4 Questions About Home Additions You’re Too Afraid To Ask

4 questions about home additions you're too afraid to askWhen it’s time to get serious about the home addition you have been pondering for years, here are a few suggestions that you may want consider. Many problems can arise when home owners are reluctant to ask several very important questions about adding on to a home.

Here’s some independent research, done to see what kind of questions people have. Here’s the complied list of things you should definitely ask either an architect or prospective remodeling contractors before you proceed with your project:

  1. Will the addition actually add any value to your home? Depending on the motivation behind your project, this is perhaps the most important question. If you are expecting to stay in your home for the rest of your lives, it probably doesn’t matter much, but if you are expecting to sell any time soon and are looking to recover the cost of an addition be aware of several key elements an appraiser will look for when evaluating your home for sale:
    1. How many square feet does it add to the property?
    2. Did it include a necessary repair life a roof replacement or fixing structural issues?
    3. Does it fit with the overall design of the home or does it detract from the original layout of the house?
    4. Was the addition “within the four walls” of the existing structure or did it require external changes?
  2. Are there any zoning restrictions that impact the project or what kinds of special permits are required? One of the things that continue to shock is the number of people who are considering a multi-thousand or even a multi-million dollar addition to their home but want to save a few hundred dollars by not pulling the proper permits or creating a valid blueprint that is approved by a local building authority.  You may also be surprised to find out that your addition may not be within as specific number of feet of your neighbor, may not exceed a certain height or may not fit within the covenants established by your homeowners’ association. It is obviously a much better idea to find out about such restriction in advance because most building authorities can require you to make necessary changes even after you’ve spent the money for an unapproved addition.
  3. How much is it going to cost when all the bills finally come in? Here again, the number of people who grossly underestimate the full cost of their prospective projects is very high. Most look at the obvious things like lumber and other structural materials but fail to consider paint (which can be quite expensive depending on the size of the addition), sub flooring, consumable materials like nails, screws, glues, etc., excavation work that may be required, filling back in after excavation, grading and lawn repair, plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems.  What goes on within or behind the walls can often be more expensive than the visible changes home owners are looking to make. Be sure to have someone knowledgeable in the industry review your materials lists to make sure you’re not leaving anything out. The “little things” add up quickly during a renovation project and every trip to the hardware store usually costs at least three to four more times the amount you expected.
  4. Is your remodeling contractor bonded or insured? Every single one of the contractors who work on additions should be bonded and insured. They are dealing with potentially hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars of your money and if they cause problems, you want them to bear the brunt of the liability and not you. Every reputable contractor carries insurance for any damages they may cause during a project and most are required to post bonds for any projects they bid on, especially ones in the public domain.


This is not an exhaustive list, but it will get you started in the right direction and will likely cause you to ask a few questions of your own. A couple of bonus questions that many people are reluctant to ask, but should, are “What happens if something goes wrong?” and “Do you have references we can talk to about a project that went wrong and how you handled it?”

6 Ways To Instantly Improve Your Home Addition Project

6 ways to instantly improve your home addition projectAre you thinking about extending the square footage of your home with an addition?  Home additions add usable space and monetary value to homes.  The most common types of additions include kitchen expansions, bathroom suites, sun rooms and bedroom suites.  Unfortunately, while home additions are a great value, they can make life difficult while they are in progress.  Here are six tips to help you keep your sanity while undergoing a home renovation.

Decide on Your Addition

Every exterior wall can be moved, and second stories can be added onto single story homes.  Discuss and decide on the addition that would provide the most benefit for your family.  For some families, adding a second or third bathroom would make the most difference.  For other families, it might be more beneficial to add a family room with an additional bathroom or a bedroom suite.

Determine Your Budget

Only you know how much you can afford.  Home additions can range from $13,000 to $30,000 or more, depending on the square footage, fixtures and additional details.  You should also decide how you will pay for the home addition.  Do you have the cash, or do you plan on taking out a loan?  If you plan on taking out a loan, get the paperwork started early and decide how much of a monthly payment you can afford in addition to your mortgage payment.  It is also a good idea to find out how the addition will affect your property taxes, utility bills and home insurance.  Can you reasonably afford the increases?

