You may be considering taking out a secured loan against your property in order to finance home improvements. One popular home renovation is adding an extension in order to increase space in the property as well as increase its value if you are intending to sell the house at a later date. However, when the average extension means that you should allow £1,000 – £2,000 per m2, it is something that you need to budget accordingly for, knowing where it is best to invest and also the parts of renovation works that you can make savings on. We take a look at some of the best ways you can splurge and save on a home extension.
Spend money on labour
One area that is definitely worth spending money on is a reputable trader who will carry out the building work. Whilst it may be tempting to choose the cheapest builder available to keep costs down, it could end up being at your detriment. For example, if you end up with a poorly qualified trader, you could end up having to pay far more to cover the costs of repair work if they do a bad job. This can often end up being more expensive than finding a trader asking for slightly more upfront. You should always make sure that you shop around for a company that has good references, and you should definitely make sure that you follow these up and check them. You may end up paying a bit more, but you will reap the rewards in terms of the quality of the extension and the service the tradesmen provide.
Did you know that if you manage to plan your time effectively (and are also willing to commit a reasonable amount of time to the extension project) that you could end up saving as much as 10 per cent on building costs if you decide to become the project manager?
Employ certain trades directly
When carrying out extension work, it can be tempting to ask a builder to price all the designs and decorators on your behalf, but that is not necessarily the most cost-effective option. Buy recruiting certain trades directly, you can help to cut costs rather than employ someone else to find them for you, allowing you to spend money on more important tasks for your home improvement project.
Comply with building regulations
An easy way to keep costs low is simply by making sure that any extension work that you have carried out is compliant with planning permission and building regulations. This is because if these works aren’t you could end up having to replace or remove it entirely, which is likely to become an expensive, as well as unnecessary task. It is worth doing research yourself when it comes to regulations regarding cladding, insulation, glazing as well as fire safety.
Choose a simpler design
Generally speaking, you will find that the simpler the design of your planned extension, the cheaper it will be (this also goes for interior fittings too, such as the bathroom or kitchen), as the layout will be just as affected.
Another way you can save on an extension is by deciding to convert another part of your property instead, such as the garage. Many UK homeowners do not, in fact, use their garages regularly, meaning that it is an empty space going to waste. According to the RAC, almost half of the 10.6 garages in the UK are not used for what they are intended for, with 39% of those surveyed stating that their garages were full of household junk meaning they couldn’t fit their vehicle inside it. With these statistics in mind, it may be worth considering if this applies to your own situation, as by converting the garage it will cost considerably less than having an extension, estimated at around £10,000, and it means that you will be maximising the space that you already have.
If you are unsure as to whether this could have a positive or negative effect on the valuation of your property (and you are intending to sell in the near future) contact your local trusted estate agent to get further advice and guidance.
Get the room temperatures right
If carrying out an extension, one area you should consider spending more money on is having the right room temperatures. If you are going to have a lot of glazing in your extension, consider investing in a good air conditioning systems, as these rooms can become like a greenhouse in the hotter summer months. You should also seriously look at investing in underfloor heating or radiators for the colder months, to ensure that the extension is well insulated and you can comfortably spend time in the space.
Stick to the design you’ve agreed on
When creating an extension, you should avoid as much as possible making any last minute alterations to the design of the building works, as these changes will end up costing you far more money. This is why it is important to stick to both the plan and design you’ve agreed upon, as well as draw up an itemised budget and have a building contract in place too.
Spend on the exterior
Experts recommend spending cash on making sure that your extension fits well with your original home’s exterior, even if this means cutting down on interior design budget. This is particularly important if you are considering selling the house soon after, as an unsightly extension could end up devaluing the property.