How Do I Save Money on Home Additions?

Putting an addition on your home helps increase the total value of the property.

Putting an addition on your home helps increase the total value of the property.

A home addition can help raise the value of your home and create more living space . You want to make sure that you get the best possible price for the building materials and for the work being done. Doing so will help you save money on the total cost of the project.

Items you will need

  • Notebook
  • Tape measure

Determine the size of the addition. Measure the area where the addition will go. Know that the larger the addition, the more costly the final project will be. Opt for an addition that is a size made available for pre-fabricated additions, which are less expensive compared than those built from scratch.

Determine the availability of potential tax credits for the addition you are planning. You can recoup 30 percent of the total cost if you include energy-efficient measures in your new addition. Examples include the use of solar panels and geothermal heat pumps. Know that even if you cannot take a tax credit for energy-efficient windows and doors; you will realize a cost savings over time by using such items.

Obtain at least three bids from contractors to perform the work required for the addition. Make sure each contractor gives you a quote for the same size addition constructed with the same materials to facilitate a true comparison. Request labor prices for pre-fabricated additions and custom-built additions from all contractors. Have all bids list labor and material separately and verify that you can use the contractor for any portion of the project.

Purchase material yourself at a bulk warehouse store or at a home improvement store. Shop sales and use all available discounts to which you are entitled. Opt for recycled or reclaimed materials or shop at overstock building supply stores to save more money. If you must purchase through your contractor, ask to have the project price adjusted if you deliver all material yourself. Pay cash for all purchases and request a cash discount to save even more money.


  • Negotiate with the contractor all line items for your project -- such as sanding, painting, material delivery and measurements -- as you can perform such tasks yourself and save money on pricey labor rates.
  • Do not undertake a home addition project unless you are financially able to follow through with the entire project. Make sure financing or the ability to pay for the project is in place before pursuing such a home renovation.

About the Author

Jennifer Hench has been writing since 1990 on topics ranging from finance to technology. Her articles have appeared in "Network World" magazine, "Electrical Contractor" magazine as well as in other print and online media. Hench holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and another in information systems from Lebanon Valley College and Lock Haven University.

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