Custom Homes 101: Everything You Need to Know About Building Your New Home on Schedule

Custom Homes 101: Everything You Need to Know About Building Your New Home on Schedule

Custom Homes 101: Everything You Need to Know About Building Your New Home on Schedule

Photography by Lisa Russman

You’ve decided to build a custom home. Great! That is exciting, and of course, you want your new home finished as quickly as possible so that you can start enjoying your house, right? Like you, custom home builders want your house to be completed on time and on budget, so what can you do to help ensure this happens? Here are some tips to help keep the construction of your new home on schedule.

Agree on Your Design Before You Start Construction
Some of the most significant delays that happen during the construction of beautiful custom homes are when the homeowner decides to make changes to the plans after construction has begun. What may seem like a simple change on paper can have huge consequences when it comes to implementing them. It is not as simple as moving a line on a piece of paper — all changes will delay the outcome. Make sure that you and your residential architect have finalized your custom home plans before you break ground, and if you choose to change them later, realize that this will affect your timeline. 

Review Your Master Schedule and Understand It Completely
The job of the architect as a project manager is to create the master schedule before construction begins, then ensure that all contractors and sub-contractors follow this timeline. Talk with your architect about any questions you have about this schedule, including how firm various goals and milestones are. Sometimes, these are hard and fast targets, and other times, they are estimates based on many variables. Find out how you can play an active role in making sure things are completed on time and follow through with any tasks that are your responsibility. 

Understand the Contingency Plans
Even the best-laid schedules can get off track due to weather, supply problems, or unforeseen circumstances. Custom home builders are adept at identifying potential risks in your schedule while crafting backup plans for those most likely to impact your completion date. Discuss how these contingency plans could influence your overall budget and make sure they understand your hard limits when it comes to overages in time or costs. 

Communicate Regularly
Most construction projects get delayed because of a series of minor hiccups rather than one big problem. The best way to avoid these is to keep track of the daily progress and identify these types of issues quickly so that they can be resolved. You must have an open and honest relationship with your residential architect so that you create an effective team that works together on this project. 

Work the Problem
Projects such as the construction of beautiful custom homes get behind for several reasons. Many homeowners panic at the first sign of trouble and start looking for easy or quick solutions instead of figuring out what the problem is first. Before you can fix a problem, you need to know what is wrong. Talk with your architect about the source of the delay and make sure you have all the information necessary before deciding how to resolve the scheduling problem. This will save you money and time in the end. 

Be Flexible
Even the best architects and the most well-thought-out custom home plans and schedules can’t ensure that your new home will be ready on the exact date you want. Things happen, and delays should be a part of your expectations. In the grand scheme, does one extra week influence your lifetime of enjoyment of your great, new space? Probably not. When possible, be flexible and appreciate that your architect is doing everything possible to get your house finished as quickly as possible.

Family Rooms We Love: How Interior Design Services Can Transform Your Great Room into the Best Room of Your House

Family Rooms We Love: How Interior Design Services Can Transform Your Great Room into the Best Room of Your House

Family Rooms We Love: How Interior Design Services Can Transform Your Great Room into the Best Room of Your House

Photography by Lisa Russman

While great rooms and open-concept design are not new in the world of residential architecture, interior architecture and design are embracing this part of the home like never before. Open-plan spaces are perfect for creating interaction and embracing connectivity, and interior design services are perfect for helping you transform yours from good to great. 

In modern custom homes, the great room is getting more attention and square footage than other parts of the house. Many homeowners are opting for smaller bedrooms, favoring the communal spaces that main rooms offer. Great rooms add warmth, versatility, and connectedness to your home in ways that individual living and dining rooms can’t.

Get Expert Advice
Interior services, like those offered by residential architects, can assist you and your family in creating the great room you have always wanted. Come together with friends and loved ones for family dinners, movie nights, homework sessions, and much more with multipurpose rooms that embrace the complexity and connectedness of your family’s lives. 

Using a residential architect to plan for your great room remodel will help you create a space that allows you to keep an eye on the little ones while you make dinner, and will transform into space your teens still want to hang out in as your family ages and grows. 

Think a Little Differently
Just a few decades ago, you wouldn’t dream of building a house without a dining room, but today, that notion no longer appeals to as many. When it comes to the perfect great room, the sky’s the limit when it comes to how to use space and what the room is capable of doing. A kitchen island doesn’t just have to be for food prep anymore. It can serve as a home office, breakfast bar, and craft area. Furniture that folds up or collapses down makes it easy to switch up how you use a particular part of your space, too. 

Strive for Multipurpose Pieces
When selecting furniture, opt for pieces that can serve more than one purpose or work in different parts of the room. Nesting tables can serve as homework stations after school and snack trays during family movie night. Wheeled oversized ottomans become extra seating or a coffee table, depending on the day.

Add in Cozy Bits
The danger with open-plan spaces is that they can feel too stark and unwelcoming if you are not careful. Here’s where interior design services really help! Your designer can help you carve out distinct areas within the larger space that can be used for specific purposes. Spots with lots of natural light would be perfect for some greenery, a cozy couch, and shelving for books. Voila! You have a library/study space that can also be used for storage or quiet time with one of your little ones. Finding ways to add comfort and purpose to your large, open space will give your great room usability and warmth. 

Keep it Unified with Design Elements
Using locally available residential design services, create a look that ties your great rooms many functions together. Ask your designer about how to use color, texture, flooring, lighting, and other design details to link the many different areas of your great room into a cohesive space. Because your family will be spending the most time in this part of your home, you want to make choices that will last, will transition well with you as you grow and change, and that match your family’s aesthetic. You can use consistent colors or materials, or you can choose accents that are present throughout the space that tie it all together.