Have Your Home Inspected

What is the condition of your home?  A home inspection can find problems before they are found by your contractor.  Faulty wiring, mold, mildew and pest infestations can increase the cost of your home addition and the time it takes to finish your addition.  If you get an inspection performed prior to your addition, you can budget for the extra materials and labor and even have that work included in your home addition estimate.

Consider Hiring an Architect

Many homeowners choose to call contractors and get price quotes for their home additions.  While contractors can build home additions, it is a good idea to hire an architect before you find a contractor.  An architect can look at the layout of your home and design an addition according to your home’s traffic pattern.  They can match exterior features and design the addition’s roof to match the rest of the home.  They will also take your budget into consideration.  Many architects can create numerous initial drawings that take into consideration a variety of budgets.

Find a Contractor

Homeowners can find contractors by looking through lists of home remodeling contractors on the Internet.  They can find contractors by scouring the BBB website and looking for local contractors with A+ ratings, or they can ask their architect.  Many architects know contractors that can perform the required work at reasonable prices, and this can save time when it comes to finding contractors and soliciting bids.  The architect may even be willing to help you look through your bids to find the best contractor for your money.

Find a Timeframe that Works for You

No matter how well they are planned, home additions are dusty, noisy and disruptive.  Find a time for the home addition that will be least disruptive for your family.  For some families, that might mean taking a two week vacation during the noisiest and messiest parts of the project.  For other families, it might mean waiting until the kids are out of school for the summer so that the parents aren’t trying to get kids to school and extracurricular activities while the house is a mess.

The Real Skills You Should Look For In An Architect

The real skills you look for in an architectWhen you’re trying to find the perfect architect to bring your dreams to life, it can be a difficult task. It doesn’t have to be! There are some specific skills that all good architects should have. By eliminating drafting firms that don’t make the grade, you’ll quickly find an architect that meets your needs and can provide solid advice going forward with your project. Here are some real skills your architect needs:

Design Skills

Design isn’t just the process of developing a floor plan, it’s the process of deciding the best way to fit the elements of your project together. Skilled architects don’t just throw some floor plans together, they think about privacy in bedroom and bathroom door layout. Computer layout can make two workstations fit in a six-foot-square space, but the real-world results just don’t work out.

Drawing/Graphics Skills

It used to be that if you wanted to get into drafting or architecture, you needed to have some serious drawing skills. With the advent of computer-aided drafting, the same could be said of graphics skills and software knowledge. These skills not only convey the general appearance and layout of your project, but also the specific requirements for joints, walls, floors, special structural features and other details that need to be communicated effectively to construction crews.

Problem-Solving Skills

When most clients have a long list of wants that they don’t want to prioritize, figuring out creative ways to solve problems is vital to the success of any project. A good architect has great problem-solving skills that not only solve a problem, but can provide multiple solutions when possible and can effectively communicate the benefits and drawbacks of each solution. They can also work out how to make multiple systems function well together without causing additional problems down the road.

Communication Skills

Without good communication skills, your architect may not be able to deliver what you need. Communication skills include both listening and conveying information A good architect will stop and listen to what you need out of your project and should be happy to describe what you’re looking for back to you, to ensure clarity and unity of creative vision. An architect who isn’t able to communicate well will have a hard time understanding what you want and how to pass that information on effectively to your contractors.

Project Management Skills

Architects need to handle some level of project management, even if it’s just to get your project through their office. They’ll need to plan how the project will unfold, from the initial meeting to early concepts through to complete plans that have been prepared for the contractors you hire. Having project management skills ensure they’ll be able to see the job through to the end.

