Every Home Addition Should Include These 3 Things

Every home addition should include these 3 thingsIf you’ve outgrown your current space, a home addition makes for the perfect solution.  Fortunately, additions can be an extremely cost-effective way to add value to your home as well as functionality.  You should consider the addition as an investment, and in order to do this, you must make sure it includes the three following aspects.


First and foremost, your home addition should be versatile, meaning it should serve several purposes.  For instance, adding additional sitting space to your living room is a great way to add a guest room, as well.  Simply put a couch with a sleeper in the finished addition and you’ve automatically added a sleep area for guests.  You must remember that even though you may have a primary purpose for the addition right now, things might change over the years, so make sure the room can be used for various reasons.

One of the simplest ways to ensure your new home addition will be versatile is to make it have an open floor plan.  Whether you’re adding on a wet room next to the outdoor swimming pool or an extra bedroom for the newest (human) addition to the family, the room needs to be open.  This way, when the purpose of the room needs to be changed years down the road, all you’ll need to do is switch out the decor and room accessories.

Heating and Cooling

If you’re going to invest in an addition to your home, at least make sure that it includes heating and cooling.  You’ll want the room to be well insulated as this not only improves heating and cooling efficiency but it also helps eliminate other pesky problems like pests.

An excellent way to boost both heating and cooling efficiency within the new addition is by installing several windows in it.  Preferably, you’ll want these positioned in a way that when opening one of them in the addition and another in the rest of your home, the air from outside will help circulate and improve air flow throughout the entire house.

If you prefer for the new addition not to have heating and cooling, simply install the proper HVAC hookups and don’t use them.  This way, if you choose later on that you want heating and cooling in the room, you can easily connect it.  Sunrooms are an excellent example of a home addition that you would sometimes want heating and cooling and sometimes not.


The new home addition should be carefully designed.  If it doesn’t add appeal and value to the home, you should consider a different design.  And don’t be fooled into thinking that the addition has to be built onto the side of the home where people can see it.  There are many additions that look just as good built onto the back of home, hidden out of view from people passing by.

Value doesn’t only come from adding on a second story to make your house look bigger from the street.  If and when you get to where you want to sell your house, the real value will be on how people experience your home from the inside.

Do keep in mind that in order to add value to the home in the least expensive way, the home addition should extend off the first floor.  Plus, this type of addition usually provides the least path of resistance in terms of tearing down walls and retrofitting the current structure and layout of the home.

The Takeaway

Your next home addition will go much more smoothly if you incorporate the above mentioned aspects into the project.  Most importantly, though, remember that a qualified design specialist will be of the utmost value.

5 Awesome Finishing Touches For Your Home Addition

5 awesome finishing touches for your home additionA home addition serves a few core purposes: It makes a home more useful, adds space, and when properly finished, will enhance the appearance of the house. While a basic addition can fulfill all of these purposes to a point, you’ll find that your enjoyment of the new home addition will depend a lot on the finishing touches. These are what turn a space from a basic area into one that perfectly matches your needs and personality. Here are five things you can do to really bring out its full glory:

  1. Add Organizer Units. Every space looks best when kept neat and clean, but most people will only do this if it doesn’t make it hard to get to needed items. Organizer units are made to ease the removal of these items as well as their storage, and thereby motivate people to actually use the storage system. Different rooms need different types of units – a workshop looks great with metal cabinets and pegboards, while a bedroom should have chests, wardrobes, and open cube-shaped cubbies.
  2. Hide mismatched elements. Upgrading an older home can be tough since today’s modern amenities don’t look right when paired with 1900s styling. A great way to bypass this problem is to hide microwaves, modern spice jars, and other such things behind period-style cabinet doors. This allows you to have everything you’d expect from modern life without destroying the vintage look of an old house.
  3. Add motorized window treatments. These high-end accents are great for modern styles. If you’ve ever been woken up by the sun blasting through bedroom curtains that were accidentally left open, you’ll appreciate the practical benefit of being able to close them by remote control. For most, though, there’s another reason to get motorized window treatments: They’re cool.
  4. Choose moldings carefully. The molding at the ceilings is especially period-sensitive. Pick sleek, minimalistic styles for modern homes because it accentuates the rest of the decor in such houses. If your house is old, though, go for ornate crown moldings. The same goes for the moldings around doorways.
  5. Add a unique floor. Unique flooring has been making some serious waves over the last several years. This goes far beyond choosing a specific type of hardwood or an unusual ceramic tile pattern. Try having a floor made out of embedded pennies or a similar material for a look that is stunning and beautiful – and a conversation starter. If you don’t want your floor to stand out quite so much but still want an eye-catching effect, try cork or bamboo. These materials provide a more typical “floor” look, but are still different enough that you can be sure that your guests haven’t seen them a million times before.

