Things you need to know before building an addition

Things you need to know before building an addition

If you’re short on space but don’t want to relocate or can’t find another property in the area with all the features you desire, adding on to your current home might be your best option. Home additions are ideal for people wishing to expand their living space while also increasing the value of their home. Because home additions are among the most expensive home improvements, they often yield a lower return on investment than remodels. Your investment may pay off handsomely if you’re dramatically increasing the square footage of your home or adding crucial types of rooms, such as bedrooms and baths or extending kitchens. Before getting started, here are the things you need to know before building an addition.

Define your needs

Start by identifying exactly what you want and need to see if an addition makes sense for your scenario. If you focus on fundamental needs then you won’t get carried away with a wish list that will put the project out of financial reach.

Do you have enough room?

The size of your yard will usually determine whether or not you can expand out. If you live on a small piece of land, a second or third storey addition is generally your only option for building an addition.

Things you need to know before building an addition

Get the design style right

You could let your creativity and personal taste lead you in practically any stylistic direction you chose if you were building a new house or even fully remodelling an existing one. When adding on to an existing home, though, you have less flexibility because you must work with the home’s existing style. Blending your new addition with the existing house involves using a similar design aesthetic, similar materials, similar details, and similar colours. It entails selecting new materials and finishes that compliment or match what is currently present in the home. Flooring, tiles, roofing, siding, windows, trim, doors, hardware, and paint colours are all things to consider.

Permits, permissions and inspections

Permissions and inspections will be required throughout the construction phase, just as they will be during a remodel. They’re important since they help ensure that all building codes are followed and that all necessary precautions are taken to ensure the structure’s safety. Before you begin construction on an extension, familiarise yourself with the necessary permits and inspections, as failing to do so will cost you a lot of money.

In addition, many neighbourhoods have homeowner’s associations whose objective is to preserve the neighbourhood’s value and improve its livability. Frequently, these groups have specific standards for existing properties that must be met. Before starting any repairs on your house, make sure to consult with them first.

Building up vs. building out

You can add on to a house in two ways: horizontally or vertically. The purpose of the expansion, the available space, and your budget are all factors to consider. There may be more than one method to design a project, so weigh the benefits and drawbacks of each option before proceeding.

Whether you build up or build out, home additions can get expensive. Adding a room at ground level is common when expanding outwards. This implies you’ll have to pay for site work, excavation, new foundations, external walls, and roofing, among other things. Building upwards entails adding a second floor or third floor to your home. This may require strengthening the existing foundation or bearing walls. This is essential to ensure the structure can handle the increased weight of another level. This may necessitate rearranging the existing home’s layout to suit it.

Property lines

The distance between your building and your neighbour’s yards and streets is strictly regulated by local authorities. Even if you’re adding a room to your house, you’ll need to do a property survey to determine exact property borders.


Compare bids from different contractors, especially if they give you different approaches on how to go about with your project. Engage a qualified, experienced, licensed, and insured contractor to assist you before beginning a home addition or purchasing supplies. It is essential to verify that your contractor has undertaken similar work in the past. Moreover, check if your contractor has any references from previous clients.

Final thoughts

You should examine the existing home market before engaging an architect to draw up the designs. Extending your living space and customising your home can be accomplished by adding an addition to your current home. Moreover, this means you don’t have to leave your neighbourhood. This guide on the things you need to know before building an addition will help you make the right decision.

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