Should You Add An Addition

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With home appreciation in recent years, many people find themselves wondering if they should add an addition to their existing home. Using a home equity line of credit for an addition to your home can be tempting, but how complicated is it? While it can increase the value of your home substantially, what exactly are some of the common pitfalls and possible concerns you should think about prior to starting the construction process?

Building Material Costs & Labor Costs

Having a proper budget detailing the material and labor costs is of utmost importance. This is probably the most difficult part of the addition process. Contractors will have vastly different prices, sometimes varying as much as 50% of the total project budget. However, the importance of understanding the materials involved and being able to complete an accurate “take-off” helps to reduce costs and keep the total project budget under control. Ask the contractor to assist with this information prior to entering into any signed agreements.  

Planning The Addition & Permitting

For starters, you will need to have a survey performed to determine the correct boundaries of your property. This helps with set back requirements that the city may impose. In many cases, the locality that your home is located in has rules and zoning guidelines stipulating exactly how close or how far a structure should be from the property line. Secondly, an architect is a great point of contact to draw the addition. This will entail measuring the interior and exterior of the home to calculate current and future window sizes, door sizes, and other important construction details. Having a floor plan design with the existing floor plan and the proposed floor plan is an excellent starting point and typically a necessity for obtaining a building permit. 

Demo, Construction Timelines, & Inspections

Building an addition to your home does not happen overnight. It’s going to take a few months. No matter how fast the contractor moves, inspections will have to be performed by the city to ensure building codes are followed and construction is correct according to the plans. Plumbing, mechanical, electrical, framing, and a final inspection will all take place throughout the building process. Adding to the timeline will be any weather events that will prolong beginning stages of construction. Setting the proper completion timelines upfront will help to keep frustration levels low. 

Setting Expectations of Value & Not Overbuilding

One of the most valuable additions to any home is having a large primary bedroom/bathroom combo. When trying to sell a 2 bedroom 1 bath home, or any home that does not have a formal master en suite, the marketability drops substantially. After having sold 100’s of homes, 757 Offers recommends having a minimum of a three bedroom, two bathroom home, with a minimum of 1,600 square feet for the largest market appeal. If your home is under these minimums, an addition can add a tremendous amount of value. On the other side of the coin, you don’t want to overbuild and be the largest home in the neighborhood. Adding popular additions such as a sunroom, mother in-inlaw suite, or even a detached garage will increase the value of the home.

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