Each room in a house looks best with its own finishing touches, so there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. For example, many rooms need some sort of cabinetry in order to keep everything organized, but the style needs to change according to the room’s purpose. The same goes for the floor – kitchens require waterproof and spill-proof flooring, but bedrooms can usually have materials that are much more sensitive. By altering the details with each room, you can be sure that the elements will last for years. Making each room a bit different will also keep the spaces interesting and help contribute to the mood each room is meant to have.

Keep an open mind and you can really add some nice finishing touches that completely add to your new home addition.

5 Things Great Architects Refuse To Do

5 things great architects refuse to doA great architect can be defined by passion and discipline.  The ability to create unique designs while still meeting architectural purpose is what a true great architect does.  Driven by a yearning to create structure, this type of architect lives life with his glass half full and refuses to think in the five following ways.

1) Refuses to be narrow-minded

A narrow-minded person doesn’t tend to recognize certain opportunities or solutions.  A great architect, however, looks at each situation, each construction project, in a way that he visualizes multiple design options.  There is no room for narrow-mindedness in a great architect’s work.  He’ll not only walk through a building or home and visualize how to make home additions, but he’ll also know how to use existing space to make the structure more functional. Furthermore, he takes into consideration plumbing, heating and environmental factors that will affect the construction.  He is able to create designs that meet both human preferences and environmental restraints.

2) Refuses to think only of design

A great architect thinks way beyond the design of a building or even an entire city. He thinks also of the many factors that surround the project.  He understands that a large construction project doesn’t just involve construction.  It can include attending events, fundraisers, permit meetings and many other activities if the project is a big public project.  This is why great architects often have valuable connections with successful marketing agents, wealthy investors and other entities who benefit from architectural design services.

On a residential project, a great architect will consider how the project will affect the property as a whole, how it fits with any existing structures or how you might get the best possible end result.

3) Refuses to be argumentative

An architect doesn’t get paid to argue with his clients.  Instead, he gets paid to accommodate his clients’ needs.  Architects that bring forth great works are those who are able to alter and carry out changes to meet customer preferences, all the while staying within budget guidelines.  A great architect will often come under much stress, but he will refuse to be argumentative, always knowing that his clients’ needs are what matter most.  From the beginning of a construction project, he accepts that in order to meet a client’s needs, things will likely not go exactly according to plan.  When unforeseen events take place, he respectfully speaks with the client to create a solution.

4) Refuses to be unsure

Along with narrow-mindedness, there’s no room for unsurety in a great architect’s life.  If he’s not sure about a certain design or layout, he simply won’t suggest it. Unsurety in relation to structural and architectural integrity can lead to disaster, this is why a great architect is always up-to-date with current and futuristic construction practices.  From solar-heated flooring to motion activated heating and cooling, a great architect is confident in all of his recommendations.

5) Refuses to be quiet

You know you’ve found a great architect when he refuses to call you only once a week.  A great architect will call you on a regular, probably daily, basis to ensure everyone is on track for project completion.  He understands that life can throw curve balls to halt or hinder the construction process, so he constantly communicates with you about project progress.  The building of a home or commercial building doesn’t take place overnight.  It is process that tends to last anywhere from several weeks to several years.  Great architects take into account time-related changes and refuse to be quiet about ways in which a project can be improved.  You should expect to hear from your architect several times a week from the time the project is started.

These five qualities ensure that you’re getting great work from a great architect.  Make sure that your architect has these qualities.

If You’re Adding on To Your Home, You Need An Architect. Here’s Why.

you need an architectProfessional Expertise and Experience

Architects pride themselves on delivering what their clients want and need to fulfill their dreams and aspirations.  You want your remodeling project to enhance the beauty and value of your home and your architect is right there with you, every step of the way.

