7 Ways to Cut Your Extension Costs
1.Keep the design of the extension simple and choose standard materials
Irregular shaped extensions are costly to build and have the added expense of potentially requiring custom made windows/doors. Keep costs down by building a rectangular/square extension with a simple pitched roof. Use easily available build materials and standard sized windows and doors.
2. Avoid building near trees, drains or other buried services
If possible, avoid complicated groundworks. A tree report will cost from £250. Tree removal costs vary between £300 – £500 for a small tree and between £2,500 – £3,500 for a large tree.
Building over or within three meters proximity of a shared drain requires a Build Over Agreement and costs around £335
3. Obtain your own Party Wall Award (Agreement)
A Party Wall is a wall shared between two properties, typically seen in a terrace house or semi detached or shared structures such as the floors between apartments. If your extension involves building or digging foundations within 3m of a party (shared) wall or other foundations, then you may require a Party Wall Agreement.
You can issue a Party Wall Notice yourself to each of your affected neighbours. If your neighbour agrees to the works in writing, you will not require a Party Wall Agreement and this can save on the fees, which are typically £700 to £900 per neighbour.
4. Re-use & Recycle
If knocking down walls/rooms, consider what materials you can re-use or sell rather than just throwing everything in a skip (flooring, tiles, radiators, bricks, cabinets/units etc). This also reduces costs for skip hire and disposal.
Consider re-facing instead of just replacing. For example, if your kitchen cabinets are in great condition, you could just re-paint them or replace the doors and drawers as part of your kitchen renovation.
5. Building Regulations
All extension work requires building regulations approval and you may need building regulations approval for many alteration projects. This can cost from £400 – £750. However, you do not need to get approval yourself if you use traders registered with a competent person scheme.
6. Plan ahead in detail & avoid making changes once the design’s been agreed
Spend time planning everything including the smallest details – electric socket locations, light fittings, flooring, tiles, cladding etc. This will save money on the cost of making alterations at a later date.
Additionally, stick to the agreed design. It’s very easy once work is underway to want to make minor changes but these can quickly start to add up. Any changes made may also affect the time taken to complete the project which will add extra costs.
7. Consider what professional roles you could manage yourself
Planning Application drawings don’t need to be produced by an architect or engineer – as long as they are accurate and to scale, they can be produced by anyone. If you have access to modern CAD software then you may be able to produce your own drawings.
A building contractor or architect will charge 15 – 20% (up to £4,500) on top of the net cost of labour, materials and overheads. You can cut costs here by managing the project yourself. This includes obtaining planning permission/agreements, hiring tradespeople, ordering materials/equipment, directing the work etc.
Your Extension Cost
To calculate the cost of your project, Yoop Architects take a measured survey of your property, which captures all the information. Then we draw it all up in 3D and create sketches to show sometimes five or six options if it’s not entirely clear how you want to achieve your brief.
A lot of the times there are different ways of achieving your desired result and the more you work with the building, the cheaper, easier and faster your build will be. Once you’ve got a favorite scheme or a couple of favorite schemes, we have a phase called ‘Meet the Builders’. That’s when we can introduce you to a couple of builders, they visit the property and they give you a ballpark figure.
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