Math Skills

Whether the figures involve setting proper spans for your second-floor bedrooms, working out a budget to complete the work or tracking office expenses, your architect needs to have a good grasp of the calculations needed to successfully complete your job. An architect may also hire in a structural engineer or other specialist to help ensure the feasibility of your project’s design and provide peace of mind.

When you have a project that requires the perfect architect, finding one that has the right skills can make this task seem difficult. By keeping these skills in mind when talking to architects. you’ll have no problem finding one that’s right for your job. If you want to work with an architect who will work with you, our skilled professionals at Prime Draft Studio are happy to help make your dreams a reality. Please contact us with any questions, for more details or to schedule an appointment to discuss your project’s needs.

How To Get An Architect To Say Yes To Your Home Addition Project

How to get an architect to say yes to your home addition projectEveryone has their own reasons for hiring an architect. Perhaps it’s because they want to trust a licensed professional’s expertise or there are rules in their town that require professional drawings of the project. Maybe they simply adore a certain portfolio, or want their home to stand out from the rest. Of course, once the right architect is selected, there is still the hurdle of pitching the project in hopes they will take the job.

So, what can you do to get an architect to say “yes”?

Know What You Want, Then Be Willing To Compromise

Having a solid idea of what you want gives a great foundation when working with an architect. Take the time to highlight specific features you would like. If you have any references, such as photos or sketches, share them during the negotiation.

While brainstorming what you want for your addition, consider how you plan for the new space to be used. (An indoor basketball court in your new “man cave” is nice, but only if you have a lot of square footage to spare.) This is a change that is going to last, one that effects your property value, so give it careful thought.

Once you have a general idea of what you want, be prepared to compromise. The architect may have a more efficient, aesthetic, or overall beneficial idea of how to make the addition work for you. They may see features you may like as being detracting, or maybe even detrimental, to the overall structure of the home or just a mistake considering your budget and your current house. A professional will try to accommodate your plans, and you in turn should take their ideas and concerns into account. The plan the architect comes up with might even be better than you thought!

Budget Your Money, And Time, Beforehand

Home additions take time to be done right. An architect makes sure all of their plans are perfect, all materials are accounted for, and all permits are acquired before work even begins. Prep work like this may seem aggravating at first, but in the long run it will actually save time, and money.

That being said, be prepared to set aside a lot of time to get the project done. Most architects will put together a timeline of how long a project could last, but it’s wise to plan your own time a little longer in case something goes awry. (Bad weather, for example, can impede large construction.) Likewise, your architect’s schedule may place the time they can begin your project later than you expected. This is another facet where flexibility comes handy.

This brings us to finances. Clients and architects generally agree on a basis for compensation during project negotiations. Depending on the architect and type of project, compensation could include professional fees plus expenses (such as contractors insurance), stipulated sums for an architect’s personnel, or reimbursable expenses (such as travel, cost of documents, or overtime). Most of these costs will be discussed during your project negotiation process.

Clear Communication Is Key

Your relationship with your architect is a professional one. As with most professional relationships, one of the first things to do is establish clear communication lines. You wouldn’t want your boss calling at 3AM on a Saturday to tell you what you should do next Monday afternoon, and neither does your architect.

Define appropriate communication methods and times early on. If there are certain days or times that you are unavailable, make this clear from the beginning. Take note of your architect’s preferences as well and abide by them. Agree on a set of standards for “emergency contact”; what qualifies and an emergency and what number to call.

Following these simple rules will show your architect that you are prepared for the project at hand. By demonstrating that you are responsible, knowledgeable, and flexible, your architect will be more willing to make your new home addition a reality.


6 Ways To Overcome The Home Addition Blues

6 ways to overcome the home addition bluesThere are strangers walking through your house at all hours of the day. They leave the front and back door open and leave their music playing in random rooms of your house. You wake up to incessant banging every morning. Your furniture is covered in saw dust. It’s been days since you walked on anything but sub-floor. You have no water in the kitchen and must go to the laundromat to clean your clothes. Is it the worst extended house party ever? No. It’s a home addition.