With experience in both residential and commercial architecture, an architect will develop the plan, prints and projects that will delight their clients. A good architect will take the time to listen to what you have in your heart and put that on paper.

At a minimum, a “solution oriented approach” provides you with and objective and qualified “second set of eyes.”  A good architect knows that what looks good in your head and even on paper may not be the most practical and economical approach so they will offer guidance in many areas you may not even expect.

Additional Ideas for Appearance and Aesthetics

A good architect begins by sharing your vision. They want to know what you are trying to accomplish with your project. Since they have worked with many clients over the years they have the experience and background to consider additional ideas and offer their expertise to make your project the best it can be.

A good architect can often tap into your mind, interpret what you are really looking to accomplish and then add the extras touches to make the project even better than you originally thought was possible.

Practical Issues

  • Building Codes and Permits – there are also many very practical considerations and issues that you need to consider before contacting contractors or even starting into the project yourself.  It is very important that your architect know the local Building Codes and Covenants.  They should make sure your project complies with all the terms and conditions of everything that applies to your property and the community where you live.
  • Verification so Don’t Miss Important Steps – Even if you have experience with remodeling projects, and have created your checklists of what to do and what to avoid, a good architect will review and verify your punch lists to avoid unforeseen issues as the project evolves.
  • Creating and delivering accurate blueprints requires a level of expertise that comes from training, experience and due diligence. A good architect will make sure you have the accurate depiction or your project that goes beyond simple drawings.

Added Value From A Great Architect

A great architect will meet with contractors and sub-contractors on your behalf to make sure everything is clearly communicated and they understand all the special nuances that may not be evident on blueprints.

As they work with you on your project, they will carefully consider the ramifications of every change you are planning. What may seem like minor alterations may have a significant impact on the placement of HVAC, electrical and plumbing fixtures and other considerations “behind the walls.”

A great architect will calculate energy efficiencies, load bearings and other technical specifications that will save you both time and money on your project.

Peace of Mind

In the end, you want to know that whatever you do with your home protects its value for many years to come. Working with a professional architectural firm gives you the peace of mind to know that you are doing everything right.

It’s easy to dream and even to create rough drafts of what you want your “new home” to look like, but when it comes to breaking ground or starting demolition, you want someone on your side who has been there before and will have your back throughout the entire project.


A great architect will match your dreams with reality. They will carefully consider all the aspirations you have for your remodeling project and then apply practical and cost effective solutions to deliver the beauty you envision for your project.

The best architects deliver on what they promise and offering the professional and objective advice to ensure a successful project.

The Homeowner’s Guide To Surviving A Home Addition

HOMEOWNER'S GUIDE to surviving home additionWhen it comes to remodeling, there’s nothing better than knowing your home addition dreams are finally coming true.  But what about the process of transforming your home into the one you’ve always dreamed of?  There’s going to be lots of reconstruction, and as you can imagine, lots of noise.  Fortunately, though, even though a ladder here and a paint can there might throw your daily routine for a loop, there are tips you can follow to ensure your remodeling goes as smoothly as possible.  Here’s a quick look at the homeowner’s survival guide to home additions.

Be prepared to be involved

A reputable architect will want you actively involved in both the design and construction processes. This doesn’t mean you have to glue down hardwood flooring, but it does mean you need to be onsite on a regular basis to see how things are coming along.  If you see anything you would like to have changed, you should voice your opinion.  An architect would much rather you change something than end up with a home you’re dissatisfied with.

Plan ahead

Planning ahead is the key to making it successfully through a remodeling project.  Ideally, if you can, you may want to spend your nights elsewhere, but for many people, this simply isn’t feasible, so you aren’t alone if you have to stay in your home while reconstruction is taking place.  More importantly, take comfort in the fact that it’s quite possible to live comfortably through a remodel.

You’ll want to plan ahead by making sure you have a place in the home to shower, sleep and fix a hot meal.  That’s about all you really need.  This might involve relocating your refrigerator into a bedroom or office area, possibly even in the garage.  You’ll also want to relocate the microwave if you’re doing a kitchen remodel.  Just remember that the remodeling is only temporary.  Within a few short weeks, your home will look and feel better than ever before.

