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How to Reinvent Your Home With an Addition

Your home is your castle, and whether it’s getting too crowded thanks to a growing family, you’ve started working from home and you need a dedicated office space, or you’ve finally got the cash on hand to expand your dinky kitchen and create the gourmet setup you’ve been craving, undertaking a home addition will allow you the opportunity to reinvent your living space. But unless you happen to have a background in art and architecture, you’ve got an interior design degree, or you’re a licensed contractor, chances are that you have little idea of where to get started when it comes to developing a design plan that will make over your space, expand it accordingly, and work with city codes (not to mention your budget). So here are just a few things to consider when it comes to reinventing your home by adding square footage.

The first thing to think about is the function you’d like to achieve through your addition. If your kids are growing and it’s simply not feasible to have them doubling up in bedrooms and bunking together anymore, then your addition should provide adequate space for bedrooms (although if you’re adding two or more bedrooms to the house, you might want to think about throwing in another full bathroom, as well). If you need an office space, you should consider that you might need a separate entrance, or at the very least you’ll want it to be away from family living spaces like the kitchen or living room where noise may be prevalent. And if a large kitchen for cooking and entertaining is your desire, you’ll definitely want to place it where the current kitchen already resides so you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to relocate the plumbing and gas lines to the other side of the house.

Along with functionality, however, you’ll have to consider building codes and zoning for your area. If, for example, you want to expand towards a neighbor’s property, you’ll have to make sure that you maintain the set distance from the fence line (as stated by city code). And if you decide to add a second or third story on top of your home, you may have to contend with laws concerning the height of a structure in a residential area. Or suppose your plan is to add on so that you can create a separate but attached rental unit or even open a bed and breakfast. You might need to get approval from the zoning board first. It’s better to find out about such issues before you start building.

Now that you’ve addressed these major concerns it’s time to have some fun. And this is where you’ll likely need professional help. It’s time to hire an interior designer to lay out the floor plans for your addition so you can get a crew of builders and get started with your addition. Once you’ve got the groundwork laid you can begin to select the materials that will fill your new space, from flooring and windows to paint colors and fixtures to appliances (if the space calls for them). After that it’s just a matter of decorating in order to make the newest portion of your house feel like home.

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