With limited access to parts of your house and strangers tearing open parts of your home you’ve never even seen before, home additions can be stressful. This is doubly true if members of your household are very young or elderly, because home additions can disrupt your regular routine. To help you through this trying time, we’re posting these 6 suggestions so you can make the most of your home addition experience. Following these tips will help ensure that your home addition experience is memorable and interesting.

Make a Photo Timeline

Take pictures of the entire addition process and post the photos on a bulletin board in a protected area while the addition is taking place. Documenting your home’s transition from old to new not only gives you an interesting project to work on while your home is being torn apart, but it also serves as a reminder that progress is being made. This way, when you start to feel like your home addition is going nowhere fast, you can simply turn to the photo timeline and see all the changes that your home has been through so far.

Camp in the Yard

Is your home temporarily uninhabitable? Make a game of it by camping in your back yard. Grill food on the patio. Roast s’mores in the fire pit. Sing songs under the stars, and sleep in your sleeping bag. Participating in this fun activity will give you a chance to enjoy extra fresh air outside your house, and also make you forever grateful when you’re finally able to sleep back in your own bed.

Leave Town

By far, the most relaxing way to get through your home addition is to skip town altogether. Take your family and head to your favorite island destination. While your home goes through a total transformation, you’ll be soaking up the sun and drinking margaritas. By the time you get back, the work should be done and you’ll be much more relaxed than if you had stayed in your house.

Send the Kids to Camp

Children can get into trouble around construction sites. Even if you don’t plan to personally Get Out of Dodge during the renovation, give yourself a break from parenthood while the renovation is taking place. Send the kids to an overnight camp to lower your stress levels.

Go to the Spa

With all that banging going on in your house, it’ll be no surprise if you get a headache and your muscles become tense. Let go of all that tension with a trip to the day spa., then come home feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.

Be Prepared

Remain in regular communication with your contractor and architect throughout the home addition process. Ask for a timeline up front so you’ll know on which days the water or electricity will be shut off. This way you can be prepared–maybe by making plans to eat at a restaurant or going to visit family. Knowing which days the home addition will be most disruptive can help you avoid your home and will help to ensure that your home addition process is a smooth one.

4 Mistakes Great Architects Never Make

4 mistakes great architects never makeWhen you set out to work with a good architect, you know that you’ll get the best of everything– including the best customer service and the most thoughtful, attractive design. What you may not be aware of are the mistakes that you can trust your architect not to make. The four mistakes we laid out below are bad choices that you won’t get from a great architect.

Failure to Match Your Existing Home’s Visual Aesthetic

Let’s say you’re adding on an addition to your historic property. You’re very proud of the way your home looks, but you don’t really know what specifically makes your home so historic. A lesser architect or building contractor may suggest an addition that could confuse the historic origins of your home. By installing an addition that doesn’t match the original historic style and aesthetic, you could reduce the historic value of your property.

When you hire a qualified and experienced architect to design your home’s addition, you can trust that your architect will understand and appreciate the historic characteristics that make up your home. Your architect will do his or her best to match the existing architectural style.

Letting your architect take the reigns, you know that the historic qualities of your property will be preserved when you commission the design. Great architects know how to avoid the “patchwork quilt” look that plagues so many home additions. A great architect will preserve your home’s historic qualities, and will only present you with designs that match your home’s original style.

Failure to Conform to Today’s Safety and Comfort Standards

Lesser designers will ignore safety trends and comfort standards. A great architect will be informed of all the latest building and safety trends.

As a property owner, you can’t be expected to understand the the latest innovations in architectural ergonomics, durability or sustainability. This is why you need a qualified and experienced architect to help with your home’s design.This will ensure that your design will be safe and viable for many years to come, adding value to your property. Commissioning an up-to-date design will ensure that your home will be energy efficient, attractive and comfortable.

Failure to Meet the Needs of the Home’s Occupants

Great architects understand the purpose of great architectural design, and how that design can be used to meet the needs of the people. Lesser building designers may think only of their own purposes, but great architects design for others.

