As your family grows or your lifestyle needs change, you might find yourself exploring a home addition. One of the primary reasons that homeowners undertake a home addition is for the additional square footage. If your house has become the home you love, it can be difficult to fathom moving. For this reason, many homeowners explore a home addition to increase living space.

A major home addition is a complex process, and you’ll need to do more thorough and careful planning than if you were renovating one or two rooms. In this article, we’ll explore several important considerations to assess before you call a Design-Build contractor.

Understand why you want a home addition

At this stage in the process, you’re likely considering two options: move to a new property or remodel your current home. Both have their pros and cons, and numerous factors will play into your decision. Use this time to carefully explore why you want a home addition.

Do you need more bedroom space to accommodate a growing family? Do you want to add a first floor master suite as you age in place? Are you looking for a larger kitchen or more entertainment space?

Your reasons for pursuing a home addition will feed into major design decisions, your project budget and the Design-Build contractor you select. In order to have an addition that truly meets your needs, you must be clear on your goals. Write them down and share them with your contractor during your initial conversations.

A Design-Build contractor can help determine if a home addition is feasible for your property. With qualified insight and a professional design proposal, you’ll be equipped to determine if a home addition is your best option, or if it’s more financially advantageous to move.

Understand what you want from your home addition

When you have a clearer understanding of why you want to pursue a home remodel, you’ll be able to explore what you want from the space. Define and prioritize what’s important to you. Every addition is different, but here are some items you might consider:

Bedrooms

Are you considering expanding your family? Have you always wanted a master suite, but your home doesn’t have one? Does the new space need to be on the first or second floor?

Bathrooms

Does your growing family need an additional bathroom for functional reasons? Do you want a private bathroom directly adjacent to an existing space?

Kitchen

Kitchens have become the central hub for entertaining. Do you need more space to host guests? Are you a home chef that wants additional space for cooking and luxury appliances? Would you like easier access to an outdoor entertaining space?

Work Space/Home Office

With many of us now working from home, you might need additional space to work productively. Do you want a separate entrance to the space? What features will help minimize distractions for you? Could the space double as a spot for the kids to do homework?

While homeowners are encouraged to think deeply about their wants and needs, they should avoid the temptation to design the plans themselves, as they tend to have a limited view of what can and can’t be achieved. Design-Build contractors can explain what’s feasible and will have ideas that homeowners have never considered. Document your wants and be prepared to share them with your contractor during the initial conversations.

Educate yourself on home addition timelines

The timeline for an addition — from planning to a final walk-through — is probably longer than you would expect. Television shows often give homeowners an unrealistic expectation of what’s possible. Proper planning is essential when estimating the timeline for a home addition.

We have a general article on planning and scheduling construction projects for success. Here are a few key takeaways specifically for a home addition:

  • The design and planning phase typically ranges from two to four months, depending on the size and scope of the project. This phase is critical to accurately capture your vision and translate it into a realistic construction plan that can be executed by professional tradesmen.
  • The pre-construction phase can range from two to six months. Project size and scope play a factor, as does the production calendar of your contractor. This work includes tasks such as finalizing drawings and submitting them to the building department, creating a detailed construction schedule, coordinating various trade contractors, helping clients finalize fixture and finish selections, placing material orders and scheduling deliveries.
  • The construction phase can range from four to six months depending on project size and scope. During this phase you’ll often communicate with a project manager or lead carpenter who is responsible for day-to-day management of the project.

If you have decided you want to complete your addition before a big holiday or the arrival of a new baby, be mindful of the total time it will take to complete a project of this size and magnitude.

Understand how to budget for a remodeling project

Most homeowners initiate this process by guessing at a budget and calling contractors to request quotes, seeking a dollar amount in early conversations. We have a full article on why this approach is a less than ideal way to plan and budget for a major home renovation.

It’s challenging for contractors to collect enough information to provide a confident proposal over the course of one or two conversations. In the case of a home addition, several professionals working closely with your Design-build contractor will need to evaluate the feasibility of your ideas to ensure they can be executed.

If you want to truly understand the cost of your renovation, first you invest in design. Design work outlines clear and complete specifications for the work to be done. Once a design is complete, then the work on the quote can begin. For a home addition, it takes anywhere from several days to weeks of focused effort to prepare a reliable and accurate quote.

Established and professional companies are compensated for their design time and expertise. This is a wise investment to ensure that your project will be built to precise standards, while remaining on schedule and on budget.

It’s also smart to consider how the additional square footage will affect long-term costs. Energy bills and property taxes will likely increase and impact your monthly budget.

Next Steps: Finding a Design-Build Contractor

Large scale, custom home renovations take a lot of planning and input from several experts. Design-Build contracting companies provide a robust range of in-house or contracted services that include interior design, architectural planning and engineering. This approach simplifies a project for the homeowner, giving them one point of contact during a renovation.

As a homeowner, you’ll need to have conversations with several design-build contractors to further understand their background and what they bring to the table.

Interested in discussing a home addition near Cleveland? Contact Advance Design and Remodel to request a consultation.