As families grow and change, oftentimes the home they’re in can feel a bit cramped. A home addition can be the perfect way to gain a little more space and not be on top of each other. But there’s far more to it than breaking out the boards and nails.
Have A Plan
Before you break ground, know your ultimate end goal. What do you want your expansion to achieve, and why? What’s your budget for this expansion? Will it increase the value of your home enough to be worth the price? Get answers to these questions, as having them will save you both time and money.
Study The Law
It’d be nice if you could just build anything you want on your house, but each municipality has different rules and regulations regarding homes and construction. Depending on the addition and local laws, it may range from a simple statement of what you plan to add to a full-blown zoning permit request. Get a sense of the paperwork you’ll have to fill out, and work on getting that in order before you hammer a single nail.
Talk To Professionals
The next step will be to bring in a local company or two and see if your addition is even feasible in the first place. Most homeowners believe it’s a matter of nailing on a few boards, but the reality is that a home is a complex system. For example, you should make an inventory of the systems that will have to be put into your extension. At the very least you’ll likely want electrical and air conditioning in your new space, so bring in an electrician and an air-conditioning technician to look over your systems.
Design With An Eye For Matching
You don’t want your addition to stick out like a sore thumb when it’s complete, but that can be a taller order than you might at first think. Remember, both the siding and the roof of the extension will have to match, and it will also have to be in scale with the rest of your home. Otherwise, it may actually drive down the value of your house; part of the value of a home is its overall aesthetic.
An architect or designer should really be your first stop. Although you can buy generic extension plans online, they’ll be able to make revisions and improvements that will help the extension feel like a natural part of your home.
What Should Experts Do?
There are some tasks that, if you wish, you can handle yourself. For example, you probably won’t need to bring in a professional painting crew to put a few coats on the walls of your new extension. But for other tasks, especially complex or dangerous ones such as adding ductwork or wiring, it’s better to bring in contractors.
Another factor to consider as well: When you do it yourself, you don’t just spend money, you also spend time. If a job will take five days, a contractor can get it done in a week while doing it yourself might take two weeks or more. Especially with complex builds, consider the impact on your family and the time you have, as well as your budget.