Before you add a bonus room ask yourself these 3 questionsAdding a bonus room is a big commitment. It needs to be done well and done right, and for the right reasons. Before you can get started on your project, consider the answers to the following three questions.

What’s my budget?

Determining your budget is the first critical move in any home addition. Once you know the answer to this question, a lot of other answers may follow. Determining how much you can reasonably spend will help you decide what’s reasonably possible. For example, additions that take place on an upper floor are often far more costly than additions installed on the ground level. If your budget is modest, you’ll know that building on the ground level is a more realistic goal.

Making your budget isn’t easy. Start by determining how much money you can dedicate to the project. Meet with bank representatives and secure a loan, if necessary. Once you know how much money you have to invest, you can move on to the next question–keeping in mind that you’ll need to revisit your budget later in the process, after you start obtaining quotes for labor, materials and design. To help you determine how much of your money should be spent on each expense, take a look at the budget planning calculator.

Is this a financially savvy move?

This is important if increasing your home’s resale value is a major reason why you’re adding the room in the first place. Bonus rooms can be a benefit when it comes to resale value, but before you invest your money in a bonus room, decide whether or not your money could be better spent on a different kind of renovation or addition. Assess your home’s areas of weakness. Does your home have only one bathroom? Does it have a disconnected garage, or no garage at all? Is your kitchen small or missing an eating space?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, and you’re looking for ways to boost your home’s property value, talk to a real estate agent before making the next big change to your house.

That said, checking with a realtor is only important if you’re looking for ways to make your home more appealing to buyers. Homeowners who want to add a bonus room because they need the space—maybe for a play area, storage space or as a hobby room—already know that a bonus room is the best choice for their needs.

Who’s going to work with me on this project?

At this stage it’s time to find an architect and a contractor. These professionals will be your team as you move forward with your home addition. Your architect will design your bonus room to match your home’s architectural style. He or she will take into consideration matters of aesthetics, ergonomics and logistics. Your contractor will consult with you and pinpoint your needs—maybe even more skillfully than you could have done yourself.

Your contractor will execute your plan. He or she will hire the laborers and sub-contractors and oversee the development of your home’s renovation. Your contractor will ensure the quality of the finished product.

To find the best team for your money, interview candidates of both types. Look at their professional portfolios and ask each candidate questions about the ways in which he or she would handle your particular addition. The candidate you choose should be someone who can answer all your questions to your complete satisfaction.

Once you’re able to answer these questions, you should be ready to build a bonus room that you’ll love for many years to come.

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