Any home remodel project is a big undertaking, but a home addition project requires even more planning, paperwork, and expertise to ensure it’s a success. If you’re in the beginning stages of planning for a home addition, there are probably a lot of things on your mind. So let’s ensure your project starts on the right foot by going through the essential elements contractors want you to consider before starting a home addition.
Finding an Experienced Contractor
One of the best ways you can almost guarantee a successful addition to your home is by spending the time to research and interview contractors and find the best option for your specific needs. It’s critical to find a firm with experience in home addition projects similar to the one you’re considering. This will mean that you’ll have someone in your corner who can lead you through the process and reduce the amount of stress you’ll feel during such a big project. Additionally, you’ll want to hire a Design-Build firm that has transparent communication systems and someone you can trust. If, while interviewing contractors, your gut is telling you something is off, we encourage you to listen to your instincts.
Nail Down Your Budget
If you go searching for a contractor without a firm budget in hand, you’ll be spending a lot more time going back and forth. The contractor won’t be able to give you any clear ideas of what they can do with your budget, and they won’t be able to steer you in any new directions based on your wishlist and your budget. Homeowners often want to hold their budgets close to their chest in fear that contractors want to spend every cent of it. However, reputable contractors won’t take advantage of your budget. Still, they’ll actually use that as a tool to help ensure you have the project you’re dreaming of without going over what you’re willing to spend.
Create a Clear Wish List
You might have a clear idea in your head as to what you’d like the finished project to look like and how you’d like it to serve your life. But a contractor can’t read your mind, so coming to them with a clear, written-out idea of what you’d like will speed up the process and reduce the amount of guesswork they’ll have to do.
We suggest starting on Houzz or Pinterest and saving everything that strikes your fancy. Then, create a folder where you can scroll through and show a designer and contractor precisely what you’re looking for. Of course, you could spend all day trying to describe it, but you know what they say about a picture and a thousand words.
Think About Up, Not Just Out
Often, homeowners think that additions are always built out, and very rarely do they think about building an addition on top of their house. While this might not be the right fit for you, we encourage you to consider the idea of adding a second story to your home instead of building onto the side of your home. We have a blog about the pros and cons of second-story additions that you can check out here. It’s not for everyone, and depending on where you live, it might not be a legal option, but we like to explore all our options before settling on a solution.
Ensure You Have the Paperwork
For projects that stay within the footprint of the house, it’s not always necessary to get permits. However, with additions, there will likely be more paperwork that you’ll want to confirm is taken care of. A good contractor will be able to help you with this area, but you’ll want to be sure to ask them about how they handle the paperwork.
Not only will you want to have a permit for your addition, but you’ll also want to ensure the company you hire has all the proper documents as well. This means things like insurance and warranties, and contracts that will protect you and them if something goes wrong. These aren’t fun things to think about, but you’ll be glad you have them if you need them.
The last thing you’ll want is to have your home open to the elements without a clear plan. By doing your due diligence and hiring the right professionals, and planning ahead of time before the construction starts, you’ll be ensuring your process is a success before you even get started.