Top Considerations When Planning A Home Addition
If you are starting to outgrow your current home, it might be more economical to build an addition onto your property than to move into an entirely new house. You may love your home and neighborhood, and adding a room or two would make your living situation perfect. Before you hire a contractor to bring your dream home to life, it's important to consider these factors that go into planning a home addition.
Perhaps the most important consideration is your budget. How much money do you have to spend on your home addition? Also, where is that money coming from? Whether you're using existing savings or you're planning to take out a home equity loan will affect your timetable, so be sure to plan ahead. A contractor can give you a good estimate of what the designs, building materials, and labor will cost, and you should budget extra for unexpected expenses.
How big do you envision your home addition? It's important to be aware of your property lines as well as any restrictions that would prevent you from building as large of a home addition as you want. For example, some homeowners associations forbid home additions while others allow them only with permission from the HOA board. If you belong to an HOA, be sure to check the guidelines. Even if you're not in an HOA, it's smart to double-check your property lines and talk with your neighbors to avoid encroaching on their property.
In addition, you'll need to get the correct permits from the city as you begin a construction project. Some city regulations prevent homeowners from building additions that exceed a certain percentage of their existing square footage, so it's vital to be aware of such limitations before you begin. Your contractor should be able to help investigate and obtain permits for you.
Think about the potential use of your home addition. Do you want a simple office or spare bedroom, or are you looking to add a bathroom or mother-in-law suite with a full kitchen? The more plumbing, electrical, and HVAC connections you'll have to add, the more complicated the construction will be. Each of these utilities requires bringing in subcontractors and adding to your timeline and budget, so be aware of that well before you begin the project.
Thinking about the design may be the most fun part of planning your home addition, but there are important considerations to take seriously. You want to make sure the design fits in well with the rest of your home. If the addition sticks out design-wise, you may end up going over budget to update the rest of your home to match. A contractor can help you get as close a match as possible to your existing materials so that your home addition looks like a natural part of the property.