A home addition can be a great way to add value, accommodate a growing family, or turn a home that you like into one that you truly love. But home additions don't come without risk. The financial cost can be significant, finding the right contractor can be a challenge, and construction can cause disruptions to your daily life. That's why it's so important to have a plan and do your research. Our real estate agents
have some tips on what to know when considering an addition to your home.
How Long Will You Own the Home?
While it doesn't have to be your forever home for it to be worth building a home addition, it's well worth considering how long you plan to own a home before embarking on major changes. If you plan to sell the home in the next few years, then the cost of an addition may or may not make financial sense in terms of return on investment when selling the home. But if you're planning to hold onto the home for a while, then the focus is more on how much value the home addition adds for you rather than the financial value it would add if you sold the home.
Consider the Cost of a Home Addition
Naturally, not all home additions are created equal when it comes to cost. Adding a new sunroom, bathroom, or garage will typically cost significantly less than building an entire new master suite. There are other long-term costs to consider as well, including additional heating, cooling, and energy costs. Adding square footage and new amenities can also have an impact on property taxes. These aren't reasons not to build an addition, but it's important to consider the whole cost before you commit.
Finding the Right Contractor is Key to Success
Ultimately, choosing the right general contractor is the key to a successful home addition, so ask for referrals from trusted sources, read reviews, and speak to multiple contractors until you find the right match. The general contractor isn't just responsible for building – you'll also be counting on them to hire the right subcontractors to handle different parts of the project.
Be Aware of Zoning Restrictions as You Plan Your Project
Depending on where the home is located and what type of addition you plan to construct, you may need to accommodate local zoning restrictions in order to have your project approved. Zoning restrictions have a big impact on what you can build and where you can build it. Before you (or your architect, designer, or general contractor) get serious about planning your home addition, make sure you check with your local building department to learn about any zoning restrictions that will need to be factored into your plan.
Tying Your Addition into the Rest of Your Home
One of the reasons that it's wise to have an architect or designer plan your home addition is that you'll typically need the addition to tie into the existing systems in your home. This includes key systems like plumbing, electricity, and HVAC, which are important elements of most home additions. You'll also want to think about how the addition ties into the existing home aesthetically. Ideally, a home addition should tie into the aesthetics of the existing home so that it naturally fits in rather than feeling like it is tacked onto the home.
Is it Worth Taking on a DIY Home Addition?
Before we go, you may be wondering why we haven't spent much time discussing DIY home additions. The truth is that the diverse skills required to build an addition – from framing to drywall, plumbing, electricity, and foundation work – tend to be beyond the realm of even the handiest homeowners. While hiring contractors can be costly, it will still save you time, money, and stress compared to coordinating the job yourself.