Where to start when considering a home addition?

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Posted by: from Winnipeg
3/17/2011 at 11:16:57 PM

We love our 1000 sqf bungalow and do not want to leave. As we love our home and location, lot is quite large, we are considering a large additoin to add a master suit while updating the 50 year old kitchen.

With all that needs to be done we don't know were to start. We are wanting first to determine general ball park cost to see if even possible but don't know what type of professional we would even contact. In additon to cost is an additon even possible with the flow of our house.

Thanks for pointing us in the right direction.

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Date/Time3/18/2011 at 3:01:54 PM

Hi Ben,

As a homeowner, you will want to start by checking a few things first. The first thing you can check is with your local building department to see what your allowable limits are for building within your specific area. Having a general idea of what you would like to accomplish will aid in having the building department assess the feasability for your build and as well as providing you with permit costs. Existing trees may also be a factor and may require further assessment by an arborist. Next, you will want to deal with a reputable General Contractor who has built similar additions. The contractor should be able to provide a ballpark price based on what is required for your project. Unless you intend to manage the entire process yourself, this is the best way to approach this process (otherwise you would need to deal with all the various trades associated with a build such as this, in order to get an overall idea). You will also need to consult with an architect to get an idea of what drawings will cost once you have a fairly good understanding of your construction budget. A good set of drawings will allow for more accurate pricing. Also, allow for an additional budget for any unforseen issues or additional work requested. Additions are much different from new builds as you are attaching new structure with the old. Existing property problems can escalate costs as they need to be addressed before proceeding with the addition or sometimes during the build itself . Lastly, if you intend to commit to the project check all necessary references, look at a few jobs completed (like yours) and any background checks on the company you choose. Hope this helps and if you have further questions let us know. We are not in your area but always willing to lend our professional opinion as a renovator/builder.

Best Regards,

Andrew Galletta

The Toolbox Group Inc.


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George from Renovate By Design in Toronto
Date/Time3/18/2011 at 6:59:43 PM

Hi ben, when clients come to us asking us to help them figure out what they want, usually they have some idea look you do already about some of your needs. What you don't know is really how large and to what extent you want to renovate your home. Starting out with a wish list and some idea of your budget will enable you to start a process with either an architect or a designer specializing in residential work. Some design-builders are also helpful in providing some initial feedback about whats realistic and whats not. Going to the local building department will help you to determine whats allowed on your property, so prepare a roughs sketch of your house, collect some photos and go over to see the City or Town and go over your building addition (size would help to start out with ie. 20 foot by 20 foot addition for 400 sf, and then determine what the existing house footprint is ie. 40 foot by 30 foot house is 1200 sf, and you want to add 400 sf. Bring a survey with the house on it and then review this with the Bldg. Dept or Zoning person. While doing this put a wish list together of everything you want to do to your home and you can then prioritize it later. Asking for ballparks are difficult but if you want to do rough estimate use anywhere from 150 to 250 per sf. But know that until someone has prepared plans, you will not get a clear scope of work and price from any contractor. They will be guessing and thats not good for your process. Getting some initial free consultations with design-build contractors will help you to better define your direction. Or take the design work in phases and hire someone who can provide you with initial consultations per hour (architects are more expensive than designers, but check your yellow pages or google who is doing work of this nature in your area, and from friends/relatives) This way you start the process cautiously and building some knowledge about where you are going. Put a binder together with everything you collect and consider it your school project. Once you get past this part then you can decide if you want to hire a professional to do the drawings and then use those drawings to get competitive bids. Even design-builders can offer you a design build package when you are closing to determining your budget, and they do the drawings/permits and approvals for you. george

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