Know when it’s time to leave

There are some points during the remodeling process that it won’t be safe for you to sleep or stay in your home.  This is why it’s important to actively communicate with your contractor about any glues or finishes that have been applied.  Some of the fumes can be toxic after first being applied, meaning you’ll want to take you and the kids over to Grandma’s for a sleepover.

Keep plenty of trash cans onsite at all times

There’s going to be a lot waste that comes from remodeling.  So in addition to a dumpster, provide your contractors with recycling bins and ask them to use them as appropriate.  This is a great way to keep your waste organized in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Know what to put in storage

If you have any valuable items that could be affected by the remodeling process, it’s best to put them away in storage.  Appliances in the kitchen can usually be covered with plastic to keep dust, dirt and debris from damaging them.  Other items to cover include fine pieces of furniture, electronics and any other expensive items.

Be prepared for changes

You can have your remodeling project planned out according to great detail, but it’s not until the actual reconstruction process that you’ll know what needs to be done.  It’s important to be prepared for unforeseen events, such as the presence of mold or even termites.  If problems like these were to arise, they would need to be completely addressed before further remodeling tasks take place.

The Takeaway

By following the tips above, you’ll be well on your way to experiencing a successful remodel or home addition.  The most important element of success is communication, so make sure to keep all lines of communication with your contractors open.

Why An Architect Is More Important Than You Think

Why An Architect Is More Important

Without an architect, your home addition project or new construction build can become a lot more complicated. Architects are trained and educated to provide a variety of services for residential projects. They can design custom homes and outdoor spaces. They can negotiate on the homeowner’s behalf, and they can oversee the project from inception to completion.

What Does a Residential Architect Do, Exactly?
Unlike the design of workplaces and commercial facilities, residential architect design specializes in creating living spaces for use by families. Your residential architects’ mission should be to create functional and aesthetically pleasing spaces for families of all sizes. How you take advantage of your home’s spaces is unique and special, and the design should be, too.

Because the structure of homes is very different than that of commercial spaces, residential architects have to be knowledgeable in electrical and HVAC needs for residences. Plus, they should be experts in zoning regulations, building codes, and the use of materials in residential spaces, so you don’t have to be.

And while all that is the nuts and bolts of residential architecture, what residential architects really do is work with families just like yours to exchange ideas, then translate your needs and desires into a beautiful plan for your home. What turns a mediocre design into great residential architecture is when client and designer are partners in the process. Your architect should build your home only when he or she feels they can thoroughly understand your needs and create a design that will match those.

Here are some reasons why an architect is more important than you think:

Experience and Knowledge
Many homeowners have no idea how to turn their ideas and dreams for their home into a finished project, and they do not know the language of construction. An experienced architect understands how to take ideas and turn them into beautiful, functional homes, and they can teach you the language of the construction industry so that you understand the dynamics of building your home and the process involved in building your home.

Lifestyle Considerations
How do you live your life? Do you work from home, plan on having kids, need to take care of aging parents or entertain on a regular basis? An architect does more than draw house plans. Architects listen to your ideas for your dream home, and they ask about your lifestyle and budget.

A single person does not need the same type of house as a family of four. Older parents with kids heading into college have different needs than a newly married couple. An architect can incorporate your lifestyle and future needs into the plans when designing your dream home.

Green Technology and Functionality
If you are looking for a home with the latest energy efficient technology while still being functional and aesthetically pleasing, hire an architect to design your new home. Architects are innovators and artists. They stay up-to-date with the latest home technologies and incorporate those technologies into home plans that are both exceptionally functional and aesthetically pleasing.

3-D Schematics
Architects have special software that allows them to create 3-D schematics on a computer screen so that you can get an accurate feel for your dream home project. The special 3-D software allows you to take a virtual tour of your home before it is ever built. This technology will help you get a feel for your home, and it allows you to make changes based on what you see on the computer screen.

Architects create detailed blueprints from the schematics that include everything the contractor needs to know in order to build your house correctly. The blueprints also allow you to solicit accurate bids for your new housing project.

Negotiation Help
If you need help finding contractors and soliciting bids, your architect can offer advice and help with the negotiations. Architects often know multiple contractors and home builders that would be a good fit for your residential construction project. Architects also have a good understanding of how much it should cost to build your home. With these two skills, the architect can help you find a contractor and properly inspect bid contracts so that you can make the best decision possible when hiring a home builder.