Beginning from your first consultation, you architect will seek to understand your specific needs, so he or she can create a design that suits your purposes.

Are you looking for vast open spaces in your home? Do you need extra organizational space to make it easier to work in your home? Do you have physical challenges that require special accommodations? Whatever your personal circumstances, your architect will find a way to meet your needs with artistic flair.

Failure to Work With your Home’s Natural Surroundings

Your home shouldn’t stick out from the landscape. Instead, your home should be an integral part of the natural surroundings. A great architect will design structures that preserve the natural beauty of the land around the home, ensuring that your outdoor space enhances and complements the look of your home, and vice-versa.

When you work with a great architect, you can expect more than a beautiful design. A great architect will create a structure that is fully realized and integrated with the surroundings. If it happens that your architect has been hired to remodel a existing home of historic value, that value will be preserved and enhanced by the quality of your architect’s design. Once you’ve hired a skilled architect to design your project, you can sit back and let the architect do the work, confident that the quality of the work will match your expectations.

3 Traits of Highly Successful Architects

3 traits of highly successful architects

When you’re considering hiring an architect for your home or business project, it’s common to have concerns. How can you tell if the architect you’re getting ready to hire can do a great job with your project? Though being able to design the project is of vital importance, there are several other areas that are equally important to your project’s success. When searching for an architect, look for these three main traits common to all highly successful architects:

1. Ability to Communicate Well
Beyond simple day-to-day conversation, the ability to communicate well is vital to the design process. If you’re dealing with an architect who has poor communication skills, he or she may not be able to see where you’re coming from in terms of design and vision. If there’s a problem on the job site that requires changes to the design, it can be a real problem if the architect doesn’t understand or cannot communicate the changes that need to be made for the project to be successful.

An architect who has this skill down will ask you open-ended questions so they can get a real feel for what you need from the design. They’re able to recommend and effectively communicate changes that must be made to the design whether because of an issue on the job site or due to a change you’d like in the plans. Good communication skills means your vision for your home comes through in every detail.

2. Reasonable Flexibility
In architecture, not everything can be up for debate; if you demand that the second-floor joists be 2x4s spanning 20 feet, that’s not only unreasonable to the design, it’s downright dangerous as the boards wouldn’t be strong enough to function safely. But in areas where there is room for debate, your architect should be able to present multiple options or work with you to develop a functional plan for incorporating particular elements into the design.

If an architect is inflexible or isn’t willing to consider reasonable alternatives to their design, it could be that they haven’t had experience working with the type of project you’re putting together or that they have an overly-high opinion of their own design. You’re hiring an architect to build your custom home, not theirs, and the architect should be able to recognize this fact and work to make you happy where it’s possible.

3. Staying Up-To-Date on Industry Trends and Education
For the most part, architects who keep their licenses or credentials up to date are usually staying on top of new trends in the industry and are attending classes and seminars to broaden their knowledge in the field. For example, when the LEED construction certification process came to be in 2000 and became popular, architects began to realize that there would need to be changes to their design process to meet the growing demand for LEED-certified buildings. To make this happen, many architects across the country began looking at classes and LEED credentialing for their industry.

When an architect hasn’t taken classes or seminars over the years, not only does it mean they’re not up to date on changes in the industry, it also demonstrates that they have a certain inflexibility that may carry over to a dated design. Ask your architect about their continuing education.

Once you find an architect with these three main traits, it’s important to understand how you can help your architect design the best home or addition for your specific needs. Hiring an architect to work on your addition or renovate your home’s structure vastly improves the design process and ensures you are getting an improved home that is functional, aesthetically pleasing, and follows local building codes. Yet, the design process is more than just having an architect rely on their skills and knowledge to create the sketches. It also counts on you communicating your home dreams and desires. This will help the architect create the vision that will make you the happiest. 

When you are working with an architect, take advantage of these 4 things you can do to help your architect do an exceptional job on your home design.

