You want to build an addition to your home for several reasons. For starters, your family is larger than it was when you bought your home 10 years ago. You need at least one more room so your older children don’t have to share a room with younger children who didn’t exist 10 years ago. Besides that, your mother-in-law has really wanted to live with the grandchildren since her husband passed away.
You also have a lot more property but not enough room to put it in. For example, your life would be more enjoyable if you could put that new big-screen television in a separate entertainment room, but right now it’s in a crowded living room. You also want an office because, frankly, it’s way noisier in the house than it was 10 years ago.
Buying a larger home really is not an option. The commute to your job is easy. You love your community. You love your neighbors. You love the education that your children are getting from the local schools. Your children have a lot of friends. They’ll be devastated if they have to move. Frankly, so will you and your spouse.
You don’t think money is an issue to building an addition to your house so you can’t think of one reason why you shouldn’t build a home addition. Well, here are three important considerations you should think about before building an addition to your home:
1. MONEY: You have enough money to buy a home so you don’t believe that building an addition to a home is a factor. The cost of the addition, though, is only one money factor. There are other money factors that you should think about.
Is building an addition to your home a good investment? You might have no idea. You might want to look into how much homes in your neighborhood were sold for. Home sales are public information. Spending tens of thousands of dollars on an addition only to learn later that homes with an addition like the one you want to build aren’t sold for much more than homes like your current home can be quite jarring.
And how about taxes? Most people don’t think about taxes ahead of time, but you really need to consider this now. You know that you’re financially secure enough to pay your current property tax bill, but what will be the bill for a significantly larger home. Tax bills are also a matter of public record. You should check the property tax bill of homes like the one you are thinking about building. Talking to the local official who will assess the value of your home for tax purposes is also a good idea.
2. TIME: Do you remember the episode of “Seinfeld” when Jerry Seinfeld was redecorating his apartment and the contractor repeatedly stopped working to ask Jerry picky questions about whether he wanted this or that? Eventually, Jerry got so aggravated that he gave the contractor carte blanche to do what he wanted to do. The contractor then messed up the entire project.
Jerry was just redesigning an apartment. You want to do a lot more than that. Do you have the time to supervise all the contractors you hire? It can be incredibly aggravating to make sure that everything is done correctly. What kind of doors should you get? What kind of windows? What about the painting and plumbing?
You can hire a general contractor to do all of this work, but that means that reducing your time problem increases your money problem. There’s also the problem of finding a general contractor you will trust — or do you want to research the record of every builder, painter, plumber, and others you need to hire?
3. POTENTIAL HASSLES: You want to build an addition to your home, but will the local municipality allow you to? You need to find out what building permits you need. Building without approval can result in heavy fines.
And what about the neighbors? Will building spur them to express concern about the noise, the quality of their neighborhood, and their property values? They might feel that they moved into a quiet neighborhood with homes similar to theirs rather than a large home that they fear will change the character of their neighborhood.
And, most importantly, will you be satisfied with the final product? You need to find out whether previous homeowners were satisfied with your prospective contractors’ work. Were there lawsuits? Complaints about bad or incomplete work? You don’t need the hassle of living in a home that wasn’t built the way you planned it and trying to rectify the problem.
You love your vision of your home with an addition that you planned, but you need to think about important considerations that perhaps you haven’t yet thought about before taking the plunge.