When it comes to home additions, it would be wise to seek the services of an experienced home addition contractor. This is true even if you have the tools and skills that are required to do the home improvement yourself. There are several important design and construction aspects that could prove costly if any errors are made during the home addition planning and building process.
If you are thinking of DIY-ing the home addition project then consider talking to an experienced renovation contractor or an architect. A professional who has experience in new room addition design and construction will have insight and knowledge that they may share in a consultation. Their help can really save you time and money. Some professionals may review your blueprints for a small fee. Whatever you do, don't go into this project blind. Educate yourself on what to do before starting a home addition. There is too much room for error to take on the planning and building process yourself!
Important things to consider when starting a home addition project
Several aspects of the home addition construction must be decided prior to designing the home addition floor plan. It's best to know your home inside out before you begin dreaming of a home addition design. Reason being that some design ideas may not work with your home structure. Forcing a difficult design plan will only make your project more expensive. Look into the following items before you begin seriously planning your home addition:
1. Home structure
The first questions that need to be answered are about your home's existing structure. Is it sturdy? Are the walls within your home addition load bearing? How will you contracting team plan the addition according to your home?
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2. Working with your home
Next, you need to figure out what changes need to be made or added to your home to accommodate the addition. Will the construction of your home support an addition? If not, will you need to make changes at the chosen point, the roof, walls, floor, or foundation? Will your home require temporary supports during the construction stage of your home addition? These questions will be answered according to the framing style of your home.
3. Your home frame
There are two common types of home frames: Balloon frames and platform frames. Balloon framing uses wall studs that run uninterrupted from the roof to the foundation sill plate. Platform framing incorporates a floor level floor plate and ceiling level top plate whereby the wall studs attach. The framing style used on your house will affect the complexity of your room addition project.
Most homes built after 1930 have platform framing; however, you still need to be sure. You can refer to the original house blueprints if you have them. If you aren't aware of home architecture plans then consult a professional about it. They can check the blueprints, or remove the wall surface at the bottom of a wall and inspect the frame.
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4. Home utilities
The style and layout of your home has a serious impact on your home addition design. Although anything can be changed, you need to seriously consider how much you are willing to change in your existing home. You will need to consider your home's wiring, plumbing, and HVAC systems. Ask yourself how you can connect these systems to your home addition and what floorplan works with the existing one.
Sometimes these plans are easier to make for second story additions compared to first story additions. Finally, consult and electrician and ask them if you will need to upgrade your electrical service for a home addition project.
5. Codes and Permits
Building codes vary from province to province. Don't make the mistake of assuming that what is standard or acceptable in one province is the same in another! It's best to know about local building codes before setting your mind on a design. You may be in for a disappointing surprise.
Be sure to brush up on your municipal permit regulations too. Your city or town may have home addition restrictions that could limit your renovation dreams.
Home Addition Costs
You can only really determine the cost of a home addition after examining the condition of your existing home. The project will be determined by project complexity, project size, and the system requirements.
Of course, an experienced renovation contractor can help by providing a rough quote for your project. Try submitting your project details online to receive free quotes from local professionals.
Home additions are very expensive projects. However, there are always ways to save on costs. Check out the tips below to find out:
Since home additions are large projects, they require lots of materials. Materials purchased in bulk will generally cost less per unit, although this is not always true. Use online resources and local lumber and building supply centres to determine the best price.
Sometimes generic products are less expensive. However, they may not offer the type of quality that is necessary for a home addition project. Consult an expert about building materials before you decide to buy the cheapest items in stock.
Inquire into to delivery options. Some retailers will offer a lower price if you pick up the goods. Other retailers will deliver for free if you meet a minimum purchase threshold. Ask if the materials can be delivered for free if you commit to purchasing all project materials exclusively from that supplier.
Your renovation contractor may be willing to order supplies for you. Many professional contractors receive special discounts on materials from their resources. You could split money saved with the contractor, and still come out ahead!
Your contractor should be able to tell you how much plumbing and electrical work, if any, will be required to make your home addition plan become a reality. They should also be able to create an optimized floorplan that includes the utility lines. Ask your contractor if there is any way to plan your project to save on costs.
Looking for more home addition tips? Check out part two of our home addition information article!
It might be practical to consider designing your home addition a little larger than previously planned. That way, the home addition (and the rooms within it) can serve various compatible purposes. This will double your investment, and increase room-use potential.
For instance, if you plan to build office space, make the room a little longer. If you add a partition panel or screen, you can reserve the end space as a reading room to relax in.
Consider extending the size of a new room addition to include extra space for a sunroom or patio enclosure. Both of these options can double as a guest room. This plan will cost much less than adding a sunroom and separate guest rooms.
If you are thinking of making internal changes to your home, consider converting your garage into a family room. This will cost much less than building a whole new family room addition. Of course, decide whether or not you need a garage before you jump on this plan!
If your home extension idea is to build a garage with a small work area, why not increase the size to include space for extra storage, or a craft or sewing room? The same can be done for a pool enclosure, whereby you can include enough space for a patio.
Increasing additional floor space when adding a conservatorium can provide enough room for a bench and shelving in one corner for plant conservatory, greenhouse gardening, and/or additional sunroom space for relaxation and reading purposes.
The idea is to get the most for your money. Investing a little more for additional room space that will serve two or more purposes can save money in the long run. Conferring with an experienced home addition contractor about ideas, floor plans, and costs will help you do that.
Tips and Ideas to Maximize your Home addition
- When considering which type of patio or pool enclosure design to go with, consider which area you spend the most time in. Budget your home addition project according to your favourite living space. Remember that some designs and materials hold up to strong winds better, while others are best for areas that get lots of snow and ice. Plan your addition according to your local climate. If your home addition idea doesn't, for example, you cannot build a pool enclosure, consider a functional alternative such as a telescopic pool enclosure.
- Take advantage of built-ins to maximize on space and comfort. For example, if you are planning a family room or den addition take advantage of a bay window with a deep window sill. You could include a storage area beneath the window sill and hide it with a custom made cushion. This creates extra seating and storage; both are perfect for family games and puzzles, knitting supplies, or a cozy afghan.
- If you plan to construct a home theatre in the home addition, why not convert the attic or basement into a theatre, instead? The lack of windows will be perfect for the room function. You will save a lot of money by avoiding new room construction. Consider putting the money saved towards soundproofing and high-end video and audio equipment to enhance show time experience!
- If you desire a new sunroom, patio enclosure, or greenhouse but cannot afford the cost of new construction, you might want to explore the possibility of a sunroom kit. These kits are easy to assemble and they are reasonably priced. You can open up an exterior wall either as a DIY project, or enlist the services of a professional. Next, assemble, install, and weatherproof the sunroom kit and your extra living space is complete!
Whatever your home addition plans, remember: service providers who are listed on TrustedPros.ca have a wealth of experience to offer. They are ready to bid on your project and get started building it!Posted by: TrustedPros