How to Cut Add-on Costs – Home Improvement

Saving money is a subject dear to the hearts and wallets of all homeowners, and especially to those adding on. Whatever its size, that addition is not going to come cheap, and all suggestions for cutting costs should be warmly received.

Two cost-cutting points

First, unless you’re careful, cutting costs can mean cutting quality. Don’t settle for what’s cheaper if it means that the finished project will suffer. Don’t try to do work yourself that you’re not really good at.

Second, remember that usually what you save in money you spend in time – you may spend weekend after weekend hunting sales for building materials, or you might devour great chunks of spare time cleaning up, installing insulation, or putting up gypsum wallboards.

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Twelve money-saving tips

Below we’ve listed a number of homeowner-tested ways for saving money in adding on:

Do all the work yourself: if you have time – and if yare confident that your skills as a designer and builder will create an addition that will be an asset to your property – you can save a great deal of money by doing the whole thing yourself, from start to finish. Some homeowners who have done this indicate that savings can be anywhere from 20 to 60 percents.

Be your own contractor: Here again, you can spend a lot of time to save yourself money. Be prepared for hassles and hard work.

Hire less expensive labor: if you’re going to be your own contractor, you can hire students or retired or moonlighting craftspeople and construction workers who will probably charge less than the workers a professional general contractor hires.

Prepare the site yourself: Before construction begins, you can do any necessary demolition, such as tearing up concrete and pulling down walls.

Do all the cleanup: Normally, a contractor will see to it that the building site is cleaned up, and will charge you for the necessary labor. You can agree with the contractor to do daily cleanup and to do all necessary cleanup and hauling after the job is completed.

Install the insulation: One of the most common tasks that homeowners do during the construction process is installing insulation. It’s a relatively simple job, and doing it yourself can save some labor costs.

Do some finishing work: Many homeowners have saved money by doing sanding, sealing, and painting themselves. Also, you can install such hardware as cabinet handles and light fixtures.

Look for sales: you can save money on materials by hunting up suppliers’ distress, clearance, and carload sales.

Check wholesale and retail suppliers for seconds: A second is often as good as “unflawed” and flaws are usually insignificant. Just make sure such items are structurally sound.

Go to the manufacturer: Manufacturers of such materials as tile, skylights, and flooring often sell direct to public for prices lower than retail.

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Use less expensive grades: With some careful shopping you can find exterior grades of wood (rough, shop, and garden grades) that will serve your purposes just as well as more costly finished lumber.

Use recycled house parts: If you’re ready and willing to immerse yourself completely in your room addition project, you can haunt wrecking and salvage yards for treasure removed from demolished building. If you’re after something specific, put the word in with various wreckers to keep an eye out for it. Also, watch for demolitions in progress. You can often learn in advance about the demolition of a building by reading the legal notices in a local building trade paper.


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