Friday, January 23rd, 2015 by Danny Peterson
Could your home benefit from a little more space? For many homeowners, the answer is yes. Maybe your family is expanding. Or maybe you simply want a little more room to relax and enjoy time together. Maybe you’ve always wanted a special room for doing crafts, for practicing piano, or for setting up a home theater. Home additions and expansions are often possible, and often advantageous. You can knock down a wall or two, lay a foundation, and be on your way to a whole new room, or simply a much larger version of a current room. This is thrilling and in the end it’s usually worth it, but of course it’s also a pretty big undertaking. You don’t want to jump into a project like this without doing some strategizing.
The first thing to think about is how your expansion will impact your yard. When you add space to your home, you’re obviously taking that space from somewhere, and yes, that means your lawn and garden area. Think about how many square feet you’d like to add to your home, and then simply ask yourself: Are you willing to lose that much yard space? This doesn’t have to be a negative thing. Less yard space means less lawn mowing—and who wouldn’t want that? Additionally, expanding your home will give you more opportunities to connect your home and your yard in meaningful ways, adding more external doors, walkways, and perhaps even a new patio or porch area. So while you may have to take a bite out of your yard, it may result in you enjoying your yard even more!
Something else to think about is the question of materials. If the rest of your home is brick, you may feel like the addition needs to follow suit. This will make for a nice, uniform feel, but it can also be costly, to say nothing of difficult to match the color and texture of a new construction to the older parts of the house. Alternatively, nobody says you have to keep using the same material. Perhaps branching out into something different can look stylish and tasteful, while also being more cost-effective. Make sure you discuss this with your contractor.
An added room provides you with a great opportunity to embrace natural light. Whether you’re building a family room, expanding your kitchen, or even adding something like a sunroom or conservatory, big, generous windows will make the place cozier and warmer. Just be smart about it: Don’t waste all your big windows on a space that’s not going to get much light during the day!
As you start budgeting for your new project—and you should definitely budget—make sure to think about everything that will be required to complete the project. You may need to expand your plumbing, and you will definitely need to expand your electrical wiring and your heating and cooling ducts. This is to say nothing of roofing and basic construction needs. All told, the scope of the project is going to be significant, even if your addition is ultimately a small one. That is not something to be daunted or discouraged by, but it is something to plan for. Make sure you budget accordingly. Also make sure you enlist the services of a contractor who can guide you through each facet of this project. Adding onto your home is a big project—but a worthwhile one! It will enhance your home’s value, and also your home life.
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