You know the old adage: Plan ahead.
Those words are, perhaps, never as pertinent as when they pertain to a home addition. Planning ahead may not make your addition a “delightful dream,” but following certain rules will surely keep your project from becoming a nightmare.
Any construction project follows a certain progression: Knowing the steps in advance means that you will have an ongoing idea of how things work, and whether your project is proceeding in a normal fashion.
Those steps normally include:
- Define your ideas and working with a professional to formulate workable plans
- Develop a realistic budget
- Choose and contracting for the actual work
- Obtain necessary permits
- Draft a timeline
- Select materials and assure deliveries
- Monitor the progress
- Finally, celebrate completion
Finding Information; Defining Goals
If you have been thinking about a home addition, whether it’s for additional living space, a special use room, another bedroom or a larger garage, you probably have a specific vision of what you would prefer. There are numerous online sites that offer photographs and DIY advice for anyone thinking of tackling a home improvement project. However, if your plans include anything more than a cosmetic redo, you are well advised to seek professional advice early on. Doing so will save time, money and frustration as your ideas mature. Expert input can also help you formulate your ideas into a workable plan, offer creative advice and give options that will help you crystallize your ideas.
Drafting a Workable Plan
Any building project takes time. All building projects are disruptive. Depending on the scope of your project, be aware that you may have to live without a working kitchen, vacate your home while a new roof is installed, put up with subcontractors arriving early each morning, or work around scheduling delays due to weather, “glitches” or missing materials. If you can maintain a sense of humor, keeping the lines of communication open with your architect and contractor, know that all problems have a solution. However, some are more difficult than others.
Watching the Progress
Few things are more exciting than seeing a new room emerge from the “sticks and bricks” that seem like such a puzzle in the beginning. By planning ahead, you can rest assured that your new addition will take shape just as it should. You should know that “on-site decision-making” is usually ineffective, inefficient and cost-prohibitive. Try to lock in decisions while your addition is still in the planning stages. It is always easier to make changes on paper than it is to move a window or a wall during actual framing. Likewise, waiting to see what the room “feels” like before choosing your cabinets or your tile can extend the duration of your project into the range of “all I want is for it to be over.” That is not a desirable emotion!
Paying for It
Very few people have unlimited funds: Even if you are that fortunate, you will probably be interested in the total dollars you can expect to pay. Good general information about average costs for various components of home additions and remodel projects is available through homewyse.com. The comprehensive resource site includes information compiled by design and construction professionals nationwide; it will give you basic information to use in planning an addition, and in learning more about the steps involved in making your vision a reality.
Ultimately, the success of your home addition will result from a team effort. Home building, whether new construction or remodeling, is one of those areas that truly does “take a village” to ensure success. You are an important member of that team, and being as informed and knowledgeable as possible about the process is the way to begin.