Help me save money on an addition.

   / Help me save money on an addition. #11  
What's going in the addition? Bedroom / bath, or family space? If you have the skills, do it yourself, not just GC it.
I built probably 100 additions. The money can be saved in the labor & profit.
The OP needs to be his own GC to save significant money. Just make sure you read, study & prepare.

When I would get a customer who wanted to start even suggesting buying materials from here or there or worse, the customer supplying the materials, I would refuse to do the job. The art of GC-ing is scheduling and making sure materials & subs arrive on time.

A neighbor of mine, who is a well-meaning dope, GC’d his 2 car garage. What should have taken 1 month to build, took 9 months. Most subs quit, and the garage looks completely mismatched from the house. It turned out to be a disaster. He makes good money, but thinks he knows more than everyone because he’s a “PhD” so he’s GOT to be smarter than a GC. :rolleyes:

To the OP- if you want a certain look of rustic materials, that’s great (so do I) but just make sure you schedule your subs way ahead of time and obsessively coordinate them AND materials delivery so everything you need is ON SITE before they are installed.
   / Help me save money on an addition.
  • Thread Starter
@jaxs Yes, I have all the tools.
   / Help me save money on an addition. #13  
Some great advice here gentlemen, thank you!
@newbury that is what I am going to do start putting prices of things we need down so I have a reference and I can watch the market on those things.

Keep it coming!!
I did takeoff using a spreadsheet, can enter prices and keep a current estimate of costs.
   / Help me save money on an addition. #14  
Local codes may not allow the residential use of sawmill lumber that isn't insect treated and officially stamped for grade. It may be okay for barn use, but not sure you can use it to build a house addition. If it's green and not kiln dried, it can warp and cause more issues. The dimensions may vary from graded kiln dried lumber which creates more issues in framing.

Some codes require licensed plumbers and electricians to do that work.
   / Help me save money on an addition. #15  
Agree with 2Manyrocks, check local building codes too. I've built/been the GC on most of the buildings here and have used rough lumber for some framing, but it does have consequences such as extension jambs, and spacing for insulation etc.

Suggest you start with some rough layout on graph paper, foundation plan, and basement/crawl space and a rough floor plan, with windows, doors, decks etc, Then start a spreadsheet listing all the materials you can think of.

Once you have a rough plan "sorted" go visit your local lumber yard - I found full service lumber yards have experienced guys that can advise you on a lot of things, and contractors that do things you will sub out, They also deliver to your site in drops when you need it, and sometimes lower in cost than the big box stores.

Things to sub out would be concrete/foundation, then getting the trame up, and weather tight, windows and roof on - you could do it but a crew can do this in a week or two, where it may take you a month or more. Then you can focus on the interior wiring, plumbing, and insulation.

Insulation is a big cost, if sprayed, look into rock wool - its easy and is a good product, but many times the insulation contractors have buying power. Then drywall contract that with taping ready for paint.
   / Help me save money on an addition. #16  
So we are starting the process of putting an addition on our house. By starting the process i mean preliminary plans, drawings, wish lists, etc.

My wife and I both love the wood, stone, rustic aesthetic; but contractor friends have told me this will increase the sqft price significantly. But done right you can still have that look and not break the bank.
20-25 by 36-45? What is about 900 sq ft? Building code in your area? Without a completed plan, how can you stockpile material? Once you have a complete plan, you can count 2x4, 2x6, doors, windows, shingles, HVAC, tub, toilet, cabinets, pipe, block, rebar, hurricane clips, etc. Then every payday go out and buy x of until you have enough of that item.
Unless time is crucial, labor is a huge expense. I’d consider hiring a framing crew to get it in the “dry” then tackle the rest myself.
What can’t you do yourself? Plumbing, electric, hvac, drywall, stone ? Without a plan you can’t even get these guys to bid (drywall is 30/sht hang and finish here) Right now, my area, turnkey would be ~135K

Are you remodeling and adding on? Shared wall or open floor plan? Can it be broken down into phases? Could you build the new cabinetry while you stockpile material?
   / Help me save money on an addition. #17  
Right now, prices are fluctuating every day. One day plywood is back to where it nearly was pre covid, a week later its up $10 a sheet. I just spent $28/ 12’ for type X sheetrock to finish my garage. Ive never paid that much for rock….ever.

prices for 2x4’ were low again…finally.

ive been in construction trades for a long time. Back in 1996 i gc’d my own house. Its a 2 story 3,800+ sf house. Took longer to build that way, but saved lots of money. This was back at a time when a phone call can bring 5 different guys that actually supplied a bid.