Project Oversight
Architects can also provide oversight for your construction project. Blueprints are the guide to building your home, but they can be interpreted differently by different builders. The architect can act as the go-between to ensure your desires and the plans are being followed and that no shortcuts are being taken. Architects can also answer questions, provide additional drawings, resolve issues and okay proposed changes to the plans.

As you can see, an architect is so important when it comes to any new home or addition project. While all architects design spaces to meet human needs, residential architects specialize in designing homes that create harmony and safety for families. Working with the right professional can help you create spaces that meet your requirements while building a home that is beautiful and practical. 

Just as you wouldn’t trust a delicate surgery to your local taxidermist, you should not trust the design of your most substantial financial investment to anyone but a skilled residential architect. You will live, work, play, and thrive in your home for years to come, so why would you trust its design and realization to anyone but a trained professional?

Architectural Building Design Can Improve Your Life
Designing a custom home provides you with the opportunity to build a house that can help you live happier and healthier. Another reason hiring a residential architect is a smart move is that we can ensure your home provides clean air for you and your kids and is constructed using healthy and safe materials. Don’t trust the health and safety of your family to anything else.

Great Residential Architecture Can Save You Money
Another benefit of working with a residential architect is we can help you prioritize your wishes for your new home into the best possible options for your budget. The right architect can also help you create an energy-efficient home that will continue to save you money for years to come.

By maximizing your fuel savings and lowering your carbon footprint, residential architects help you use fewer resources to live the lifestyle you desire. For example, your designs could take advantage of steel framing, making use of the most recycled material on the planet. Other green and recycled materials are available, and your home can be good for you as well as the planet.

Residential Design is Unique
What we love most about designing new homes for families is that it gives us a chance to create unique spaces that match the rhythm and pulse of each family unit. Homes are places to explore your possibilities, to live out your dreams, to discover the unknown together. The right space provides you with limitless experiences to connect with one another.

Passionate, qualified residential architects understand that homes are spaces for connection, love, and real living. Hiring an expert will ensure your dream home becomes a reality.

4 Reasons To Think Before You Start An Addition To Your Home

4 Reasons Think Before You Start An Addition To Your HomeWhen you’re considering putting an addition on your home, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the moment and not think things through sufficiently before plunging into the project. But before you start, there are a few reasons why you should – or should not – put an addition on your home. Here are four important things to consider:

Will it increase the value of your home?

Even if you’re not planning on moving anytime soon, eventually your home will probably be sold. Does the addition increase the value of your home sufficiently to make it worthwhile? Though if adding an awesome music studio works well for your hobbies, there’s a very good chance the next owner may not see the value in it.

Another thing to consider is property values in your area. If there are a lot of larger homes around yours that command a higher appraised value, putting an addition on your home may help you catch up with those higher values. If, on the other hand, you live in a mid-century neighborhood with a lot of postage-stamp-sized homes, making a big addition to your home may not make enough of a difference to make it worthwhile.

Can you afford an addition right now?

If you’re considering getting a home improvement loan, what are your other expected expenses in the next few years? If you’ve got a child going off to college, need to buy a new car or are anticipating a downsizing layoff at work, this may not be the best time to add on to your home. Carefully consider these potential future income-limiters before signing a contract for your home addition.

If that part works out, have you considered other expenses related to the addition? Beyond labor and materials, putting in a new kitchen may require eating takeout or restaurant meals, while parts of the process may make you want to book time at a hotel for a week while the worst of the work is underway. Materials prices may go up or you may change your mind abut something in the plans. Make sure you have money available beyond the bare minimum.

What is it zoned for?

If you’re considering adding a massage studio to your home with its own entrance, you may want to see if you can have a business in your home. Are you considering adding an extra bathroom or two to your home? If you’ve got a septic system, it may not be rated for the additional capacity.

Beyond legal zoning, there can also be concerns in your homeowner’s association rules. If you haven’t read through the latest set of rules, now would be a good time to take a look. You may find regulations about construction and what’s allowed in an addition that limits what you can do.

Have you thought through the design?

