If your home is filled with kids, extra luggage, gadgets that you just won’t part with, and you have no room to entertain extended family and guests or just relax; then you must have considered an addition. You’ve probably asked for help in estimates, and gotten great inspirations from your friends. That’s all good, but there are some essential things to consider before building a home addition. This article will help you with some of those things.
This is arguably the most important consideration when adding to your home. Different neighborhoods/cities have different building codes. Check your local building department for any setbacks like building height limitations, floor area ratio, and occupancy and usage classifications. In certain cases, your addition might be noncompliant with the building code, requiring you to get a variance, which is very expensive and time-consuming. This should be considered only as a last resort.
This is extremely important, as you probably bought the house from someone who had no plans for an addition. Check if the current foundation is strong enough to carry the load induced by an addition to the current structure. If it’s an external structure, check if the new building’s foundation will weaken the soil of the original foundation. Underpinning might be necessary, but this is also a major additional expense.
The selection of building materials that blend in with the previous structure, using materials that are stylish, durable and cost-effective is another consideration. Knowledge of the properties and uses of different design materials for different additions. For instance, having the best kitchens require knowledge of different types of wood for remodeling kitchen cabinets, and so on. You may want to make use of energy-effective design models to reduce the energy consumption throughout the new addition(s). Installation of double glazed windows and an appropriate level of thermal insulation will also have a significant effect on heat loss as well.
Many minor interior designs can greatly enhance the beauty and ambiance of the new addition. Appliance selection, lighting design, tiling or wooden flooring, kitchen and bathroom remodeling, and other minor considerations will all contribute to the quality of life in the new addition.
It may be tempting for you to make your ‘simple’ home addition a do-it-yourself project. Don’t. Unless you’re a professional contractor.
There is no such thing as a simple home addition, as you’ve probably figured out from the earlier points. Make sure you research and hire someone who is licensed and insured.
By now, you know that this project can be extremely expensive, or cost-effective, based on what you decide. So make a list, a budget of some sort. Make sure you are comfortable with it and then proceed from there.
Also, consider the resale value of the house before you go into this addition. Reducing quality to save cost isn’t always the best solution. Remember, bigger isn’t always better.
Now that you’ve considered all these options, you can now begin your addition. Good luck!
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