photography by Lisa Russman

As you begin planning your beautiful new home addition we want to make you aware of the common pitfalls that result in clients overspending. After planning hundreds of home additions, we know what you should look out for when it comes to ways to save and where it’s worth splurging. 

Project Management

Installing hardware, painting, and some demolition are all hands-on parts of your home addition project you could probably manage yourselves. But we have a truth bomb for you! It’s honestly not worth jumping into a highly-skilled role such as managing your entire project from start to finish when you’re not fully trained. This is the first mistake we’ve seen people make where the number of hours, know-how, and surprise twists actually cost the homeowner more money than if they had the right team in place to manage their home addition. Just think about where your time is best spent like with your partner, your kids, at work vs. on a dangerous construction site where you feel completely out of your element. The good news is there are many construction companies that will “bid” to win your business. You can discuss budget, timeline, and expectations before hand-selecting the team you feel best fits your project and your personality.

Choosing the Right Aesthetic

You might appreciate a very defined look for your home, but when you’re planning your home addition this could drive up the cost. Here’s a great example, you might love the look of hardwoods, most of us do right? But, rather than select the exact maple hardwoods to match your home, you could opt for engineered flooring with a similar tone but lay it in a herringbone pattern; it achieves your aesthetic in an interesting way without breaking the bank. It’s not always worth splurging on high-end materials when you can use elements like hardware, decor, lighting, paint color, and more to make your space appear high end in cost. Think long term; you want a space you’ll be happy within another 5 – 10 years that you don’t have to cough up a few thousand dollars to redo – again.

Know Your Flow

You may find yourself facing an important question: Do I knock down the wall completely, or would I be happy with a support beam somewhere in my design? Depending on the flow of your family, it could be very well worth your money to knock down that wall and have the most open, flexible space possible, especially for a growing brood. On the other hand, if you can incorporate that post into a bedroom closet or HVAC room then you’re both saving money and you’re satisfied with a design that fits for the longterm.

Smart Sourcing 

Facebook and Craiglist can potentially save you some money! When you review details of your construction contract, check on the quotes they’ve supplied for things like water heaters, tile, appliances, etc. You can find “last-chance” tiles on Facebook from a local company trying to move their last few boxes of product. There are moments where it’s worth comparing the cost and quality of what you can source yourself compared to what’s been quoted by your team. Another line item you should double-check is the insulation budget. If your team budgeted for basic “batting” insulation material, for example, it may not provide the best protection against rodents and energy leaks. It’s probably worth exploring foam or mineral wool insulation despite incurring a higher monetary cost now, the longterm value is exponentially higher.

I’m sure you’re starting to see there are so many ways to save money and times when it makes sense to splurge. You can’t possibly know everything – that job is reserved for your teens, right? So take our advice and start saving by having a team that can protect you from surprises and helps you plan for the best way to stretch your budget from day one.

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