Feeling a little cramped in your space?
Creating an addition to your home can be a great way to update space and add some much-needed amenities for a growing family. Whether you need more space for hobbies or growing kids (including grandkids or guests), need an additional bathroom, etc., an addition can make it possible. The possibilities are seemingly endless, and best of all, you are able to update the space to suit your own needs.
Home additions are also far more affordable than the alternatives, such as selling and buying a new home or even building a new home. It can make your space far more usable and functional for a number of needs. If you are considering moving but don’t want to deal with the hassle, consider a home addition to help solve your problem.
A home addition can also be done in stages to account for your budget or can be done alongside a remodel. Take a look at these smart tips for planning a home addition project.
1. Define the Objective
First things first: what’s your overall goal? Do you want to add square footage? Or is the change about function? Do you need a bigger kitchen? Space for the washer and dryer? Create a goal and define it clearly. When you have a goal for your home remodel project, you can best plan around it. This is true for you, the homeowner, as well as for your builder.
Write down that list or create a set of bullet points in your head, whatever works best for you and your thought process. Next, discuss your goal(s) with family and friends. Oftentimes speaking with others can help you round out your intentions and flush out your ideas.
Obviously, if you have a partner, you should first discuss it with them. From there you can talk about variations, possible changes, and more. That way, when you get into the nitty-gritty and begin to talk with a builder or contractor, you will have set answers for any changes or roadblocks that may come your way.
2. Set the Budget
Consider the realistic project cost and know how much you are willing to spend. Construction projects are determined by the total size of the project. Typically, the bigger the space, the higher the price. According to HomeAdvisor, home additions cost $80 to $200 per square foot. Adding a spare room is a common project, and the average cost ranges from $32,000 to $80,000 for a 20-foot by 20-foot room, with the higher end including more customization or luxury fixtures.
Once you understand the average costs per square foot, consider getting a few different estimates from local contractors to get a more realistic ballpark range as to how much your project will cost.
Getting a budget for your home addition sooner rather than later can help you reel in your expectations and understand on the front end what you really can afford to build.
3. Define the Design
Now that you know what’s ahead, it’s time to work on the design for your home remodel. If you are using a professional designer or contractor, they will likely help you with this process. If you are doing it yourself, you can use software to help you create a beautiful DIY design. Investopedia offers “The 6 Best Home Design Software of 2022.”
Be sure to include important aspects like dimensions, color swatches, any preferred types of materials, and more. Before you get started, you can also create a design board that shows designs and textures together, helping you to best visualize what the final product will look like. Home Made Lovely offers some great tips on how to create a design board using various software.
4. Understand Permits and Restrictions
Your next step is knowing what you can legally do with your home addition. Each town and county will have its own restrictions, which means it’s up to you and/or your contractor to adhere to the guidelines. Oftentimes that means obtaining building permits or possible licenses, posting the intent in a local newspaper, and more.
Again, every town is different, which is why it’s important to check with the licensing departments early on. You need to consider the timeline for obtaining licenses so you can schedule your contractors ahead.
If your contractor will be handling the license, this is one less thing that will be on your plate. In any case, be sure to define expectations with your contractor regarding when you would like paperwork filed, and who will responsible for these filings.
5. Choose the Right Contractor
We discussed contractors above, but now you’ll make the final decision as to who will be doing the work. It’s important to choose the right person for the job, not the fastest or cheapest builder.
Luckily, there are a few good ways you can find a builder. Look for a contractor who specializes in the type of project you are completing, for instance, there are builders who work in bathrooms and kitchens, while others opt for outdoor patios and builds, etc. Finding a qualified contractor will help your project run more smoothly.
You should also pay attention to the contractor’s personality and communication style. This is a person who’s making a big change to your home, and you want to be sure you can easily talk with them, whether it’s discussing a change order or even voicing a complaint. Finding a contractor you can work with will save you plenty of headaches down the road.
6. Store Your Furniture Safely in a Storage Unit
Finally, it’s time for the build to begin! Your home remodel will soon be underway, and while your home is under construction, there are safety measures you can take. For instance, move your furniture into a storage unit. Avoid getting your items dirty or splotched with construction debris. Drywall dust is a nightmare to clean up, and even plastic can’t keep your furniture completely safe from impending dust.
Instead, store your items away to keep them safe during the building process. It’s best to move furniture in the rooms that you will be remodeling, or with adjoining doorways that can’t be closed off. For instance, if you’re building onto a living room, you may want to store away dining room items, as the threshold can’t be sealed.
You may also want to store away valuable items, such as instruments, electronics, etc. Construction dust can get into even the smallest nooks and crannies, and removing these items from the premises is the only way to guarantee their protection.