5 Ways to Take Control of the Cost of Home Additions
If you’re considering an addition for your home, you’re probably prepared for a hefty price tag. If you haven’t gotten an estimate yet, however, you may still be in for a surprise. While costs vary tremendously across the country, Remodeling Magazine reports an average expense of almost $80,000 for an upscale, 100 square foot master bathroom. Once you understand where expenses come from, however, you can make smarter decisions and take control of the cost of home additions.
- Build on Existing Foundation
Most additions extend beyond the footprint of the house. This requires an extension of the foundation, which contributes to home addition costs. Building within the existing footprint avoids that expense. Finishing a portion of the basement, for example is far less expensive than extending a similarly sized room beyond your home’s foundation.
- Get Bids from Multiple Contractors
Building homes takes a lot of specialized labor, and that labor is expensive. Get quotes from multiple contractors to see who can give you the best deal.
Don’t be satisfied with a generic quote, either. Give contractors a detailed plan of everything you need to complete your project, and insist they give an itemized quote so you know exactly what you’ll be paying for.
But don’t make a decision based solely on cost. Get references. Any reputable contractor will provide them. Talk to these previous customers about their experiences. No professional company hires employees without references, so you are well within your rights requesting them as well.
- Buy Your Own Materials
That itemized quote should also include necessary materials. Even a simple addition requires a lot of things, including, lumber, drywall, roofing materials, siding, paint, windows, carpet or tile, fixtures, plumbing, electrical items, moldings, doors and insulation. Controlling the cost of materials can save a lot on home addition costs.
While contractors often get a discount on materials, they also mark up the price when selling it to you. If you have the time, shop around and see what deals you can find. You can sometimes get discounts for buying materials in bulk. Also, if you’re not completely set on certain fixtures, you might find clearance items, floor models, overstock items and more for significant savings.
- Keep it Simple
The more complex the design, the more expensive it will be. Keeping to a rectangular shape will offer considerable savings over something that wraps around two or three sides of the house or includes curved surfaces or odd angles.
- Use Energy Efficient Features
While energy efficient features won’t immediately impact your home addition costs, they can potentially earn you tax credits, and they will save you energy costs over time. Certain types of windows, roofing materials and insulation Commonly contribute to greater energy efficiency.