That second-story master bedroom suite looks awesome, but will it when the joint replacements that run in the family start kicking in a decade from now? What about the door that swings in the wrong direction? Does the ductwork in the basement make the exterior entrance require a special out-swing door?

These questions are vital to determine how well the addition functions. Take a couple weeks to mentally “walk” through the addition and determine what may be problematic. Put out paint, floor and cabinet door samples and figure out if they’ll work well together. This helps save significant money down the road by preventing avoidable mistakes.

When it comes to additions, having a professional look over your ideas helps minimize avoidable mistakes. Contact us for details on how we can help you avoid these issues in your addition design.

3 Secrets Of Successful Home Additions That Everyone Misses

3 secrets of successful home additionsSuccessful home additions are quite possible when everything is properly planned in advance. Unfortunately, those without the proper experience often miss a few key things that can turn what seems like a good plan into a disaster.

Here are three of the most important aspects that you and your architect or designer will need to keep in mind in order to ensure that the end result is as good as you originally envision:

1) Pay attention to the basic structural elements. This is obvious to a true architect because an architect is trained to look at things like what’s behind the walls and what’s holding the structure up. Someone who is more used to paying attention to outside appearances, on the other hand, is likely to miss this crucial aspect of building an addition. Such oversights lead to failed foundations and walls that can fail.

The reason foundations and walls fail is because they were made to handle the house as it was before the addition. Building outwards puts strain on the part of the foundation closest to the addition, while building upwards strains the walls as well as the foundation. The key to avoiding these problems is simple: The supporting elements must be improved in an architecturally-sound way before the addition goes on. That way, they’ll be able to support the new weight.

2) Hire a qualified contractor. Not everyone who advertises a willingness to build additions is qualified to do so, as the problems mentioned in point #1 attest. Look for one who works with a qualified architect so that you can be sure that they’ll be going by well-thought plans. Also, be sure to hire one that has experience building full additions rather than just walls, roofs, and floors.

While it may seem like an addition is just a collection of basic elements, it’s actually very complex. Building the whole thing is not just a matter of doing all of the different elements in a row, but also requires the ability to make them work together from scratch. It’s far more like building a mini-house and then meshing it in with the existing one.

3) Remember that an addition won’t solve all problems. Some people consider getting an addition because they’re running out of room in their current house. The results of this sort of motivation depend on the reason for the original tight squeeze.

Good reasons for expanding the house include children who have grown too big for their original tiny bedrooms, the addition of more kids, or the need for one or more rooms with specific functions.

Making room for more things, on the other hand, is a bad reason to get an addition. There are many reasons that it’s bad to put on an addition for things. First, you’ll almost surely just keep collecting even more things after the addition is up and then run out of space again. The second is that things don’t need to be comfortable. They’ll be just as well-off in a storage unit and the storage unit rental will be cheaper than the payments on a construction project.

That said, additions can be wonderful when you need room for specific items that you actually use. Getting your gym equipment out of the front room or moving your sewing supplies to a dedicated sewing room will allow you to use the associated equipment without interruptions or complaints about it being in the way.

With these things in mind, you’ll have a much higher chance of enjoying your new home addition without any negative after-effects. Contact us today to learn what it’ll take to build one with a sound structural aspect as well as a beautiful outward appearance. 

4 Vital Considerations in Planning a Home Addition

planning a home additionHome additions are not magic — they don’t just turn out perfect without some planning work upfront. And you can’t expect that.

Instead, they require planning and organization. A little frustration along the way is not uncommon. At the very least, there are likely to be changes of direction and modifications to the original plan. But home additions can also be magnificent adventures and they frequently turn out even better than expected.

Four prime considerations are vital when planning a home addition or remodeling project.


You may know only that you want more space. But your architect or designer is going to want a few more specifics in order to make your dreams a reality. In some cases, the function of the planned space will dictate the location as well. Additionally, building up or building out are divergent paths. Knowing at the beginning what you can do may eliminate some missteps. Think about the following:

  • Will the new space be public or private, used primarily by adults or children?
  • Is is a “daytime” room or an evening retreat?
  • Is the new room’s function well-defined or is its use subject to change, as might happen when children grow up or leave for college?
  • What kind of accessibility is needed? From the outdoors? By various ages? For furniture or supplies? Does the space require adjacent bath facilities? Is storage necessary? What about food preparation and serving needs.
  • Finally, are existing home systems, such as heating, cooling and electrical, sufficient to serve the new space?


