There are numerous reasons why you may want to add another room to your house. You may need another bedroom because your family is growing, or perhaps you want to add a private bathroom to your master bedroom. Whatever you want to build, be sure to consider the following before starting the process to ensure you won’t have regrets during or after the project is complete:
If you really want an addition to your home, it’s hard not to immediately jump straight into the planning process. Realistically, though, the first thing you should do is ensure you have the funds necessary to complete the project. HomeAdvisor estimates that the average national cost of building an addition is $41,628. Don’t fret if this is beyond your budget, as the cost can vary greatly depending on the type of addition you want and where you live. However, it is likely you will need a minimum of $20,000 regardless of where you live and what you are building.
Once you have a clear budget, it will make every subsequent decision related to the project easier, for example, when deciding on a contractor. Keep in mind that you should hire the company that is most likely to be reliable or do high quality work. Don’t let their quote be your single deciding factor. Hiring an unlicensed contractor because they are more affordable could end up being far more expensive for you in the long-term.
If you’re worried about the cost, you may be able to save money by thinking about what you really want from the project. For example, remodeling an existing room is typically far less expensive than building a new one, if that’s an option. Ask yourself objective questions to confirm that the addition is a smart investment. Will it add value to your home? Will you still be living there in five years?
Local Zoning Laws
Almost every residential area in the United States has their own set of zoning regulations and restrictions. These rules dictate where and what you can build, including additions to your home. While the nature of these laws can be controversial – restricting what you can do with your own property – they are typically not arbitrary. Often, they exist to protect public health, safety, and comfort.
Most residential areas restrict homeowners from building anything within 20 feet of the front of their property, 7.5 feet on the sides, or 15 feet from the back.
The best way to learn what zoning restrictions you must adhere to is to contact your local municipal planning or building department. A real estate attorney would also be able to answer any questions you have, and can even help you fight some restrictions. Of course, this is another expense that your budget will need to cover.
Thinking critically about the design of your new room can help you save time and money, not to mention ensuring that you will get what you want out of the project. Will the addition be detached or built in? Will you use new materials or attempt to blend the addition in with the rest of your home?
For medium to large scale additions, it is recommended that you consult an architect. An architect will help you confirm the addition will add value to your home and can be integrated seamlessly. They will help you make important decisions and can work in collaboration with your construction company to get the best results.
A Contingency Plan
Construction is inevitably loud, messy, and long. If it’s happening within your home while you live there, it will likely be extremely inconvenient to you and your family. If you start thinking about the impact the project will have on your daily life in advance, it will be easier for you to make the construction process as stress-free as possible. For instance, if you know it will be hard to live in your home while the construction is underway, you can include temporary accommodation in your budget.