A home addition is an excellent way to create more usable space in your house. It is also a tried-and-tested strategy to help boost the overall value of your property.
But even if a home addition offers several rewards, many homeowners are still hesitant in investing in this type of project. These individuals or families usually have concerns about what the process will be like and the changes/adjustments they have to make during the project. The total cost of the project is another thing many homeowners worry about as well.
The trick to having a stress-free home addition project is careful and thorough planning. And to ensure your project goes smoothly and gives you the result you are expecting, follow these home addition design and planning tips from us, here at Post & Beam: Identify your project goals
1. Identify your project goals
Before anything else, sit down with your spouse or partner (and even the whole family) to talk about the possibility of a home addition and your goals for this project.
During this meeting, discuss what type of addition you want to make. If you are still undecided, ask your family what type of addition they think the house needs and why.
If you are still having difficulties narrowing down your options, inspect your home and reflect upon your lifestyle. Think about what type of addition will give the most benefits to everyone. Also, think about whether the cost and disruption will really be worth it.
2. Gather essential documents
Once you have decided which type of home addition to invest in, you need to acquire a few key documents to start planning.
One of the important documents you need to have for this particular home improvement project is a precise plot plan of your property. It should show the property lines and the proximity of the current and proposed buildings to these lines.
With this plot plan on hand, you can plan a home addition that won’t breach property lines or encroach on your neighbor’s property. You can get your plot plan and property surveys from the local registry of deeds.
Find out what other permits you need to get to make certain extensions to your home as well. Go online or ask your contractor if you already have one.
3. Set a budget
Before meeting with an architect or builder, set a budget that you feel comfortable with first. By doing so, you will avoid setting your heart on a particular design that you can’t really afford.
When setting your budget, make sure it covers all labor and material costs, equipment, and permits. You will also do well to include increases to property taxes, utility expenses, and even insurance.
Lastly, ensure your budget is realistic. Even if your home addition turns out great but you end up getting buried in debt, you won’t be happy with your project. So try to stay within your budget, and consider including a reasonable buffer for unexpected expenses to avoid unnecessary stress throughout the project.
4. Hire the right contractor
Going the DIY route without the proper experience won’t help you have a home addition that will meet all your goals. You may even encounter more problems when you choose to take on this project on your own.
It is best to hire a home remodeling company that has a design and construction team to accomplish a project requiring these special skills. An architect or designer will design the exact plans and specifications, to ensure you have a safe, functional, and beautiful addition to your home.
The company’s construction or building manager will then help put the plans in place. And with their team of expert carpenters and other tradesmen, you will be sure that your home addition project will be in capable hands.
5. Work with your contractor to create the design
With the budget and physical or space restrictions out of the way, start looking for inspiration for your home addition. Check Pinterest, watch HGTV or read home design magazines to get ideas for the design, layout, and functionality of the planned new space. Start looking for inspiration for different products, materials, and color schemes as well.
However, when it comes to actually creating the design, work with your contractor. For the addition to work, it should complement your existing floor plan and feel like part of your original home — not an afterthought or a separate space.
Your house remodeling contractor will create a design that complements your current floor plan. He or she will ensure all important elements are considered such as elevations and rooflines. Your contractor will provide the drawings or blueprints needed to get a building permit.
6. Have a professional check your existing utility lines
Before officially starting the project, have an electrician and HVAC contractor evaluate the condition of current utilities in your home. This is to ensure all existing electrical and HVAC systems will be able to handle new additions to their capacity.
It is important that you ask the contractor if your existing furnace and cooling units can handle the extra square footage with some added ductwork or a split HVAC system. If not, you may have to purchase additional systems.
Lastly, if the addition calls for breaking ground and digging underneath your home, make sure the area has been checked for underground utilities beforehand as well.
As a final tip, prepare for the project. Eliminate everything that can get in the way of the workers and do the following:
- Cover furniture, fixtures, and other items to protect them from dust and debris.
- If your current space is a bit restrictive, consider putting some of your occasionally and rarely used possessions in temporary storage. This way, the workers will have an easier time working on the project. You will no longer worry about bumping into things or getting some of your furnishings dirty and ruined as well.
- Don’t forget to inform your neighbors about your project. Apologize in advance for the noise and other disruptions that will affect them.
- Lastly, be prepared for the lifestyle changes you will experience. Make sure you have a backup plan that will allow your family to stick to the routine with as little variation as possible.
By following all of the tips above, you will get the results you are looking for from your home addition project.
If you’re looking to invest in a home addition project, get in touch with us at Post & Beam now to ensure you get on the right track.
With your input and our expertise, your dream home addition will soon become a reality.
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