Home Additions: What you should know

By building an addition, you can make your home more livable, while increasing its value. It also allows you to stay in a home and neighborhood you like without incurring the expenses and inconvenience of moving. But before you start, there are many things you should know.

Find out about building restrictions

While you are still in the thinking stage for your home addition, find out from city hall if there are any local zoning ordinances that could affect your project, such as lot setbacks (i.e. the minimum distance required from the adjacent property lines or public right of way to the outermost portion of the structure) and height restrictions.

Additions come in all shapes and sizes

Home additions are becoming increasingly popular across the U.S. to accommodate aging parents (and, unfortunately, in-laws), or even as rental units to generate a monthly income. These additions can include a bedroom, bathroom, sitting room and a private entrance, although the most popular home additions involve adding an extra room onto an exterior wall. Sun rooms, garages and extra bedrooms are common additions, as well as living rooms, dining rooms and home offices.

You may want to consider building up instead of losing lawn and garden space, or building a two-story addition that will accommodate an office or bedroom on top of the garage to maximize space. Other additions, such as carports, porches and decks often require less disruption of your home, yet will still increase its functionality and value.

If you’re adding indoor space, make sure a heating and air conditioning (HVAC) professional is brought in to assess the increased demand on the present system.

Continuity works best

Something to think about with a home addition (and something we specialize in) is consistency – within your own home and with the neighborhood. First, you want your addition to “fit in” with the rest of the house, both inside and out. That is, you don’t want the addition to look like an “add-on,” either structurally or in terms of decor. Similarly, a huge addition to a house in a modest neighborhood will surely give you more space, but when it comes time to sell you may not get the return on your investment you were hoping for, as those who can afford a bigger house will likely look in a more expensive neighborhood.

Consider the costs

When planning your addition, remember that the less impact there is on your present structure, the more cost-effective the addition will be. For example, moving plumbing walls, radically altering the floor plan and making changes to the roof line will all increase your costs significantly.

Assess impact for heating and air conditioning

We will bring in subcontractors for specialized jobs, like electrical and plumbing. If you’re adding indoor space, we’ll make sure that a heating and air conditioning (HVAC) professional is brought in to assess the increased demand that the addition will place on the present system.