Real Estate

5 Things to Consider Before Building an Addition to Your House

Adding a room to your home increases value, boosts functionality, and creates more living space. However, it will cost you and require more commitment than initially expected. The costs will be higher than you expect, and the process will be longer than you originally anticipated. Also, in agreement with Murphy’s law, everything that can go wrong is likely to.

All of this is manageable, but you need to know what you’re dealing with from the start. Research is the key to preparedness, which is why there are some steps that you can’t skip. This is why you must consider these five things before building an addition to your house.

  1. Finances

The first thing you need to worry about when building an addition to your house is the finances. How much is this going to cost? These projects are far cheaper than constructing a new building, but they’re far from inexpensive.

Fortunately, there are quite a few funding sources to consider. The simplest and the most obvious solution is a construction loan to renovate the house. You can purchase materials, pay for labor, and more.

The most important thing about renovation loans is that you increase the value and equity at the same time. This means that while you are more in debt, your assets’ total value grows. In the end, the net difference weighs heavily in your favor, especially when you start repaying it.

Moreover, this is the most practical way of upgrading your property. They’re far more cost-effective than personal loans. They are also a superior alternative to refinancing. The bottom line is that they’re designed for this very purpose. This level of specialization is hard to top.

  1. Foundation 

Your foundation is designed to carry a certain amount of weight. So, if you’re building up, chances are that this is an extra burden that wasn’t planned initially. Does this mean that your foundation can’t take it? Of course not! However, it might mean just that.

Sometimes, the foundation was built strong enough for this extra pressure, but it eroded over time. In that case, you’ll need to reinforce it. Look for any signs of water damage, cracks, or uneven load on the foundation. Even without a remodeling project, this can be pretty serious, so get to it as soon as possible.

One of the most critical questions is whether your foundation can support another story addition. If not, you may have to reinforce it. This will, however, add extra costs to the project, which is why you need to know in advance. Either way, there’s a solution; it’s about getting around to whether it’s worth it.

  1. Permits

Just because you own the place doesn’t mean you can swing the sledgehammer whenever you feel like it. If you want to work on your house, you need to get a permit. Which permits? Well, this depends on the scope of work you plan to conduct and your home area. Different states and municipalities have different rules and regulations.

Getting caught making an addition without a permit is never worth it. On paper, it seems like you’re saving time and money and making things more convenient. However, many contractors won’t agree to work without a permit. Second, these permits are required for a reason. You’re putting too much on the line without passing checks to obtain them. Lastly, the penalties, fees, and potential demolition are not something that you want to face.

Sure, they can cost quite a bit; some might take a while, and getting them is not easy. However, you must stop thinking about this like it’s optional because it isn’t.

  1. Contractor and architect

No matter how desperately you need it, you can’t make a house alone. An idea may sound great, but the plan must match your current home structure. It also needs to fulfill all your needs. While you may know what you want, you probably have no idea how to get it. With that in mind, you’ll need to hire an architect.

Moreover, the quality of work matters quite a bit. Shoddy craftsmanship may damage your home, ruin the overall aesthetics, and make the quality of craftsmanship non-existent. So, you want someone skilled and reliable to do the work. This is especially true when it comes to specialized work like roofing. After all, the new structure will need a roof, as well.

Most importantly, you want it all done quickly. Turning your property into a construction site is the last thing you want. Still, it’s inevitable. However, hiring the right contractor can cut the work time pretty short. Still, this requires quite a bit of research on your part. There’s no excuse for skipping the research.

  1. Unexpected expenses

No project is ever going to cost what you expect it to. The problem is that your starting calculation already accounts for the mandatory expenses. In other words, if your estimate is wrong, it never means you’ll pay less. This is why making some room for unexpected costs is advised.

So, what are these unexpected expenses? For instance, you will have to install new HVAC ducts, make new outlets, or run more electrical wires. You might have to remove asbestos from some structural elements if the building is old.

The general rule is to add 10-15% more for these expenses. Sure, this may sound too much but think about the best and the worst-case scenario. In the best-case system, you don’t need it and have this extra money. In the worst-case scenario, you need the money, and your project is not halted. It’s a win-win scenario either way.

Wrap Up

Building an addition to your home is probably still worth it. However, you won’t know the answer until you get the final number. You must consider as many considerations as possible and prepare for every outcome. Doing your research and having a contingency plan are the only ways to protect yourself. Everything else is out of your hands.

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