Ready for (or in desperate need of) more space? An addition can increase the value of your home while allowing you to stay in a preferred area or “almost perfect” space. And while adding more square footage is less labor-intensive than building an entirely new space, it’s important to remember that the process still requires careful planning and budgeting.
But a bigger kitchen, extra bath, or upgraded main bedroom is almost always worth it, so here’s our tips and guidelines for making your home addition as stress-free as possible…
- Know your limitations. The most recent building codes stipulate that if you increase the living area of your home to 60% FAR, (floor area ratio) the residence must be set back at least 10 feet from the property line for front yards, and 11 feet for the side and back yards. If these setbacks aren’t possible, your home will need to stay below 60% FAR.
Depending on your lot size, building an addition off of the main floor of your home may not be feasible. In some circumstances, building a second story may be the best way to increase the square footage of your home.
- Prepare for whole-house updates. A second story addition will require structural upgrades to your home, including reinforcing the foundation. In most cases, new mechanical, plumbing, and electrical services will also be necessary.
Fortunately, these upgrades will not only increase the value of your home, they’ll help protect you and your property in the event of an earthquake, hurricane, or severe storm.
- When building out, bring the outside in. If the size of your property allows for a ground floor addition, consider modifying your new space to include some indoor/outdoor living space. Sunrooms, traditional covered lanais, and other covered outdoor spaces add both the functionality of additional square footage and the appeal of direct access to the outdoors. Added bonus: Indoor/outdoor areas are usually communal living spaces, which is ideal for families living in a multigenerational home.
- Complete, don’t compete with your existing home. The best home additions blend in almost seamlessly with the existing space, making your home both more functional and easier to resell. It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s helpful to remember that you’re investing a significant amount of money in order to make it look like you’ve done very little.
Whether you’re creating more space for a kitchen remodel or adding extra bedrooms and baths, your design decisions should blend in with the rest of your home. Focus on matching or complementing existing colors, flooring styles, window cases, and trim to create a cohesive interior.
Don’t forget the exterior. It’s also important to make sure an addition enhances, not detracts from, your home’s curb appeal. This means coordinating the roofing, siding, doors, and windows so that your new square footage looks as if it’s part of the original home.
Any new addition to your home will likely require a building permit, as well as the expertise of a skilled construction professional. From architects and designers to contractors and electricians, we can help you build the best team for transforming your space. Contact us today to connect with experts in your area, or use our free online estimator to start working on your budget.