The home is often the most significant investment people make in their lifetime, and tacking on an addition to your residence is a decision that should be well planned since it affects the value of your property. Planning an expansion is exciting, especially for those that could use more space for a growing family or want to add areas that will make a home more appealing in the long run while adding amenities that your family can use. Unfortunately, jumping into such a complex project without preparation can set homeowners up for failure, and paying attention to these top planning tips listed below before, starting on any construction project can save you a big headache down the road.
Take Some Time to Think about How You’ll Use Your New Space
Adding new living space to your home is a big deal and should not be taken lightly. Before homeowners step into the world of general contracting, it is essential to take time to envision your new space. You should also think about who, how, and when the area will be used. It is also critical to ensure that your new addition is cohesive with the rest of your home. The final plan should include existing items that need to move into the potential new area or if anything new that you should purchase. Make sure to add decor and furnishing costs to your budget.
Find Trusted Professionals for Your Home Addition
Planning, research, and collecting estimates is the first step in figuring out if the home addition you want is feasible in terms of zoning. You may need a permit to expand your home even within property lines. And it’s important to check local laws before beginning work. Depending on the type of extension you are considering, building up may be a better option than building out. However, an architect and utility specialist will need to review blueprints and ensure that what you are looking for can be done. Building up will prevent homeowners from losing square footage in their yard. However, there may be local ordinances that you should adhere to. Also, architects will likely need to add extra support to your home’s foundation.
Consider All Financing Options
You need estimates to give homeowners an idea of what construction costs would look like. However, remember that the price shown is only a starting point. Construction projects can rack up money quickly. Therefore, homeowners will need to make sure they pad their budget margins to prepare for contingencies. On the other hand, you might have more options than you think to fund your project. For example, equity-driven home improvement loans could be a necessary route to get the job done. Homeowners should also keep an eye on the cost of materials. Similarly, they should look for ways to keep costs low by utilizing salvaged supplies when possible.
Gather All Required Documentation About Your Property
Once you’ve collected estimates and made at least a preliminary budget, collecting legal documents will be necessary to apply for loans and permits. Plot plans (can be obtained at your local Registry of Deeds), survey results, and blueprints should be reviewed and collected to prevent any legal ramifications or your home addition being torn down by local officials because it’s over property lines. Finally, don’t forget about your neighbors. Letting them know when work is about to begin and maybe even offering up some baked goods is a great way to prevent future problems. Remember, taking the time to talk through any concerns they have will help avoid any obstacles in completing your project.
Abigail Baker is a writer for Happy Writers, Co.