1. Have a few initial ideas about the design
To help the architect, it is ideal that you have a few design ideas and wishes in mind. They can take your vision and further refine it using their architectural experience and suggesting styles that will make your home look beautiful. If you have a hard time explaining the types of styles you like, you are always welcome to show photos, magazines, floor plans, and printouts of your ideas to the architect. Feel free to browse through the architect’s portfolio and point out the designs you like as well as the designs that you want to avoid for your home. Knowing both your likes and your dislikes allows the architect to move in the right direction for your project.

2. Clearly communicate about your budget
An architect doesn’t expect you to have a final budget amount set in stone. Yet they do need to understand a rough estimate of your financial resources that will be used for the project. Your budget will dictate the scale of the design, the materials that will be used, and the architectural strategies. In addition, an architect will suggest alternative methods and materials for your home design that you may not have considered that will help keep your on budget and thrill you with the design.

3. Ask questions about everything
Don’t be shy. You have to feel comfortable about the home addition, construction or renovation plan. You’re the one who will be living there, so you need to be happy. If there are details to the project that leave you scratching your head in puzzlement, ask questions. A big part of the architect’s job is to further explain the designs and plans so that you understand why things are done certain ways.

An architect is there to change and refine the ideas into a working project plan. Architects also provide information in regards to permits, zoning codes, contractors and interior design. They can work with you from start to finish on your new construction or renovation project.

4. Be flexible and trust the architect
An architect’s job is more than just taking your ideas and making them a part of your home design. They also have to consider the mechanical system aspects of the construction or renovation. This can include incorporating plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical work into the plans. In addition, an architect must always consider the structural integrity of the home when creating the plans.

At times, these things can clash with your ideas or force change to your original plans. Have an open mind about the design ideas and trust your architect. You will sometimes have to compromise looks for functionality and structural stability in order to have both a beautiful and safe home.

An architect seeks to please every client and turn the final plans into a home that you will love. Following the above tips can make the architect’s job easier, help you further understand what the job entails, and allow everybody to work in harmony toward making your perfect home. Help your architect do a great job with your addition, home construction or renovation designs as they turn your home dreams into reality.

How To Take Control Of Your Home Addition Project

How to take control of your home addition projectWhen you started looking at putting an addition on your home, the idea seemed simple enough. But as the process goes on, it can seem as though you’re lost in a jungle of confusing terms – zoning, birds mouth, codes, slump, sub-contractors, lions and tigers and bears. Soon enough, you’re not quite sure what’s going on and why things aren’t turning out the way you expected. Before your home addition project gets out of hand, here are some hints to help you take control of your home addition project:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask why. If there needs to be a change made or a contractor is telling you that you need to have something done a particular way, you have a right to know why. If the answer is that the change is required by codes, will provide a longer lifespan, will provide significant cost savings now or in the future, or will help protect your investment, you should seriously consider having it done under most circumstances. If you contractor can’t tell you why a change needs to be made, you’ll want to be leery of the change – they may be padding their own pockets with the difference.
  • When you need to, say no. If you’re paying $200,000 for a 2,000 square foot, 4 bedroom, 2 bath house, you wouldn’t then take possession of a 1,000 square foot, 2 bedroom, 1 bath house, now would you? If a contractor is making changes without consulting you, this is a big sign that they’re not going to honor your wishes in other areas either. Take a step back and look at the big picture. If a contractor is demanding payment in full up front, you may want to take a look at their work history – many fly-by-night and con operations are run by demanding payment up front and then disappearing with it. A reputable contractor won’t demand full payment up front.
  • Not the materials you required? Say so. If you required maple cabinets in your kitchen and the contractor has brought in walnut ones assuming you’d want them at a lower cost, you’ve got a right to reject them. With that being said, however, you may want to bow to their expertise in the area. If you’ve selected a laminate floor for your bathroom and it’s not water resistant, your contractor may suggest other materials that would provide a similar appearance while doing a better job of protecting your investment.
  • If a project is taking too long, ask the contractor what other work can be done while waiting on something that is causing a delay. If your kitchen cabinets are delayed at the factory, that doesn’t mean you can’t have painting or electrical work going on in other parts of your addition. One of the benefits of taking control of your home addition project is the flexibility to decide, within reason, when things should be getting done. Though there are some areas that will be out of your hands, you do have some control over what is done when.
  • Create a punch list. If you’re concerned that some things may not get done, develop a punch list of items that must be done before the project is considered complete. This can include all painting be finished, landscaping repaired, tools removed and similar requirements.

