How to Plan a Home Addition and Expansion

It’s pretty exciting to expand your home with a new addition. When you bought your house, you may not have liked everything about it. Now is your opportunity to add more space and bring your home addition ideas to life. 

However, working on a home addition is not for the faint of heart. There will be lots of material and work involved. You also have to be careful about not going over budget. Being prepared is essential to success. Make sure you have the time to commit to the project or contact a home addition contractor for assistance. 

Now, how do you get started? You can’t begin with a trip to the lumber yard before you have a game plan. Let’s go over some important steps you should take as you plan a home addition.

Start with a Wish List

There is a reason you want to add to your home. It may be that your family has grown or you need more space for a home office. Maybe you want to add a games room or a private area for teens to hang out. Whatever the reason, you should write down the purpose for the addition.

From there, start to build a wish list. This is all the things you want out of your addition. It should include the layout and any electrical needs for the use and function of the room. Pick out things like windows and interior finishes you want, like built-in shelving and flooring. Make sure to include your must-haves so even if you don’t get everything you want, the important things will happen.

Have a Hard Budget

Without a spending plan, things can get expensive fast. As part of the plan, you should set a monetary limit on what you can spend. There are firm costs for lumber and finishing material. When you start decorating and furnishing the space, you want to make sure you can afford to get what you want. 

There will be compromises because you may want to upgrade a light fixture or flooring along the way. It will be tricky balancing the numbers at times. As long as you adjust for other things, you will keep the books balanced.

Have a Qualified Team

Making sure you have competent workers doesn’t mean you can’t do the home addition yourself. Just play to your strengths and hire those that you need. If you can do the framing but hate drywalling, hire a few contractors to do it for you. Certain jobs need to be done by licensed tradespeople like electrical and plumbing, but you will save a lot of money if you can handle the rest. 

Your team should also include the whole family as they are going to enjoy this addition too. Get them working on smaller tasks, so they put in sweat equity.

Be Open to Experimenting

You don’t have to make your addition looks like it was always there unless you want to. Matching siding and roof lines are great, but don’t be afraid to experiment with something different. Your happiness is what is most important but do take into consideration your potential resale value.

When you are doing this addition, it opens up the possibility of updating other parts of the home, especially where the add-on starts. You can make it match what you already have, like flooring and layout, or use different materials to extend the house’s new looking. An addition can sometimes open up a can of worms, but cast your line and revamp the whole house if you like fishing.

Consider Space and Property Lines

If you have a smaller lot, make sure you know the bylaws regarding building near property lines. You also should consider what you are giving up while you are gaining. An addition will eat up square footage on your property and a nice backyard can quickly become tiny. Going up instead of out is a viable option as long as your city bylaw allows it. You will get the extra floor space without taking over the yard.

Think About the Neighbours

Taking on a home addition will most certainly affect your family. It takes time and compromises your current lifestyle, but what about the people that live around you? They have to deal with the noise, dust, and dirt of your project without getting any benefits.

You should consider the time of year you are building. Try not to inconvenience your neighbours during holidays or other special occasions if possible. Also, let them know what you are planning before you start. While they don’t get to decide what you are doing, keeping them in the loop is nice. Let them know the timeline and try to keep the disruption to a minimum. Bribe them with baked goods if you have to because these are the people you share your street with. 

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