There are several things to consider when planning to start a home addition project with the main aspects being your budget and having a clear goal of what you want to do. You may also need to decide on how to create more space in your existing home such as by building outwards (horizontally) or by building upwards (vertically) by adding on a new story to your home.
If you’re planning on a new kitchen or family room most homeowners opt for building out. However, a new bedroom could mean adding an additional story. Your decision may come down to the size of your property, and building out generally means fewer disruptions to your existing space and life.
Here in the Bay Area, where lot sizes tend to be smaller, going vertical in the form of a second story addition is the more popular option as the expansion does not encroach on yard space.
Redesign the home
Many homeowners like to redesign their home from scratch since this allows them to move and change things around. For instance, they may move doorways, make bedrooms bigger and design a finished basement etc. After making a list of alterations, you may be able to achieve them through remodeling rather than a home addition. In some cases you may find the existing living space can simply be reconfigured and an add-on isn’t needed. This could be done by utilizing areas such as the basement, attic, or garage.
Does the project make financial sense?
If you’re adding on to your home to create more living space for you and your family and have no intention of selling the house you don’t really need to worry about this. However, if the purpose of the add on is to increase the resale value of the house you may want to take notice. If you plan on selling your home in the near future it doesn’t really make sense to spend $50,000+ on a home addition if the value of the house will increase by just $25,000. The math doesn’t make sense and it’s a losing proposition. Consider carefully what you plan to do and make sure you weigh all costs to determine if it’s in your best interests economically.
A home addition will typically cost a considerable amount of money. It’s recommended that you explore all avenues to see if there are any areas in which you can help cut the costs. For example, you may want to do some of the work yourself or have family, friends and neighbors help out. You might also take on some aspects of the job within your capabilities, like painting and site cleanup.
Check out local by-laws
Before you get too carried away with a home addition you need to check with the local government to see if there are any zoning restrictions or bylaws to consider. There may be specific rules about what exactly can be built and where. Be sure to look into this as local laws could put a damper on your planned project or perhaps even derail it.
Making an addition fit in
It’s important for a home addition to look like it fits into the existing home. You don’t really want something that looks entirely different from the rest of the house as it won’t be visually appealing. An addition needs to look like it belongs and complements the style of the home both indoors and outdoors.
Common home additions
When trying to create more space for an existing home some of the most common additions include: bathroom, bedroom, garage, family room, and sun room. Just remember that by adding onto your home you’ll also see an increase in monthly expenses such as heat, air conditioning, hydro and property taxes etc. Be sure to consider these expenses before committing to a home addition.
There are a few different options available to homeowners who are looking for more space and they should all be considered carefully before coming to a final decision. Be sure to take the cost, time frame, labor, zoning restrictions, permits, contracting help, lifestyle comfort and disruption level into account when deciding if a home addition is the best choice for you.
About Element Home Remodeling
Element Home Remodeling is a home remodeling contracting company based out of Mountain View, CA. We serve the entire Bay Area and specialize in home addition projects. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
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