Saving on the Addition of a House

A good contractor can help you find ways to lower your cost.

A good contractor can help you find ways to lower your cost.

Unless you have plenty of cash to spend, building a home addition can cost you an arm and a leg. There is no turning back once you start your project and expenses can easily spin out of control. Lack of planning, poor preparations and the absence of guidance will definitely make the whole undertaking more expensive. Learning a few tips before you hand over a large deposit to your contractor can save you a lot of cash and keep your budget out of the red.

Prepare Your Plans

Plans and blueprints cost money which is why the harder your plans are for an architect to design and finalize, the more expensive his fees will be. Finalize what you want to build and hand sketch your plans including dimensions. Enumerate the key features and materials you prefer. Prepare your plans well ahead of your target construction period.

Obtain Multiple Quotes

Never accept the first bid you'll get, but rather get quotes from three to five different contractors to avoid getting an overpriced bid. Thoroughly review each quotation and make sure you fully understand the fine print. Scrutinize each offer and ascertain that the scope of works is accurate. Get referrals from trusted sources and check references. Getting the lowest bidder doesn't necessarily translate into savings.

Buy Your Own Materials

When it comes to materials, you have the option to allow your contractor to buy the materials for you or to buy the materials yourself. Allowing your contractor to buy the materials may sound convenient, but will cost you an additional 10 to 20 percent. Buying your own materials will also allow you to shop around for the lowest prices, but be sure you know the right quantity and type of materials you need. Your architect can provide a list of materials with corresponding types and quantities.

Develop a Schedule

Obtain schedules from all parties who will be involved in the project. Drawing the architectural plans, getting building permits, getting bids, shopping for materials, delivering materials, constructing the house and waiting for inspections are all activities that must be properly coordinated to save on cost. Create a time line and incorporate all the activities in your time line. Monitor your timeline closely and make sure that everybody sticks to his own schedule. Delays result to inefficient use of labor, and disruptions to subcontractors' schedules are events that translate into higher expenses. Bear in mind that weather can play a role in disrupting a schedule.

Monitor the Project

Stay on top of your project by monitoring events daily. Watch out for any workmanship problems or deviations from the plans. Problems during the construction period will cause you to spend more money. Detecting problems early will minimize its overall cost effect on the project.

Your Budget

When planning your project, visit home improvement stores and websites to see various construction design ideas and then choose ones that will fit your budget. Establishing a well-prepared budget is one of the keys in saving money. Monitor your budget constantly and catch budget overruns early. Small budget overruns may seem negligible, but they can accumulate and cause your budget to fail.


About the Author

Raul Avenir has been writing for various websites since 2009, authoring numerous articles concentrated on business and technology. He is a technically inclined businessman experienced in construction and real estate development. Aside from being an accountant, Avenir is also a business consultant. He graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Science in business administration.

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