There’s one thing that we never seem to have enough of: space. New babies, growing teenagers, more possessions – before we know it, these factors and more can crowd our lives and create the need for more space. However, buying a larger home is not always the path to take. Home additions are often a better choice.
Be sure to take the time to carefully think the project through before hiring a contractor, and consider the following information before building an addition to your home.
Define Your Needs and Wish List
Before you contact a contractor, develop a list of what you want to achieve with an addition. Do you need a larger kitchen or an additional room for entertaining guests? Make sure to get as specific as possible. If a new kitchen island is in order, or an empty wall for a large television is required, write it down.
Be specific about the amount of space you want. Measuring an existing room or space can help determine the square feet you think you might need. If you are adding living space for elderly parents or for the handicapped, consult with an expert to make sure their needs are covered in your plan. Once your list is complete, rank the goals and wishes in order of priority.
Different Types of Home Additions
There are several different classifications for home additions:
- Garage additions involve adding a room above an existing garage, which can be great for teenagers or possible rental rooms.
- Dormer additions are excellent if your home has a very steep roofline and are known to increase the curb-appeal of your home when done correctly.
- Bump-out additions occur when a wall or multiple walls are “bumped out” to provide more space. These are usually the most inexpensive type of additions available.
- First floor additions involve adding a new room to an existing first floor and are a popular choice for sun rooms or family rooms.
- Second floor additions involve adding a second floor to a single-story home. Unlike first floor additions, second floor additions do not take away any existing yard space.
Be Open to Change
When you are designing a new addition to your home, be open to change. Maybe your initial idea was to expand the size of your kitchen, but instead of just adding more counter space along the walls, you could add an island to make better use of the space you have. If your bathroom is the focus of the addition, consider moving the vanity or the shower to a different area if it would open up more space.
You might want the siding on the addition to perfectly match what is already on the house, but that may not be possible. Consider adding new textures or colors to your addition, creating harmony through ranges of tones. Also, be open to suggestions made by the contractor or architect. It could be that your idea just isn’t feasible, and the either or both may be able to provide some valid alternatives.
Importance of Scale for Home AdditionsScale is key to designing home additions that complement your existing house. It is very important to keep things in proportion if you want your home to remain aesthetically pleasing. You should not have an entertainment room that is half as big as the rest of the house, or a utility room that looks like someone simply nailed a shed to the back of your home. Work with the contractor to make sure that the addition complements your home instead of detracting from it.
Permits and Legal Restrictions of Home Additions
There are quite a few permits and legal restrictions involved with building home additions. For example, there are setback restrictions for how close you can build a structure to existing property lines along with rules about height and building area design ratios. Familiarize yourself with the building codes in your township before you start planning your addition.
There are also permits to secure before a contractor can start building. Most permits require that blueprints of the addition design be submitted for approval. This allows the township to verify that the design does not violate local zoning laws for your neighborhood.
Finish Your Addition with Beautiful Landscaping
Don’t think of landscaping details as mere afterthoughts. Borders, walkways, trees, and flowerbeds should complement the finished product of your addition. Have the landscaping around the addition styled like it is in the rest of your yard so that it blends and is aesthetically pleasing. Don’t forget to include landscaping early in the planning process.
Costs of Home Additions
The cost of an addition will vary according to many factors, such as where you live, the type of and size of the addition, contractor charges, and the materials used. On average, most people spend about $200 per square foot in upscale areas and about $100 per square foot otherwise. When you sell your house, you can probably expect to recoup about 80% of what you spent on the addition.
Hiring a General Contractor for Your Addition
At Mancill Builders, we work hard to understand your vision for your home addition and take pride in turning your dreams into reality. Using our 40+ years of experience as a general contractor, we will evaluate your existing home and discuss all of the possibilities for expanding your home. We will make your dreams come true, whether by expanding your master bedroom or adding a second floor to your home, and everything in between. Our goal is 100% customer satisfaction, and at Mancill Builders no job is complete until you are completely satisfied. Call today for a free estimate.