An addition is a big expense. But are there ways it can be less of an impact on the pocketbook? Absolutely! In this article, we’ll discuss several ways to achieve significant savings on a home addition:
- Don’t overdo it. Whether it’s the huge size or the luxury-quality materials used, more is, well, more. Plan on purchasing quality materials so they will stand the test of time and the wear and tear an average home goes through. Be ready to invest a little more in areas that matter most, such as that perfect kitchen range or amazing soaking tub. Pick your spots to splurge but keep them to a minimum.
- Consider tax credits and refunds. Many states and the federal government are offering a number of tax credits at any given time to install energy-saving features, while many utility companies offer refunds for a number of different appliances, whether it’s a more efficient water heater, ground- or air-source heat pumps or solar and renewable energy resources. Investigating these options helps free up other money for luxury items.
- Get multiple bids. Once the addition’s design has been nailed down, talk to several different contractors. If one is significantly lower than the others, ask why – it could be the contractor is using poor-quality materials or cutting corners that will make the project cost more, instead of less, by the time it’s done. If you have bids that are significantly higher, ask why, because the contractor may not realize there’s some flexibility available in the design.
- Be flexible. Does the new entryway door have to be Brazilian mahogany or will a fiberglass or steel door with the appearance of mahogany suffice? Does the paint for the bedroom have to be a particular tone of Sherwin-Williams premium or will a slightly different tone of a store brand work just as well? Being flexible also allows others into the creative process, producing ideas that hadn’t otherwise been considered.
- Don’t be a mind-changer. Every contractor has horror stories about the client who changed their mind about the cabinets, paint or flooring three times while the job was underway and then got upset because the bill was much higher. Make the choice once, for certain, and stand by it. If something just doesn’t work, see if the initial materials can be sold to make back part of the cost.
- Request a cash discount and purchase/delivery discounts. If paying cash is an option, most contractors will give you a discount. They have better things to do with their time than chase non-paying customers and will reward cash payment accordingly. Along the same lines, if the contractor doesn’t have to spend their precious time at the store or arranging delivery, the end cost goes down.
- Require buying in bulk, at a discount warehouse or repurposed material. Almost all home improvement stores offer a discount to their contractors or on a job above a particular dollar figure. Like shabby chic or cottage style? Hit your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore for vintage details. Most larger cities have at least one building supply discount warehouse for new items being closed out.
- Negotiate items that can be self-completed. If painting is considered an easy task, demand either a lower price or to have it removed from the bid. Able to lay laminate flooring? Take the same route. If a contractor realizes they won’t get the job if a few areas don’t go down in price, they may be willing to negotiate.
With these tips in mind, the savings that can be realized on an average addition can be phenomenal.