Building a Home Addition
View or Collection of Home Addition Plans
Aside from adding more living space to your home, a new home addition can be a very good and wise investment. Nevertheless, prior to embarking on such a project the homeowner should consider several important items first and foremost. Including, current home comparable market values in the area neighborhood, project financing, addition size and scale, architecture, estimated time for completion, personal disruption/inconvenience threshold, determination and self commitment.
Size of Addition and Market Value
Before actually breaking ground on your home addition project, it is a good idea to decide what you are looking for in terms of additional living space. For instance: How many square feet will your home addition be? What kinds of rooms will you want to include? Once you have a better understanding, your attention should then be redirected to find out comparable market values of homes in your local area with similar size and features to the addition you are planning for your new and improved home. By gaining this valuable information, you can then accurately calculate the difference between the current home market value and the new and improved home market value. The difference between the two should be the maximum budget for your new home addition should a positive investment is desired. Case in point, a homeowner would not want to spend $50,000 on a new home addition that yields only a $25,000 increase current market value to the improved home.
Financing Your Home Addition Project
The next question of importance involves how the home addition project will be paid for. If the addition project is not being paid for by cash or savings then financing will be required. If the current mortgage rates are higher than the existing mortgage, a home equity loan will make better sense to obtain. However, if current the mortgage rate is lower than the existing mortgage, then you may consider refinancing the entire home, including the cost of the home addition project.
Once all the financial ends are in place and understood, attention should be given the size and scale of the project, including the design and aesthetics of the new home addition. Your new home addition should be of size scale and similar look so that it transitions nicley into the original design of the house. Your addition should not be too small or too big. Too often, homeowners lose sight and add large amounts of new living space without thinking of the outside appearance. From a market value, a home can have an increased value from other qualities than just living space alone. A home needs to keep its exterior appearance as well. It is important to consider siding, doors, windows, rooflines, and elevations. All should make a smooth transition to the rest of the homes exterior seamlessly and pleasing to the eye.
If an architect is not planned for the project, then the homeowner should at least make some sketches of the home exterior with the new addition. The building inspector will probably require them anyways during the permit process. Also, there are many Home Design software packages on the market today that can help create such drawings.
Schedule, Sweat Equity Commitment and Determination
The following two things that should be included are an estimated timetable for completion of the home addition and the your sweaty equity commitment and determination level. Many homeowners make the assumption that they can perform a lot more than they are either skilled to do or have the time to do. From personal experience and a practical point of view even if you have the know how, but donít necessarily have all the time in the world, contracting out the site/ground work, rough framing, roofing, siding, heating/cooling, and the drywall will save you time.†Although all of these tasks can be performed by savvy do it yourselfers, they do require skill, time and muscle. If state and local laws allow, electric and plumbing may be done by the homeowner. However, take extreme precaution, electricity is not as forgiving, both require skill and can be hazardous to your health if not performed properly. There are other tasks, however, that a you can be sure to accomplish including installing interior doors, finish trim, painting, cabinet installation, tiling and hardwood flooring. Before you take on any specific task however, you should first be honest about your skill and available time. Just because you donít know how to do something, doesnít mean you canít learn. Compare your workload to your project schedule. If they donít agree, seek help and hire the contractor or have someone that has experience and is also willing to come in and help.
Threshold of Inconvenience and Disruption
Finally, you may want to consider your threshold for inconvenience and disruption. A new home addition, especially if it involves the kitchen, is very disruptive. It is a dusty, messy, dirty and noisy effort. Furthermore, when dealing with subcontractors you will always run into no shows, late arrivals, and reschedules, which can be extremely frustrating when meeting an expected deadline. For your normal home addition calculate several extra months of effort and inconvenience.
If after examining all of these issues and potential eventualities you are still willing to move forward with the building your home addition, establish contacts for your subcontractors, pull your required permits. Overall for most homeowners taking on an endeavor such as a home addition is generally a positive experience that provides new living space, learning and a great investment to your existing home.