Expert Advice for Building a Home Addition
Planning a home addition? Keep these guidelines in mind to help ensure the new melds with the old.
The best starting point for an addition is a wish list. Start the list by asking what problems you want the project to solve (more space) and what goals you want it to achieve (better indoor-outdoor access for entertaining). Once you’ve made the list, rank the improvements in order of priority. Knowing the end result will help your builder or contractor plan accordingly for items such as wiring, plumbing, and location.
Respect the Rules
Look into the legal restrictions of what can be built on the property. Most cities have setback restrictions that govern how close a structure can be built to property lines, height restrictions, building area ratios, design covenants, and historic-district preservation ordinances.
When designing your new space, be open to new possibilities. For example, in a new bathroom be open to moving your vanity to a new location — not just its previous location. Being open to change allows you to use your new space to the best of its ability.
Though additions are about getting extra room, they don’t need to be large. As you plan, consider stealing space from adjacent closets or hallways to keep your addition at a modest size. In the kitchen, a small breakfast nook only requires a few feet of space, yet it can transform the entire kitchen.