Home construction can be chaotic and confusing, but by following these tips, you’ll help get your project back under control. At Prime Draft, we believe in working with our clients to take care of the confusing parts of home construction while still honoring your project’s intentions. For more information or a free consultation, please contact us today – we’re happy to help.

5 Signs You’re Ready For An Addition To Your Home

5 signs you're ready for an addition to your home Three years ago, you shopped for your dream home. With three young children, you decided it was time that each of them had a separate bedroom. You also wanted a home with more bathrooms so you and your spouse didn’t have to share a bathroom with any of the kids.

At the time, you also wanted a much larger dining room and a much larger living room than you had in the home that you lived in in 2012. You wanted these larger rooms because you were climbing the ladder at the office and in the community. You were meeting a lot of people and wanted the option of impressing them, strengthening your relationships with them, hosting parties with at least 10 people, and conducting business if you had to in a comfortable environment.

You also had dreams of making it on your own. So did your spouse. You both wanted a home office where the two of you could work in privacy in a home-based business. In the meantime, you wanted an office where you could work for your employer on occasion rather than deal with the bumper-to-bumper traffic five days a week.

You thought your dream would be fulfilled as you began shopping for your new home. Then, you encountered the real estate market. Prices were low when you bought your first home. You expected your second home would be more expensive, but you experienced “sticker shock” as you shopped. The homes were just too expensive for your budget. You would probably be approved for a loan to buy an expensive home, but you preferred putting down a large down payment rather than incurring a debt that would hinder your lifestyle.

So you “settled.” You bought a house that was significantly larger than your first house. It is in a much better neighborhood so the schools are better than the schools in your old neighborhood. You have a large back yard for the kids and barbecues. Your kids had to play at their friends’ homes previously. You have a separate garage for your two cars. Previously, you had to park on the street.

But the house is not your dream house. It’s just not big enough. You have no home office. Your living room and dining room are too small. Your two sons still sleep in the same room.

It’s now 2015. You’re too satisfied with the neighborhood, the schools, your new friends, and, frankly, the home itself to buy a new home. You are, though, thinking about building an addition to your home because your property is large enough to accommodate an addition. Should you? Here are five signs that you should, in fact, build an addition to your home.

1. You Don’t Need A Loan: Since 2012, your income and your spouse’s income has increased significantly. You don’t want the hassle of selling this home and buying another, but you have the money to build an addition to your home. You might have to give up a family vacation or two, but the money is there in the bank. Besides that, you anticipate that you will be getting a promotion soon. You feel like you’re wealthy for the first time in your life.

2. You Do Need An Office: While you are on the verge of getting a promotion, your spouse has decided to take the plunge and start his own business. He’s not ready to quit his job so income isn’t a concern, but he has made enough contacts in the business world to be confident that he can succeed on his own. His plan is to work 40 hours weekly for his current employer in the near future and work another 20 hours weekly on his new business. He needs complete privacy when he comes home from work to make his new business work.

3. Your Kids Need More Indoor Space: Three years ago, you wanted your kids to have separate bedrooms. Now, you need them to have separate bedrooms. They’re teenagers now and they just can’t live together anymore. They’re always arguing. Besides, you want each of them to have separate desks so they can study and work in peace when they want to. You want them to go to a good college — and get an academic scholarship. You think their grades will improve if they have separate bedrooms.