If “What will it cost?” was not your first question, the total project budget should at least be a part of your initial planning. Set a ballpark figure and then work from a “worst case” scenario. Additions come in all shapes and sizes; and creativity can sometimes be used to supplement a shortage of funds. But there are bottom line requirements, and you can’t count on miracles in the construction industry. Knowing up front what is realistic will save you headaches and disappointment later on.


This is the fun part. Working with an architectural designer gives you a chance to play with your own ideas while relying on professional advice regarding what is doable and appropriate. Working with a professional who is equally “at home” with spatial needs on the interior and how they relate to visual appeal on the exterior is of great benefit. That comprehensive approach should result in a project that runs smoothly from initial planning stages through the final phases of construction because all parties will “be on the same page.”

Coordinating new space with existing space is often more problematic than it initially appears. Depending on how creatively you approach the project, there can be a seamless transition between old and new, or you may wish to define the personality of a new addition in a totally different way, calling attention to its originality and “newness.”

There is no right or wrong way, in the end. Only the solution that best satisfies you.


It is a process. And to achieve the desired results takes time. Major renovations can span many months, and even simple additions are not completed in the blink of an eye. Planning an addition, and then living through the design and construction phases, requires patience and realistic expectations.

Scheduling is important along the way. Develop a schedule with your designer or architect as well as with your builder. But know that schedules must be adjustable, based on a wide range of factors.

When your addition is complete, however, stand back and savor the new space, knowing that what began as only an idea became real through hard work and cooperative effort.

3 Home Addition Lessons That Were Learned The Hard Way

3 home addition lessonsWhen it comes to home additions, there’s a lot at stake. Money, time, effort and of course, personal comfort. Home addition mistakes often happen on a big level, and the cost to repair or improve the addition can be tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. These three common home addition mistakes can devalue your property and leave you feeling dissatisfied with your renovation.

Failure to Consider the Previous Design Sensibilities

Your home is a representation of the time period when it was designed. Those people who originally designed and built your house had an artistic sensibility that was a direct result of their environment. Think of your home as like a ship in a bottle. As your home ages, one of its greatest assets and most striking features becomes its ability to contrast with contemporary architectural design.

Failing to consider the design sensibilities of the original structure, your new home addition will become a detriment to your property value. It won’t look right, it won’t feel right, and it will degrade the artistry and the talent of those who designed and built your home all those years ago.

Failure to See the Big Picture

As a homeowner, you may know only one thing about your addition: that you want extra space in your home. Maybe you’re getting that sun room you’ve always wanted, or you need space for the new baby. Whatever your goal, it’s a common problem that people seek their home addition with a kind of tunnel vision, failing to realize is that there’s a bigger picture to take into consideration.

Your home was built the way it was for a reason. Its position on your property, layout of the rooms, the size of the home: all of these factors were considered when the home was originally built. It’s easy to make a mistake that negatively impacts the aesthetic appeal of the home, the usefulness of the surrounding landscape or the internal flow of the house.

Selection of an Inferior Design

There’s a lot to be considered when designing a new room. Ergonomics, safety, beauty and more. Yet many homeowners settle for an inferior design that lacks consideration of these factors. The design they choose, either for budgetary reasons or because they don’t know any better, is often bland or impractical, and not fit for their needs.

These common home addition mistakes can be wildly costly, not to mention disappointing. How can you avoid making them? By hiring a qualified professional, of course. Architects are trained to see the bigger picture and work with the original structure of the house to make an addition that features superior design and seamless integration. In addition, architects know how to take into consideration the needs, tastes and desires of the home owner, to ensure that the resulting design does justice to the original structure and also satisfies the person commissioning the design. Working with an architect ensures quality, satisfaction and a future return on the investment.

As a homeowner, you shouldn’t have to know what home addition traps exist and how to avoid falling into them. An experienced architect will know the pitfalls of designing a home addition, and will know how to avoid making those mistakes. With a skilled and experienced professional on your side, you can have a home addition that’s worth the cost, improves your property value and does justice to your home.

Ready to get started on your home addition? If you’re in NJ, contact Prime Draft Architecture for a consultation.