Think Before You Add

Planning a room addition or a home addition requires just that – planning. You probably have a reason for wanting to add on to your home, or you would not have gotten to this point. However, be sure you’ve considered some key things before jumping in with both feet. Ask yourself the following questions:

Why am I building it? Know the reason for the addition. Be sure you’ve explored all of the options and have a clear idea of why you would build it. Sometimes just considering your reasoning can yield more solutions. Knowing the “why” will also help you in selecting a contractor and it will help the contractor to make the best possible recommendations.

What’s its use? Know the purpose of your new addition. If it’s an addition that will be a haven for junk from the rest of the house, does it really make good sense? If it’s an in-law suite for your aging parents, then it has a definite use. Again, being able to clearly communicate the use will also be crucial for the contractor to understand your needs.

Can I do it? Is it zoned? What permits do I need? Once you decide to move ahead with the addition, be sure to check the zoning regulations in your neighbourhood and the required building permits. Don’t wait until after you’ve hired a builder to find out you can only build up and not out, or that you don’t have the property to build the addition you wanted.

Cost/Industry – Do your homework. Today’s electronic society makes it easier than ever to research costs and materials within the building industry. Have a vision for what you want in your addition, but make it concrete so that you can show it to the contractor. Gather photos of what you like and what you don’t like. Research the prices of your selections so that you can come up with a realistic budget. Use this knowledge to evaluate professional estimates and to work toward results that are exactly what you wanted.

Select a contractor – Again, research is key. Selecting a contractor can be a daunting process, but if you do your research and talk to people who have recently remodeled, you will be more successful. Consider a design/build firm that will bundle everything together – from design to finished details – and provide a one-stop-shop for your home addition.