Building House Additions are a Smart and Economical Way to add Living
By: Mark J. Donovan
House additions are normally more
cost effective than trading up to a larger home. Building a house addition onto your
existing home is a large home remodeling project. House additions
require careful planning and budgeting. A house addition should be designed
such that it blends into the existing home as if it had always been there.
House additions are an ideal way to
increase the living space requirements of a growing family. In most cases it
is less expensive to build a house addition rather than trade up to a larger
House additions also provide
the benefit of not having to uproot the family from their current town and
neighborhood. In most cases, the cost of a house addition is more than made
up for when the home is eventually sold.
House additions also afford you
the opportunity to be creative with your home addition plans, and allows
you the opportunity to customize the house addition plans to your specific
needs. So whether you are planning a
bedroom addition, family room addition,
kitchen addition, or a combination of different living
spaces, you have the complete freedom to choose what features you want to
include in your house addition.
House additions are very similar to
building a new home. Most, if not all, of the same types of subcontractors are
required. Consequently it is critical that you have a full set of house addition
plans in place before going out for contractor bids. When developing your house
addition plans it is important to make sure the new house addition melds into
the existing home as if it was always there.
Too often I have driven by a home
that has had a house addition built onto it that is either too large relative to
the existing home, or looks like an aberration hanging off of it. So spend the
time and money up front developing a well thought out set of house addition
plans. Make sure the house addition is of proper scale to the rest of the home
and that it accents the existing home versus consumes it. Having a good set of
house addition plans will also help in obtaining accurate house addition
estimates from building contractors.
|When planning house additions, it is
important to review existing plot plans. When reviewing plot plans look for key items that
could impact your decision on where to place the house addition. Key items to
watch out for are water and utility easements, artesian wells, leach fields and
septic tanks, underground utilities and property setback requirements. You may
want to visit your local zoning board or town building inspector if you have any
questions on the house plot plan.
For most people a bank loan is
required for adding on a house addition. Visit your local bank during the house
addition design stage to understand how much of a loan you can, or want, to
obtain. The size of your budget will play an important role in the size and
amenities of your house addition.
and Hiring Contractors
Once you have a set of house addition
plans in hand, you can then go out and get house addition bids from contractors.
Finding the right general contractor and/or subcontractors is a critical phase
in your house addition project. You do not want to hire the wrong contractor(s)
for your house addition project. Hiring the wrong contractor frequently leads to
cost overruns, slipped schedules, and a house addition that is not built to
Photo by Mark Donovan
One way to find quality house
addition contractors is to use one of the national house addition contractor
referral companies. These companies have extensive databases of qualified and
pre-screened contractors that they have already vetted out. The cost of their
services is free to the homeowner. You simply fill out one of their free online
forms for your specific house addition requirements and they forward the
information on to 3 or 4 of their pre-screened contractors in your local area.
The contractors will then contact you to set up a time to meet with you to
review your house addition plans.
House Additions -
When obtaining estimates for house additions it is critical to make sure that each contractor provide you with a
complete house addition cost breakdown sheet for every phase of the house
addition project. The more detail in the house addition cost breakdown sheet,
the more likelihood of an accurate house addition cost estimate.
To help obtain consistent and
accurate house addition contractor quotes, see my Home Addition Bid Sheets. My
Home Addition Bid Sheets provide a request for quote section that you can
provide to prospective building contractors. It also includes a comprehensive
house addition cost breakdown table, in Microsoft Excel format, that allows the
contractor to include his projected house addition costs for every phase of the
project. By using my home addition bid sheets you can obtain consistent quotes
from contractors so that you can make apple to apple comparisons on contractor
When interviewing potential
contractors for house
additions make sure to check references. Usually a good
indicator for evaluating a house addition building contractor is the length of
their reference list. The longer the list provided to you, the higher the
probability that the contractor has a good reputation. A long reference list
also helps to get a sense for how long the contractor has been in business and
his level of pride in his work.
It is always important to contact at
least 3 or 4 of the references, regardless of the length of the reference list.
I prefer to contact a couple of his recent projects followed by a couple of his
older projects that were done a few years out. This way I can get a sense of his
current work ethic and his quality of work.
With these simple tips your house
addition project should go smoother. Just remember that house additions
will impact the family for awhile. Also, house additions typically cost
more per square foot than brand new home construction projects due to the fact that extra
effort and time is required to build the addition into the existing home. This
said, the overall costs associated with house additions is still cheaper than
existing home and buying a new one in most cases. Good luck with your house
For more help on building a house addition, see HomeAdditionPlus.com's
Addition Bid Sheets.
Addition Bid Sheets
provide you with the knowledge and information on how to plan a home addition project,
and what to look for when hiring contractors. They
also include detailed cost breakdown tables and spreadsheets for estimating
your own new home addition building costs.
Related Articles on Building House Additions
Additional Resources on House Additions from Amazon.com
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