If you’re looking to save money on extended your home, look no further - DIY is the answer!
By taking on a few of the basic handy jobs, you could save yourself thousands, and if you have some contractor skills up your sleeve, this could even go into the £10,000s mark. Really!
Of course, DIY all hangs on what you’re comfortable (and capable) in doing. Done right, DIY can save you money, but done wrong, you might spend twice what you would have done on a professional, as you try to correct your band handy work. With that being said, here’s what you should be considering…
By far the easiest way to save money is to decorate the extension yourself. Painting walls, though more hard work than expected, is fairly unskilled. Professional decorators would usually charge you £140-200 a day for the privilege, so it’s an easy win in savings.
Another decorating job you might undertake is sorting out your flooring. Unless you’re going with hardwood floors, which will need a professional touch, laying your own carpet or laminate can be done by most handy homeowners.
These simple solutions are just what Arnaud and Clem, two Resi homeowners, did when it came to their own loft conversion.
“We saved money by doing some of the work ourselves - painting the walls and laying the carpet on the stairs up to the loft. Arnaud did it during the weekends and evenings, so it took a while to complete but ended up saving us almost £4,000.”
The second fix
This refers to everything that comes after plastering has finished.
It might include:
- Connecting up electrical fixtures
- Adding in sinks and baths
- Fitting doors into door frames
Like decorating, these are superficial jobs that someone confident in everyday handy work should be able to take on. However, it goes without saying, that you shouldn’t take on any plumbing or electrical jobs unless you’re confident you know what you’re doing.
If you’re looking for an easy second fix win, we recommend fitting your own kitchen. This could be a breeze with a pre-assembled unit, as a professional would charge around £250 for the job. Even if it's not pre-assembled, you should consider taking the job on. Professionals, especially in London, can charge nearly £1000.
Overall, if you took on the majority of the second fix work, you might save up to or above £5000.
Got a green thumb? Put it to good use by landscaping your garden, once your extension has been completed.
Landscaping might include…
- Installing a patio
- Installing decking
- Laying down turf
- Fitting a pond
- Creating flowerbeds
Some of these groundworks jobs are labour intensive, so make sure you have both the skill and fitness to see them through. If you do DIY these elements, you could save between £1000 - 4000.
Avoid these DIY pitfalls
Before you take on any DIY project, ask yourself these important questions…
Are there any health and safety risks for you?
It goes without saying but you should never undertake a project that could put you or others in danger. If the work you’re considering is very manual and intensive, it might be worth checking with your doctor, should you have a history of joint or back injuries.
Will you need any specialist equipment?
For instance, we don’t recommend doing your own groundworks here because you’ll need to hire a small digger. However, a lot of projects we have recommend will still require a skip, so factor this into your costs.
How much would it cost to fix should things go wrong?
While you might hope the best, you should be prepared for the worst happening. Fixing a bad pipe is one thing, but if you take on your own brick-laying, fixing this in the future is going to be very expensive and intrusive to your home.
How long will DIY take in comparison?
Though DIY is often a lot cheaper, it does tend to take a lot longer. Partly because you might not be as efficient as a professional, but also because many people have full-time jobs and can only work on their homes in the evenings and at the weekend. If you’re able to live in your home while the work takes place, this might not be too much of a problem. However, if you need to rent temporary accommodation during the build, you might lose all your savings on the monthly rental bill.
Will this hurt my investment?
While many people take on extensions for extra space, there’s no denying that extensions are also investments. What you put into the project now, you’ll hopefully see returned when it comes to selling your home. Because of this financial element, you’ll want to make sure your house price doesn’t suffer because of poor handy work. This is why we caution against building the actual extension yourself. Its bricks and mortar where most of the value lies, so unless you can guarantee professional quality work, leave this to a trusted contractor.
Learn more about getting the best contractor for the best price.
Interested in learning more about transforming your home? Book in a free consultation with our team, we provide expert advice on projects little and large!