4. Your Kids Need Less Outdoor Space: Three years ago, the kids played in the back yard nearly every day. They played touch football with friends, played catch with their father, and played the kinds of games that preteens play. Now, they’re no longer interested in kids’ games. In their free time, they play sports at their high school gym and fields instead. And they have post-school sports commitments as well. Consequently, your family no longer needs a big back yard. That space can be used instead for an addition to your home.

5. You’re Rarely Asked To Host Events: When you moved into your house in 2012, you periodically hosted dinners and meetings in your living room and dining room. It seemed like you and your spouse took turns as the co-hosts of gatherings attended by your office colleagues and friends you associate with in the community. Perhaps, your colleagues and friends were being polite because you were new homeowners. Today, some of your office colleagues and friends host dinners and meetings at the suggestion of their colleagues and friends. Those with smaller dining and living rooms, including you and your spouse, don’t. Perhaps, it’s time to convert your dining room into part of a two-room living room and build a large dining room in the addition to your home.

Three years ago, you looked for your dream home, but couldn’t afford it. You were disappointed at the time, but the consolation home that you bought can now be your dream home if you build an addition to it.

Why Timing Is Everything In Your Home Addition Project

Why timing is everything in your home addition project.Imagine going on a road trip to your Aunt Sue’s home (where you have never been, in a state you have never visited) without directions. Sure, your GPS can give you directions, but without planning on where you will stay on the way as well as where to eat, your road trip might turn into a road disaster.

Or, perhaps you prefer to fly to Aunt Sue’s, you need to make reservations, plan for when and how you will get to the airport, and from the airport to Aunt Sue who is 55 miles from the airport. If you don’t plan before you fly, you might never reach your Aunt’s home.

The fact that “Anything you want to do well, needs planning” is said so often that it is practically a cliché does not mean it is not true. So why do so many hurry to have a renovation to their home done, without carefully planning for it and choosing the best time for getting the work done?

The Importance of Timing in Your Home Addition Project

Most people believe that the best time to have an addition or home renovation project done is summer. But there are other factors to consider in timing your home improvement project.

The Busiest Time of Year, Is Likely Not the Best Time of Year

Ever go to the car wash the morning of the first nice day of Spring? If so, you know how long you to have wait for your turn. But, if you go just before closing, the wait is shorter and the automated machinery will have your car showroom shining with little, if any wait.

Well, summer for a contractor is very much like the morning of the first day of spring for your local car wash – crazy busy! Scheduling your home addition for another time makes sense – in summer the contractor you choose may be turning away work and the price could be higher, but when summer is over, there are periods when contractors have almost no work, so having your addition/renovation done in a season other than summer can make sense.

Of course, timing has to take into account weather conditions as well as contractor availability. No one in their right mind would attempt to install an in-ground swimming pool in the middle of a New Jersey winter. But early fall or late spring may be doable. All you need is some planning and adaptability to have your project completed before or after the busy summer season.

Building Supplies

America has a capitalistic economy and that causes the cost of supplies, including building supplies to rise and fall with demand. Christmas merchandise such as decorations and greeting cards go on sale the day after Christmas. Building supplies such as lumber, drywall, paint, and other things are less costly when summer ends. Even if you must build during peak building times, planning ahead lets you decide when and if any supplies for your addition should be purchased. Just be sure to let all contractors who bid aware of what supplies you have stored so they can adjust their price.

When Should You Remodel?

The best time to remodel does vary by project and location. For instance, as described earlier, you wouldn’t want a pool built on your New Jersey property in winter. However, it may be a great time to have your unfinished basement or attic converted into finished space during a New Jersey winter. Want to build a deck? Hire a deck designer during the winter when his or her workload is slower, collect bids in late winter with a projected mid-spring start date.

By planning the timing of your home addition or renovation you won’t be disappointed by not being able to get the finishes you want, the textures, colors and other items that you have your heart set on. But, you will not be disappointed by schedule failures and you might save some money too.