planning a home addition

Planning A Home Addition?

Maybe a family member is staying with you for a while, and you’re tired of cramming everyone into your small kitchen. Or, due to COVID-19 you are working from home and ready to start your plans of building a master suite for yourself. Whatever reason you have for planning a home addition, the end idea is to achieve more space. Where do you start when thinking about building an addition? The basics include; having a budget, compiling ideas, and planning the actual building process.

The early stages of home additions begin from the starting point of having a proper foundation. These and other plan contingencies will influence the design and project at large. As a homeowner, considering a home addition, you should conserver making a list. A list will get the want, need, costs, design, and additional plans for your space together. A list helps you prioritize your goals while fostering effective communication between you and the designers, architects, or contractors. In addition to planning, you want to;

1.Identify your objectives

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First, carefully consider why you want an addition, a room, or a new space—knowing the project’s objective guides the planning. You’ll likely want more living space, but you may be surprised that addition is not always the only option. Alternatively, you might be seeking more access to indoor and outdoor activities. Ultimately, knowing what problem to solve helps fine-tune your objectives. Here are some examples of things to consider;

  • The kitchen feels too cluttered and cramped.
  • The floor space is unappealing or misused.
  • The natural light in the room is poor.
  • Need an extra room for guests.
  • The room feels disconnected.

Needs and Wants

For people remodeling or building additions, wishes and realities are important factors, which sometimes carry a large gap. When you create a list of needs and wants it will guide your decision-making.

2.Create a pictorial representation of your addition plans 

Allow yourself some dream time to put your space into focus. Before you hire an expert, you may consider checking homeowners’ designs online. Furthermore, create a scrapbook with related pictures or plans from design magazines. Remodeling ideas and related home improvement elements could help too.

3.Check out some trending, geo-specific designs.

Check out trendy items that could serve as savvy additions to your home improvement plan. This is important as you want to find ideas that will adhere to your local ordinance while having building codes for realistic weather conditions. These could include open concepts in the kitchen; a media-fitted guest bedroom, a paint-inclusive interior, and more. When deciding on these new designs, it’s smart to also understand basics costs as they can greatly differ.

4.Calculate the cost 

Remember that when making a list, adding the cost(s) is necessary. Therefore, determine how much you need to cover the costs. The majority of the time, the cost of home additions is less than what you have saved up. Hence leaving you the option of a home improvement loan and other related financing options. In a bid with a contractor, remember you shouldn’t opt for any do-it-yourself items. Legitimate contractors have high insurance expenses and hold liability so they expect to see the entire job through and not subcontract out any portion that they are liable for. Design options typically are the best budget-saving opportunities over labor or trying to micro-manage aspects of the project from the general contractor.

5.Check out the building site. 

It is vital to take a good look at where you plan to build your addition. First, the building site should be at a desirable location. You should consider the exterior views and potential landscape design. While considering this, check existing structures that you could remove, like utility poles, water tanks, etc. For most additions, homeowners choose to build if the city ordinances allow this. Homeowners who choose to build up to preserve their outdoor space or retain privacy often are satisfied with the end result. Pop-outs and second-story additions are great choices, it really just comes down to budget and layout of the property.

In closely built neighborhoods, where the houses are under an HOA association, a home addition sometimes needs HOA approval to carry the same exterior or design.

6.Hire a local, vetted professional

Photo by Daniel McCullough on Unsplash

From contractors to architects and engineers it’s vital to employ the services of experts in your area. The types of people you have on your project ultimately determine the scope and result. Consulting with experts makes your addition a long-term investment vs a money pit. Regardless of how small your addition is or how much work you intend to add you still need an experienced designer, someone to help with the floor, etc. In today’s world a lot of homeowners approach us with sketches and drafts they found online, but unfortunately, these are not legally acceptable, hence the need for an architect and engineer.

Subsequently, a bigger and more extensive addition project requires bigger plans. Although an architect can cover the overall designs, a contractor needs to supervise. Alternatively, you could consider building firms or design contractors with a complete package of services needed – construction, project management, designs, planning, and more. The costs of general services vary from professional to professional. Some people charge for daily work while others bill you for the overall work.

7.Put it in black and white. 

A reputable professional like a designer, contractor, or architect works according to the terms of an agreement. Therefore, a legal document that explains the project in detail should be drafted. Usually, contracts consist of a written document, a list of materials, and the building’s blueprints or space. When the document is signed, the people involved agree to the terms and are legally obligated to fulfill the requirements. The ideas binding a contract could sometimes vary, but the basis is almost always the same. Therefore, it is not uncommon to find- a work schedule, a payment schedule, statements of coverage for theft or injuries, clauses for what the builder may or may not be responsible for in the document.



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