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    save money on your build

What comes first? Plans or Quote?

We often get asked: “What should I do first? Should I get a quote for my home extension/addition or should I get plans drawn up?”

These are our top 5 tips on why you should get a quote from a builder BEFORE getting plans for your project when building an addition or extension.

    1. Obtaining a detailed written quote or proposal for your addition or extension comes with many benefits. In your quote the builder should provide you with an indication of the size of the build (how much room is going to be added to your home), the number of rooms being added and what materials and inclusions are being used so you know what is included and if you can afford what you are planning to build.


    1. A builder can arrange to assist you in drafting plans inhouse or have relationships with draftspeople or architects that specialise in the type of build you are after. This can make the whole process smoother and faster saving you time and money.


    1. When you work with your builder they can review your plans with you and the draftsperson to ensure you are staying on track with costs and may pick up on items that may be of concern from a construction viewpoint. This input is important in ensuring that you achieve what you set out for in your build while staying within your budget and avoiding issues that could arise during the build if not picked up during this critical planning stage.


    1. A builder can help and advise you on the true costs for different material options before you commit to plans and approvals. This can in turn ensure that you get the right materials, resulting in the right look for your build at the right cost.


  1. A builder can consult and guide you with on how to achieve what you want while managing what you can afford. This is best done prior to plans being drawn up due to the builders expertise in the type of build you are looking at. This can reduce the amount of plan revisions and save you time and money in the short term and long term.

If you are thinking of planning or building an addition or extension contact us on (02) 4647 2324 or fill out the form below to get things started.


7 cost-effective ways to save on your second storey addition/extension

With financial institutions tightening their lending criteria, we have found that some of our clients are finding that although they would like the extra space in their home, their lending capacity has decreased.

A common question we continuously get asked is “What are the most cost-effective ways to achieve the additional space we require, while managing to stay within our budget?” Below are 7 of the most cost effective ways you can save on your build that we tend to suggest first ahead of looking to reduce the size of the structural aspect of the build.

  1. 1. Roofing – If you are looking to build a second storey addition/extension and your roof is currently tiled, why not consider reusing and recycling the existing roof tiles for your addition instead of installing all new roof tiles. Here you can reduce the cost of the supply of the roofing materials.
  2. 2. Cladding – Opt for the external cladding of your home to be a Weatherboard cladding. This choice will save you on material and labour costs compared to brickwork or a Hebel and Render which are costlier options. Check out the Weathertex cladding gallery
  3. 3. Ensuite – Is an ensuite a must have for the guest bedroom? How often do you have guests staying that will utilise this room? Could they just use the main bathroom? By eliminating this room, you can save significant costs on tiling, electrical, plumbing and fit out costs and the dreaded cleaning of an extra bathroom!
  4. 4. Kitchen – If you are considering an extension and you want to renovate your kitchen, you may need to consider what is the most important decision to make on your investment right now? Is it going to add value by increasing the footprint of the home and creating more living space? Can the kitchen wait until a later date when you are in a better financial position? Alternatively, if you are going to include the kitchen do you need the 40mm thick stone benchtop when you can save by choosing a 20mm? Do you need $1,000 tapware or are there more cost-effective alternatives?
  5. 5. Bathroom – The cost of tiles can have a significant impact on your build cost. There are a wide range of tiles at varying costs. Do you really need the $50/m2 white tile or will the $15/m2 tile work for you?
  6. 6. Internal doors – Solid doors or hollowcore doors? and do you really need to update all of them? Hollowcore doors are the cost-effective option here, you can always upgrade later if you want solid doors
  7. 7. Internal painting – Are you able to pick up a brush and complete this yourself? Saving on labour costs will reduce your overall build cost. Maybe have a bbq and invite the family over and ask friends to paint!

With making the decision to add to or extend on your home it is about balancing your needs and wants while staying within the budget you have available. Every family has a different approach to their wants and needs, and it is important to understand that if it is a challenge to stay within budget while getting what you want you may need to look at the alternative solutions offered to you and come to a compromise. We find that our clients that choose to increase the value of their home within a manageable budget are far happier and comfortable with the results and often build and work on other internal upgrades later.

Want advice and guidance on your future addition and the costs involved? Talk to us, the addition specialists – contact us today