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Design your own Home Addition

How to Design and Plan for a Successful Home Addition

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 accordingly.

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.

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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 addition costs.
 

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 addition.

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.

Here is an example of a sunroom addition that was added onto the back of a home.

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's New 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.

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Home Designer Software from Amazon.com

 
       

 


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