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Top 7 Considerations When Building a Home Addition

Are you looking to add an addition to your home? 

Adding on an extra room, like a bathroom, patio room or build-out can be a huge lifestyle asset for any homeowner. Your day-to-day living would certainly be more comfortable if you didn’t have to wait in line for every family member to get done in the bathroom. The value you add to your property by expanding your home can be significant, and of course with more room in your home it will be much easier to sell.

When designing home additions you can have limitless possibilities, but of course budget, architecture, plans and permits should all be considered.  For every room addition and remodeling project you do in your home there is a process, so let’s look at the 7 main things you need to consider when adding space to your home.

First, What is Your Property’s Building Capacity?
Locating your property lines and developing an overall land area plan is important when considering a home addition. This includes your home’s square footage in comparison to your whole lot line size, the location of your utility lines and other considerations like landscaping.  Your municipality’s local codes and permits department may have restrictions. For example, you may only be able to increase your home size by x% compared to your overall lot acreage. Or, sometimes you have to get things ok’d by your neighbors or the community to build.  We have even heard stories of home addition plans being scrapped due to the close proximity to a neighbor.

Second, Design What You Think You Want Based on Your Current Floor Plan.
Look at the structure and the floor plan of your home. With the help of a residential designer or architect, develop a plan to provide the most attractive, useful and economical addition to your home. Don’t just think about how you will live in your addition, also consider how it architecturally effects the look of your home from the outside.

Next, You Need Plans in Writing, Preferably by a Professional Architect.
Like with anything you design, a home addition needs a written plan. Work with an architect to get every detail of your new living space exactly the way you want it. Of course, before work begins is to have all your materials picked out and make sure your architect has approved the scope of your home remodeling project.  Make a list of all the materials, check with your designer and your builder and then back things up with optional building material choices. Sometimes preferences are not practical for various reasons. You might find your first choices are too expensive or add too the building costs in a way only a builder would know. Bottom line is you want to work with your architect and builder to make sure your building material choices fit with in your home addition’s plan and budget.

What Will Your Final Budget Be for Your Home Addition Project?
What is the cost of a home addition? People always want to know what home additions cost and how to reduce their investment without skimping on the finished product. Each home addition has its own size, scope and building costs due to materials and design. The fact is, unless you have all the money in the world, you will you will make some changes to your original plan, some to save money others based on recommendations from your architect or project manager. Having an open mind when building a room addition is important to get through the process.

According to this Home Addition Calculator, a ‘Mid-Range’ home addition costs around $58,000. (Our home addition costs are much less). This is an averaged national number and does not take details like size, scope, land issues, or geography into account. Adding an addition to your home can cost as much as $150,000 or more, especially if you are doing 2 or 3 levels.  The Lowest amount we have seen is about $24,000, but $40,000-$60,000 is a good range to plan on. This might not match your specific project, but this is a good starting point. 

If you live in a more expensive area or if you have land issues like sloping or bedrock, you can bet on a more expensive home addition remodeling project. Smaller room additions that are more straight forward without fancy extras can cost much less.  By the way, if you are hearing much lower numbers- BEWARE! You might think you are saving $15k-$30k, but when it’s all said and done you very well may be out that amount and not have a home addition finished when it’s all said and done.

Next, gather bids from multiple contractors. Professional plans are a must, so get an architect involved as soon as possible. If you need help choosing an architect, here is a list of Home Addition Architecture Firms. When you provide your home addition contractors specific architectural plans, they can bid more accurately, and you’ll get a more accurate home addition cost because each will all be bidding from the same detailed building plans. Home Addition Planning Secret: Don’t forget the cost of the architect and their home addition design plans. When figuring the total home addition project cost, the designing, architecture and permits cost is often overlooked or under budgeted.  

Adding an Addition without Adding Too Much.
It is often the case that homeowners try to build an oasis out of their addition—decking it out with great flooring, furniture, electrical advantages, and new paint—only to find that now it doesn’t fit with the rest of the home. Now it feels like you are walking out of one home into another.

This is pretty common, but it’s also something you want to consider before you begin. Maybe you are looking for a complete redesign of your home, and the addition is a bonus on top of that. Great. However, if you weren’t expecting a complete revision of your current space in your total home addition cost, you might develop an intense love/hate relationship with your home addition.

If you don’t want to update the rest of your home…
Try to match the flooring in the addition with the room leading into it. This will be nearly impossible, unless the flooring in the adjacent rooms is relatively new. All flooring material fades and gets dirtier with age, so just do the best you can. Really scrutinize the samples in the daylight, in shadows, in room light. Make sure you have a match. The good news is that in a year or two, they will fade to a similar color.

If you simply want to add a fresh look to your existing home…

Hire a designer. Designers can visualize what you need, and they will also have some great ideas—both for the interior and exterior home—to make sure that this home addition matches the new look and feel of your home. From flooring to paint to wall textures to windows. They won’t miss anything.



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