Home addition planning may seem overwhelming at first, but if you’re reading this right now, then you’re already on the
right track. With the help of a reputable contractor, you can reach your goal of constructing a home addition to upgrade your home. However, it’s important to remember that a goal without a plan is just a wish. You’ll need to follow some steps to get your plan in motion.
In addition to getting to enjoy extra space in your home, you are likely to increase the value of your home with an addition, according to a recent Remodeling Impact Report developed by the National Association of Realtors. Home additions can add numerous benefits to your life, so just follow the steps outlined below to learn about tips and tricks for planning a home addition.
Table of Contents
1. Think About Your Wants and Needs
There are two reasons to get started with home addition plans: because you want a home addition and because you need a home addition. You may want a home addition or remodel to add value to your home or fit it up to look nicer in the neighborhood.
Or you may need a home addition because your family has grown since you initially bought your house. Maybe buying a larger, newer house isn’t viable for your family right now so you need to expand your current home. Whether you want or need a home addition, you can make a plan to get it and get some extra space in your home.
Once you’ve decided if this home addition project is a want or need, you can start brainstorming home addition ideas. If you need to make your home bigger, some room addition ideas for small homes include a master bedroom addition or the addition of a bathroom. Other room addition ideas include a family room for a place to keep your kids occupied or a home office so you can have space to work. Think about where you really want or need space and what kind of room would most benefit your family’s needs.
Home addition plans will vary depending on the type of house you have: ranch home addition plans will require different criteria than a colonial house. Small house home addition plans may need to take utilities into consideration as well. Small houses are built for the capacity of the original square footage so you need to be sure that the house has infrastructure that is capable of handling additional usage of electricity, plumbing, and HVAC.
Of course, we would all like to turn our homes into the ones we dreamt about as kids with booming movie theaters and NBA-approved basketball courts. But as homeowners, we need to reel it back in and think about what our realistic budget for home additions can be. Planning a home addition includes sitting down and taking a close look at your finances to see what your budget would be for a home addition project.
It is also important to research home addition costs so that you can learn what kind of projects would work for your budget. The good news is that, like budgets, home additions vary in size from a simple walk-in closet to adding an entire second story. You can find home addition ideas that will fit any budget, and once you have an idea, you can move forward with your home addition planning.
3. Get Legal Documents
The next step is really when you need to start to get to work and get the plan in motion. You need to gather the necessary documents that will show if you can legally construct the home addition. You’ll need to apply for some permits, such as a zoning permit to ensure that the addition is allowed within your lot according to your local area’s regulations.
Other documents that you’ll need are plot plans that show that the addition would remain within your property lines. You’ll most likely need home addition floor plans to determine the area that the addition will take up on your lot.
You can get the official plans detailing your property from the Registry of Deeds in your local area, but the trick is to make sure to call them first to get all of the necessary information about where to get these documents. To obtain the other documents, you’ll most likely need to go to your town or city hall. Again, it is a good idea to call before going to the office so you don’t end up wasting your time looking for documents in the wrong place.
4. Have Existing Utilities Evaluated
Another important step in planning a home addition is getting your existing utilities evaluated. As with the documents mentioned in the previous section, you need to know the layout of your existing utilities before you can even begin to think about building.
If you are adding an entire second story, that will require a lot more electrical output and put a lot more stress on your home’s plumbing system. It is important that your home addition will have the utilities it needs to be livable so that you can fully enjoy it with lights, running water, and any other necessary amenities.
Underground utilities also need to be checked if the home addition project requires digging outside and the breaking of ground. Remember that vessels for utilities, such as gas, electric, and plumbing, often run underground. You need to know where they are located, so your contractor does not accidentally hit one of them and causes an accident.
There is a national hotline that can be reached by dialing 811, and they will connect you with the appropriate parties that can check and mark the location of your underground utilities prior to digging or building.
5. Finding a Contractor for Home Addition
Your home addition plan is in motion! Congratulations! Now you need to find someone who will actually build the home addition. Most reliable contractors will offer a complimentary estimate, so here’s a pro tip: schedule your estimate today! If it is complimentary, then the contractor should not be asking you to sign or pay for anything.
Research licensed contractors and see if there are any reviews for them online. You can also check to see if they have any reviews or information on the Better Business Bureau’s website. Also, contractors should have a portfolio of completed projects that they’re proud of, so see if you can find pictures of their past home addition projects.
Check around with a few contractors and view this step as an interviewing period. You’re interviewing the contractor to see how quickly they reply, their professionalism, and anything else that is important to you. Once you find a contractor that fulfills your needs, you can move on to the next step.
6. Financing a Home Addition
After you get your estimate for your home addition, it’s time to figure out how you’re going to finance this extra space. There are several options for financing your home addition. Financing can be as simple as a personal loan or a bit more complex through government-backed programs and loans, such as a Fannie Mae Homestyle Renovation loan or an FHA 203k.
Do research on your options to finance your home addition and figure out which one is right for you. It’s important to understand your finances before starting the project so you know that you can fund the project with payments over time.
7. Go with the Flow of Your Home Addition Project
When you have chosen your contractor and have your finances sorted, it will finally be time to start your home addition project. Your contractor will have prepared floor plans for your new living space and should be communicating updates with you throughout the project.
The most important tip for planning a home addition is this: plans change. Life happens. You can plan your home addition down to the second, but there will most likely be curveballs of unexpected messes or mistakes and interrupted timelines.
Just know that the project will get done when you have a licensed and reputable contractor. Communicate with your contractor so that you can stay updated on the progress of the home addition project. After that, just let the contractor carry out the rest of the plan so you can end up with more space to enjoy your life and spend time with your family.
Planning a home addition requires some work and dedication, but it is completely attainable by simply sitting down and writing down steps for your plan. Being realistic about your needs and budget will get you started on your plan. A licensed and insured contractor, such as KBR Kitchen and Bath, will supply you with a complimentary estimate, and then you can make a trip to the bank to understand your financing options. After that, the plan is in full motion and in safe hands with a contractor like KBR. It seems simple, but you can have a successful home addition project with a solid plan and a reliable contractor. All plans start with the first step, so take a look at possible home addition projects and schedule your complimentary estimate today.