A house extension can do wonders for your home. Some of the benefits include additional storage spaces, extra rooms for guests, and more. However, before you undertake any extension, you have to get permission from the local authorities and prepare a budget for the entire process. To help you save money when preparing the budget, use the following tips that will show you how to extend house cheaply:

Construction Technique

Use Insulating Concrete Forms (ICFs) for an outside wall extension. This material is affordable, energy efficient, durable, and easy to build with – they are usually stacked to the height of the walls, strengthened with steel bars, filled up with concrete, stucco, and rock. Building with ICF is also fast.

Go for Readily Available Products

When you are building a house extension, it’s preferable that you avoid purchasing any materials that need to be pre-ordered since they can be quite expensive. The cheapest way to extend a house is to go for windows and door frames that are on display if you are planning on adding these features to your extension. For the floor area, use cast concrete, timber for the roof’s frame, and interlocking tiles to cover the roof.

Keep the Groundworks Simple

Unless you live in a character property, always avoid complex groundworks. Don’t try to build any additional tunnels or basements since they can be quite costly. Maintain the same floor plan and add the extension there.

Since a house extension usually takes a shorter time to complete than building an entire house, manage the project yourself to save on costs. Hiring someone else to manage the construction for you will cost you an additional 15 to 20% of the total cost. Take your time to liaison with your architect and local authority over the design requirements. Then, find the right tradespeople to supply your materials at an affordable price. Assist with the construction in case extra manpower is needed.

Go for Self-employed Tradespeople

Extension work often attracts VAT on the labour and material costs if you have hired tradespeople that work with a firm. Usually, hiring independent tradespeople is beneficial since their overall turnover doesn’t warrant a VAT charge. Additionally, independent tradespeople often sell cheap second-hand goods that don’t incur a VAT charge.

Inform Your Neighbor

In case your extension involves a party wall, write to your neighbour and ask for their consent before you begin the construction. You don’t want your neighbour getting angry and reporting you to the local authorities that will demand fines. So just avoid the extra costs and have a sit down with your neighbour. Make sure that they give you a written consent as proof of the agreement before you begin construction.

Choose Your Designer Well

Every architect is talented in their way and not all are the same. There are designers that will create the perfect house extension plan for you, but at a high cost. Alternatively, there are those that will keep the design fairly simple and practical so that you can save on costs. Always go for the latter architect if you want to save big bucks.

Avoid Cowboy Builders

A cowboy builder is an incompetent builder. He or she is only after your money and doesn’t care about the quality of the work. When building an extension, always be careful when a builder tells you that the work can be done for lesser than what you thought because that person can be a cowboy builder. You will think that they are offering you the cheapest way to build a house extension, but they are only bringing you trouble.


On average, you may spend between A$ 2760 and A$ 4601 on house extension. The costs often cover house designs, materials, and labour. However, if you want to know how to save money on house extension, use the above strategies. The listed methods will help you cut down costs by as much as 30%.

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