when trimming out my 3 car garage, i hade 4 drywall contractors actually finally come and look at it, of the 7 i called. Only 2 actually followed thru with a bid. Of the 2, one guy was 2-3 months out. The other guy could start in a few weeks as its a small job that he could fit it. He asked me to supply rock and hed supply everything else. He actually showed up when he said he would and is doing a great job.

same thing with insulation contractors. Called 4 for bids. 3 couldnt be bothered with small job (even though im going to overblow entire house attic) last gut actually measured everything and gave me an honest estimate. I signed and they gave me a date 2 days after thanksgiving.

to me the hardest part of being your own gc is having trades fit you in their schedule. They have long time customers (general contractors) that they work exclusively for who get priority for their time. I understand this, those guys are their bread and butter.

as time went by, i found i can do my work as an electrical contractor and save money to pay someone else to do the work i cant do well, or is too hard as i got older. Now days, i look at a 12’ sheet of 5/8” type X and back hurts so much i have to go sit down.
   / Help me save money on an addition. #18  
I'm currently building a house. Well, paying someone to build me a house... I have not found a lot of areas where I felt like I was able to do too much that would save me any considerable money. You could probably demo the adjoining wall. I did do the dirt work for the building pad and built the driveway, it wouldn't be terribly hard for you to peel the topsoil if you've got access to any earth moving equipment. Not sure if you would be able to use your tractor for that, mine is too small. You might could dig footers if you have access to a backhoe and laser? I'm assuming slab? You would be able to fill the foundation, lay the plastic, tie the rebar, lay the wire etc.

For me these trades I personally would not even consider doing myself. I don't have the experience and don't want to gain seat of the pants experience by messing up with no one to check it. Plumbing, electric, framing, bricklaying, HVAC, concrete.

Painting and trim would be something that would be easy enough to do yourself if you have the time. If those get messed up it's easy enough to fix after the fact. Keeping the site clean and burning/ burying what you can to avoid dumpster fees.

Built in showers are EXPENSIVE! I just got the quote for finishing mine out... Get pre-made ones if you can stand it.

Where I'm at Brick seems to be one of the cheaper outside materials. Stone is a lot more, both for the materials and labor. Engineered stone is about double, and that is cheaper than real stone.

With the list of what you are adding on, you are building a house attached to your current one... Have you considered selling what you have and buying something closer to what you want? I would assume you could be even money with less headache?
   / Help me save money on an addition. #19  
With the list of what you are adding on, you are building a house attached to your current one... Have you considered selling what you have and buying something closer to what you want? I would assume you could be even money with less headache?

This is worth considering.

Some predicted a residential real estate crash this year that hasn't quite happened so far as prices are concerned, but the market seems to be flat/cooling. 2024 could be a different real estate market?
   / Help me save money on an addition. #20  
Was my own gc/ builder and called in quite a few favors for a 1k sq ft all season cabin. Cuz it was in a pretty desolate place and at the time lived 300 miles away, planning ahead was imperative for success, also having knowledge on what I could proficiently do in time I had available helped/ working with the building inspector when I was around before covering things up, plus I tried to do it on a shoe string budget. Drew up my own plans, framed all exterior and most of the interior, trimmed out all windows ,doors,and base with rough cut hemlock that was mind boggling inexpensive, did all plumbing and electrical with help from knowledgeable friends, did both bathrooms and kitchen myself. Wife and I put down about 600 sq ft of fake wood looking ceramic tile hired someone local for 400 sq ft of carpet I did sub out frost wall guy let me help his crew for significant savings, poured slab in frost wall myself. Hired some one else to hang and finish drywall cost me a old 20' camper i was staying in while building and a little cash. Hired someone to do foam insulation cuz I probably would have made a gigantic expensive mess, hired an old classmate to put the trusses, roof, siding and most doors and windows in. Inexpensively rented a old Pettibone sky track from a local that was being used in the area. Did all painting, built my deck stairs, balcony, I will say building my cabin was one of the he most gratifying materialistic things I've ever done. I will also say I went to small local lumber yards initially but they would not work with me cuz I didn't have a contractor license according to one of the yards so I used a big box store over 100 miles away roundtrip which gave me a minimum of 10% off MSRP on materials I saved at least a few thousand. If you have the ability to draw up your own plans you can save also save lots of money by doing your own window and door openings/ and schedule using common sizes on hand at stores. Not using customized special orders. I'm sure I'm missing stuff I did or should have done differently but I'm being a long-winded blowhard Lol.
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