How to Design and Plan for a Successful Home
By: Mark J. Donovan
Deciding upon building a home
addition is a major endeavor and it is not for the faint of heart. This said
many people choose the home addition route versus selling their existing home
and moving to a larger one. Like any major project, planning is critical. Prior
to kicking off a home addition project it is important to understand why you
need the extra living space so that you can design your own home addition plans
The first step in designing your own home addition plans is to determine why you
need the extra space.
Most homeowners elect to build a home
addition because the family is growing and they don’t want to leave their
community or spend more money on real estate closing costs. In other cases
homeowners just want to build the custom master bedroom or family room home
addition to make their home more comfortable.
Once you have mapped out what your home addition needs are, begin to design your
home addition by sketching out some floor plans on graph paper.
Ideally you should make the sketches
to scale so that you can assess better if the home addition space will be the
right size for your needs.
After you’re reasonably satisfied
with your home addition plans you can then move on to the next phase in the
design of your home addition. Invest in a home design software package that will
transform your sketches into actual home addition plans that contractors and
building inspectors can follow.
The company Chief Architect offers a
software package called “Chief Architect Home Designer Suite 10” that is excellent and affordable for
designing your own home addition. It provides all the cross sectional
and elevation views and information a contractor would need to quote your home
addition project. In addition it can help you to estimate the actual home
When transferring your sketches into the home designer software package pay
close attention to how the home addition will tie into your existing home. It is
important that the home addition is sized properly and melds into the existing
home so that it is both aesthetically attractive from the outside curb and is
functional from with inside the home.
Once you’ve designed your own home
addition plans, and before you provide the plans to any contractors for
bidding on, take them to your local building inspector to make sure your
home addition meets all local building codes and zoning laws.
There is no point of wasting yours and a contractor’s time on bidding on
the project until the building inspector has confirmed that your home addition
design is in compliance with all the municipality’s building codes. Finally, after getting firm home addition
cost estimates from your contractor determine how you will pay for your home
In most cases homeowners borrow money as well as pay for
some of it in cash. In some cases it may make more sense to take out a
home equity loan against your existing mortgage. In other cases, if
interest rates are lower than you existing mortgage, it may make more
sense to refinance the entire mortgage with the additional funds to build
the home addition. If you have an existing mortgage speak to the bank to
see if you can refinance the loan for the extra funds that are needed to
build the home addition.
Photo by Mark Donovan
Also discuss with them a construction style loan so that you can pay
the contractor while the home addition construction is under way. The bank will
want to see your home addition plans, so make sure to bring them along with you
when you visit your bank.
For more help on building a new custom home, see HomeAdditionPlus.com'sNew Home
Construction Bid Sheet. The
New Home Construction Bid Sheet
provides you with the knowledge on how to plan a custom home building project,
and what to look for when hiring contractors for your new home construction. It
also includes a detailed cost breakdown table and spreadsheet for estimating
your own new home construction building costs.
How to Finance your Home Construction Project -
can help provide funds for your new home improvement project if financing is
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