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New Trends in Interior Home Additions

Home addition

Adding on to your home is a big undertaking, whether the addition is on the exterior or the interior. In fact, interior home additions are considered by many to be even larger projects, since it's necessary to keep the home livable during the process. This can prove to be a challenge, especially when dealing with a larger project such as creating a new room by tearing down a wall.

The options for interior home additions are limitless. Nearly anything you can imagine can be created, if you're willing to invest the required time and money. Here we'll review some interior home additions which are popular today, including some traditional favorites and some new, trendy projects. We'll also review some guidelines for finding the best contractor for you, no matter what type of project you're planning.

Popular Home Additions

Adding or Removing a Wall

Creating more space in your home by knocking down a wall, or creating a new room by adding a wall, are very popular and traditional methods of improving and modifying your living space. These projects can take on many different forms, depending on the original structure of your home and your own needs and desires.

Perhaps your children have grown up and left the nest, and you're craving more space in the master bathroom. Knocking down a wall can turn what used to be your son's bedroom into a luxurious spa sanctuary. This particular renovation has always been popular, but it does require the help of an experienced professional. Any project which involves moving, adding, or dealing with plumbing in any way should always be left to those who know precisely what they're doing. Ensure that the contractor you hire has plenty of experience with plumbing for this type of addition.

You many be experiencing a very different life event...a new baby! Babies need space, and you may be considering the addition of a wall to create a brand-new nursery. Many homeowners do this by taking a room which is already large (most commonly a master bedroom) and putting up a wall that creates a new space. This is a much better solution than simply setting up a nursery in the corner of a bedroom, since the new room can grow with your child. If you're financially equipped to take on this project before your child arrives, you'll be making a great investment in your home's ability to accommodate your growing family.

Fireplaces

Thanks to the popularity of gas and electric fireplaces, this interior home addition is not the impossibility it once was. In the days when wood-burning fireplaces were the only option, creating one was almost impossible in most homes, due to the need for a chimney. Gas and electric fireplaces do not require chimneys, making them a great addition anywhere in your home!

When adding a fireplace, you'll be taking out part of the wall and installing the proper piping and wiring required to power the flames. This takes the knowledge of a highly skilled professional.

Since you're not limited by the need for chimney-space, you can now install a fireplace in rooms you may never have considered. A very hot trend is to install a small fireplace in the bathroom. This may sound odd, but don't let that stop you before you've considered it. The relaxation of a long soak in the tub accompanied by the soothing crackle of a fire is unbelievably luxurious.

A living family room is a rather obvious, though still wonderful, setting for a fireplace. Other common rooms include basement entertainment centers and master bedrooms.

Bathrooms

Even if you're not knocking down walls to create space for them, new bathrooms are still a highly popular interior home addition. Many homeowners love the convenience of turning a closet into a small half-bath. This is especially popular (and relatively simple) in homes which feature a large closet near the front entrance.

The tiny size of a half-bath makes it wonderful for placing just about anywhere you can find the space. In addition to convenience, these small spaces are a decorator's dream come true. They're small enough to decorate lavishly on a very small budget. In addition, you can go wild with design, theme and d cor without looking too overdone.

Converting a Garage

For homeowners who need or want more space, but don't want to add onto the house itself, converting a garage into livable space is sometimes the perfect answer. This is especially true of homes featuring three- or four-car garages, since part of the available space can be left as an area for cars.

Even if you only have a one-car garage, you may find that it's more appealing to construct a simple parking shelter on your property for your vehicles and use the existing structure of your garage for an addition.

These projects are so attractive because they don't involve the major construction of actually building an addition onto your home. While they're certainly a lot of work, they're extremely rewarding projects, and an excellent way to enhance your home. This is a popular home addition for households which are growing, whether it's because of new babies, older family members moving in, or college graduates coming back after graduation (a very common occurrence in today's economy).

While extra bedrooms are the most common use for former garage-space, there are certainly no rules. Some households without basements have utilized this space for improvements usually done in a basement, such as creating an entertainment center, a playroom for children, or a man cave with a bar and a pool table.

No matter what your plans for the converted garage space are, this type of project is sure to pay off. Not only will you be creating an entirely new living space for your home, but you'll also be increasing the home's resale value dramatically.

The contractor you hire for a garage conversion should have experience several areas, including a strong knowledge of plumbing and electrical work. Get recommendations, insist on proper licensing and insurance, and read reviews to find somebody who's qualified to get the job done safely and properly.

Adding Windows and Doors

Depending on the look you want to create, this can be a big project or a small one. Perhaps you're building a deck, and want to create a sliding glass door to make your new outdoor space more accessible. Adding a bay window is not as trendy as it once was, but it still adds charm and a cozy spot to living rooms and bedrooms alike. You might want to brighten up your living room by replacing the one or two current small windows with dramatic, floor-to-ceiling glass for an unobstructed view. You may even be considering a skylight in a bathroom for a spa-like, natural feel.

Whatever your goals are, adding windows is a fun way to completely change the feel and appearance of a room. Adding doors, in most cases, is much more utilitarian...absolutely necessary in some cases, but not nearly as decorative.

Adding a door is a relatively simple procedure, and can be accomplished quite impressively by an experienced handyman. Installing windows, on the other hand, is a much more intricate process. With the green movement in full swing, there are more options than ever before when it comes to installing your windows with energy-efficiency in mind. If installed correctly, new windows can dramatically slash your heating and cooling bills. However, if they are installed poorly, they can create even higher bills. Find a contractor who is experienced in windows to ensure that your investment really pays off.

Finding the Right Contractor

Changing the structure of your home is nerve-wracking enough. The idea of putting the fate of your home in the hands of a stranger is even scarier. That's why it's important to do your research when selecting and hiring a contractor, or any home-improvement professional.

Websites which connect consumers with contractors are extremely popular today, and with very good reason. They can take nearly all the stress out of the process! You can look through listings of licensed and insured contractors in your area who specialize in the type of project you're planning.

Consumer reviews are another excellent resource on these sites. You can read firsthand accounts from people just like yourself, giving you an inside look at how a contractor really operates. Are they prompt? Professional? Is their work of the highest quality? These questions and many more can be answered by reading the opinions of former clients.

Once you've narrowed your choices down, start making calls. It never hurts to play it safe and ask about licensing and insurance, even if a contractor is listed as being properly licensed and insured. Insurance should cover the contractor or professional themselves, as well as any workers or helpers they may bring. This ensures that if an injury occurs, it will be treated promptly and properly, without any liability on your part as the owner of the property where the injury occurred. Licensing is particularly important in many home additions. While some smaller home-improvement projects...installing a hardwood floor, for example...don't require any type of permission from your local building department, a home addition very well might. A good contractor will be knowledgeable about local laws, and comply with all that are applicable.

It's a good idea to sit down with your contractor, before any official hiring is done, and talk through the entire project. This can iron out any wrinkles before they become major issues. This will also let you get a feel for an individual contractor. Getting along well isn't, of course, a requirement for quality work. However, whenever possible, it's always nice to work with a professional you like and respect.

Posted by: Diane Sheppard
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Great renovations start with a great contractor.

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