Top 10 Ways To Save On Home Additions

Framing a room addition.

Building an addition to your home can pay off in the long run, but if you aren't careful you can easily break your budget in the process. There are, fortunately, many ways in which you can save money on new home construction. Between hitting up your local recycling center to doing parts of the renovation yourself, here are our top ten Do-It-Yourself ways to save money while you're building your new room addition.

1. Start in the Offseason

The timing of the room addition is a factor in the final costs. If you start the renovation in the summer or fall, the costs will be higher than after the holidays. You might even be able to find contractors that are offering discounts at the start of the year. If you time it right, you can save thousands on the entire project by skipping peak seasons.

2. Visit Recycling Centers

A recycling center.

You can save a lot of money by using recycled building materials and fixtures. Your local Habitat for Humanity Restore is a great place to start. The only thing you should keep in mind is that some contractors will not use salvaged materials because of insurance issues. If you're doing some of the renovations on your own, however, you can save big on recycled materials, from insulation bundles to pre-hung doors.

3. Use Stock Sizes

You can minimize waste by situating your plans to coincide with stock sizes of plywood and lumber. For example, you should avoid designing walls 10 feet in width as most plywood comes in 4-foot sections. This helps minimize wasted materials and custom fabrication. This tip is especially important when designing doorways.

4. Demo Yourself

A person demoing a wall.

Demolishing a room to make space for an addition is not the most expensive part of a renovation, but you can save money doing it yourself. The most important thing to remember is to demo with care so that you do not cause additional repairs down the road. The biggest things to look out for are load-bearing walls and electrical work. Taking out a load-bearing wall can cause serious damage to the structure of your home while cutting through electrical work is a health, and fire hazard.

5. Donate Materials

Along with using recycled materials, you can save by donating some goods yourself. Not only will you help your local recycling center, but you will also save money on trash services. Depending on how large your renovation project, these savings can really add up. Donating your trash also helps save space in your local landfill, which is good for the environment.

6. Finish It Yourself

A ladder with a paint roller on it.

Along with handling the demo, you can save a lot of money finishing a room addition on your own. This includes doing the painting, sanding, and general cleanup. It's also a good idea to help with the cleanup as often as possible, as construction crews will usually charge a daily expense for taking out the trash.

7. Ditch The Foundation

If it doesn't violate local codes, you might consider skipping out on the foundation and supporting the addition by other means. You can build a new room by incorporating beams and posts, just like you would when building a deck. This can save you thousands of dollars because you don't have to pour concrete for the foundation. The only catch is that some local codes will not allow a new addition without a proper foundation.

8. Visit Auctions

A gavel at an auction with a crowd of people in the background.

You can find great deals on lumber and other building materials at local auctions. Auctions tend to sell a variety of items, so finding what you need can be a little tricky. If you are patient, however, you can find exactly what you need for a renovation, including overstocked supplies.

9. Shop Around

You should never settle on the first estimate. Although this seems like obvious advice, it's easy to simply go with the first contractor you meet, especially if their prices seem reasonable. As a rule of thumb, you should get between three and five estimates before moving forward.

10. Trades And Barter

It's times such as these that bring out the very best in many people, and the year 2020 has certainly not proven to be an exception to that rule. Many building professionals and do-it-yourselfers either find themselves out of work, out of business, and or out of money and options. Offering your goods or services in exchange for their services could prove to be quite rewarding both in monetary savings and in making new connections in your community.