A House Extension Provides a Number of Key
Advantages over Buying a Bigger Home
By: Mark J. Donovan
House extensions are an affordable
alternative to selling and buying a larger home. Unlike selling and buying a new
home, home extensions donít require real estate transactions costs, stamp taxes,
moving costs, and new utility hook up costs. In addition, when financing is not
required for the house extension, there are no mortgage closing costs to incur.
Common house extensions include family room additions, bedroom additions,
sunrooms, and kitchen bump-outs.
Besides the cost savings, house
extensions also enable families to not have to uproot and move into new
towns or school districts. This often is the main reason why people choose a
home addition over moving to a new home. They like where they live and they
have their friends, but they simply need more living space.
When considering a house extension, however, it is important to realize it
is a major home construction project. Besides a major expense, it requires
significant planning and project management.
Undertaking a project of this
complexity on your own is not for the faint of heart or inflexible homeowner. A
house extension will interrupt your familyís home life for 2 to 4 months, on
average. Dirt, dust, interruptions, last minute decisions, and lack of privacy
will be common issues that you will need to deal with, and accept, if you move
forward with a home addition project. House extensions, in some cases, can even
force the family to move out of the home for a couple of months when the
extension work includes renovation of the existing home interior.
Successful house extensions always
begin with a well thought out and documented set of plans. In addition, hiring
the right general contractor, or subcontractors, if you plan to be your own
general contractor, is absolutely imperative. Only through a formal home
construction bidding process and through extensive background checks can you
ensure that you hire the right contractor for your home extension project.
|An architect can help in both of these issues. Besides
developing a formal set of house extension plans, and architect can also
help to find and hire a reputable general contractor. In addition,
architects can also act as oversight project managers to make sure the house
extension is built to both building codes and to specs.
House extension costs per square foot can vary widely, however they are
typically higher than the cost of new home construction. This is due to the
fact that retrofitting a house extension into an existing home requires
additional labor, compared to green field new home construction.
This said, all of the other costs
associated with selling and buying a larger home dwarf the cost per square foot
premium associated with house extensions.
To help in obtaining accurate and
consistent home extension contractor quotes, see my
Addition Bid Sheet. The Room Addition Bid Sheet provides a
request for quote section that you can provide to prospective building
contractors. It also includes a comprehensive room addition cost breakdown
table, in Microsoft Excel format, that allows the contractor to include his
projected home extension costs for every phase of the project.
Photo by Mark Donovan
So if you are considering a house extension, visit an architect and your local
building inspector to see what your options are for extending your home
outwards, and possibly even upwards. Then move forward with a plan that includes
developing blueprints, locating a general contractor and obtaining financing if
necessary. Then get prepared for an exciting and occasionally bumpy ride for the
next several months. In the end, and with a little luck, youíll be thrilled with
your new finished living space and house extension.
For more help on building a house extension, 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.
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Additional Home Extension and Room Addition Resources from Amazon.com
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