Construction output prices increased steadily between December 2019 and June 2021. Global prices of commodities such as iron and copper have pushed up construction prices, with iron prices soaring 97% according to the Office of National Statistics. Bricks, blocks and timber have also become more expensive and some forecasts expect this to remain the case throughout 2022, according to a government report.

With price hikes making construction more expensive, how can you get the best deal on your home improvements? Here, the construction materials company Zoro offer you their key ideas on how to bring costs down.

Get creative with cheaper materials

While certain materials lend a more distinctive look to your home, you can still find ways to create beautiful effects with more cost-effective supplies. Instead of expensive hardwoods, a lot can be done with plywood, oriented strand board, or rough sawn softwood. In the right hands, these can still look the part, but will bring the overall cost of your project down.

For lighting, you can look at LED lights and simpler fittings, which can create an atmosphere just as well as a more expensive light fitting. You might also be able to reuse bricks if you have had to knock down any walls in your house as part of your renovation plans.

Contract tasks separately

You might not know that contracting each stage of your build separately can sometimes save you money. This is because it allows you to procure your own materials in between building stages, and then negotiate the lowest price for each part of the renovation.

For instance, if you are updating or replacing your roof, you can source the tiles yourself, at a price you’re comfortable with, and then contract a roofer to do the work. Then, you can contract someone else to do other work such as the windows, and negotiate with them. While this sounds time consuming, it’s often cheaper overall than going with one single package deal.

Go for off the standard measurements

Try to stay with standardised measurements as opposed to bespoke ones. This goes for windows, doors, and any fittings throughout your home improvement plans. Having bespoke measurements will mean that it takes longer for tradespeople to complete the work, and sourcing materials can often be trickier as everything has to be made to measure. By sticking with standard sizes, you can make the building process a lot quicker and easier, and save yourself some money.

Check the cost of materials

Make sure you look up the cost of the materials you’ll be needing before calling any construction firms for a quote on your project. That way, you can go into negotiations knowing how much of the price is taken up by the materials, and how much is being charged for labour. If you have found a cheaper source for a certain material, you can also show this to the construction company and ask if they can source their materials from there in order to reduce costs.

Plan the waste disposal

Although it’s the least interesting part of building or renovating, it’s important to plan how you’re going to remove waste from your property, as otherwise this can get expensive. Things like rubble will cost more to remove if you’re in a built-up area than they would in a rural one, so plan the access to your property accordingly, and budget for this cost.

You can often save money by doing some of the waste disposal yourself too, but make sure you know where you’ll need to take the waste materials, and whether you need to hire a vehicle before you begin. If done right however, this can be a good way to save money.

“With the costs of materials increasing so much, it’s a great time to get creative with your construction plans and find ways to make them more budget-friendly. Using different materials that you might not have considered is a good start, but knowing as much as possible about your project can help you find where to make savings.

“Research the materials and work you’ll be needing, and make sure to ask for quotes from more than one supplier or construction firm to really get an idea of the right cost. Don’t be afraid to take some time to think through a quote before starting the project, and make sure you have an exact budget for everything before any work begins.”Kelly Friel, Digital Product Manager, Zoro

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