’t confident you have the knowledge to complete on your own. A home addition is a significant investment and you don’t want to pay to do it yourself only to end up needing a contractor to fix an error. Learning as much as possible about your desired outcome needs can help you plan for when to DIY and when to call in the professionals.
If you’re planning on building an addition onto your home, there are ways you can make the experience less expensive. With the right addition, your home can continue accommodating your family’s needs, add a fun new space or increase your property’s value.
Olivia Elsher is a Senior Writer & Editorial Manager at Renovated. She has 5+ years of experience writing about real estate and home renovation-related topics.