New Jersey Architect Shares Tips on How to Integrate Clever Storage into Your Home’s Design

New Jersey Architect Shares Tips on How to Integrate Clever Storage into Your Home’s Design

New Jersey Architect Shares Tips on How to Integrate Clever Storage into Your Home’s Design

Photography by Lisa Russman

No matter the size of your home, finding creative and helpful ways to add storage to your space is always a top priority. New Jersey architects are getting more creative with their storage solutions, as finding new areas to stash your stuff is no longer left to the interior decor stage of home finishing. 

Built-in storage, multi-functional shelving, storage walls, and platforms are just a few of the many ways residential architects in NJ are building more space for homeowners to store just about anything. Below, we have gathered tips on how to work with your architect to include interesting and usable storage solutions into your new home or remodel’s designs and plans. 


#1. Use the Space Under Your Stairs
While we wouldn’t recommend turning it into a bedroom (sorry, Harry), creating a cupboard or other storage area under your stairs helps you reclaim valuable room in your home. New Jersey architecture firms are including drawers, cabinets, and built-in shelves in many different configurations to store office supplies, art materials, toys, books, and much more. Don’t have stairs? Well, you can create some in an ultra-small space to build a loft or platform, which also adds additional storage. 

#2. Build Up
Platforms, raised beds, lofts, and other built-up areas are perfect for defining an area as well as creating more storage. By building up, you gain space underneath, which can be used to store those pesky items no one can ever find a place to put, like camping gear, board games, and hobby or craft supplies. Residential architects in NJ can help you design spaces that provide the right type of storage for your home and needs while also creating funky and functional spaces for you and your family.  

#3. Use the Whole Wall
Storage walls are more popular than ever before and for a good reason. Taking advantage of an entire wall and building shelving that stretches floor to ceiling makes maximum use of your space and gives you lots of area for storage. New Jersey architecture firms are using storage walls in offices, kids’ rooms, basements, and great rooms that include open and closed shelving options as well as drawers, cubbies, and much more. Storage walls can even be free-standing and used to divide a large space into more defined, distinct areas. 

#4. Build Furniture that is Also Storage
The banquette is undoubtedly not a new idea, and this classic is a wonderful way to add storage to your space. Turn any corner into an eating area, office, or study room by adding a bench and table. The under-seating storage also gives you space to tuck away items from view and to max out the space’s storage capacity. Ottomans, window seats, and even couches can also be constructed to include under-seating storage. 

#5. Rethink Kitchen Storage
Your kitchen probably has the most storage needs of any space in your home, and it also gets used the most. Architects in NJ are finding new and creative solutions for kitchen storage that make workflow more accessible and give your family the gathering space they want. Shelving, cabinets, and drawers are not the only players in town anymore. Talk with your residential architect about how to use tilt-out trays, the space at the toe kick, roll-out trays, lazy Susans, and pegboards to make the most of your kitchen storage space. 

#6. Look Up
Your ceiling is an underutilized space that could help you add more storage to your home. Consider hanging storage bins for off-season clothing in your mudroom or storing workout gear on hooks in the basement or office ceiling. Your architect can help design ceiling storage that is stylish as well as functional to make use of this space that is often overlooked. 

If you’re looking for a New Jersey architect to work on your new home design or renovation project, please reach out to our team today.

What Your Residential Architect Wishes You Knew But is Too Polite to Tell You

What Your Residential Architect Wishes You Knew But is Too Polite to Tell You

What Your Residential Architect Wishes You Knew But is Too Polite to Tell You

Photography by Lisa Russman

Before you ever select and start working with a design professional and residential architect on your next project, here are a few things you should know. 

“Please, speak up!”
Most architects will agree that the number one issue with the residential architectural design process is that clients don’t say what they mean or are not honest about their needs. Yes, we appreciate that you respect our expertise and experience. But, we also really, really want to hear from you. After all, this space we are designing is for you, and you are the ones that will have to live with it every day for a long time. We love it when our clients realize that they should be an active part of the process. Tell us your concerns. Ask questions when we use words you don’t understand or provide rationales with which you disagree. This process is a collaboration, and we need your voice to make this partnership work.  

“We are not like every other residential architect.”
Every architect is unique and special. We are all artists, and each of us has our strengths and weaknesses when it comes to residential architecture. It is always advisable that you do lots of research while trying to find an architect to choose one that matches your needs. If you are looking for a firm that has tons of experience in a particular style or with specific types of projects, looking through portfolios is the best way to gauge this. And just as aesthetics or design mindsets may differ, so do communication styles and attitudes towards clients, so it’s always a great idea to talk with past clients to make sure you mesh well with your chosen firm, too. 

“That change you want… it’s more complicated than you think.”
One of the reasons we value client feedback during the design process is because the more information we have in the beginning, the more successfully we can create a design that meets all or most of your needs on the first try. But, changes are inevitable during the design process, and we understand that. While it might look simple on paper to move a wall just a smidge or relocate that closet, every little change requires lots of additional alterations that you don’t see. These include revising electrical plans, rerouting plumbing, altering rooflines, or requiring additional support structures. The earlier we know about changes during the process, the better off everyone will be, and we appreciate your patience and understanding during the time it takes us to make them. 

“We won’t be able to put every idea from your Pinterest board into a design.”
We understand just how excited you are to design your dream space. And you have probably been collecting images and ideas for a long time to prepare for this process. Look at your inspirational collection to help you identify trends and an overall style rather than trying to incorporate every single idea into your new home or room. While eclectic styles can sometimes be great, we want to keep your new space from becoming merely a mismatched hodgepodge of elements you saw online. We are here to help you edit and pull from this collection the most essential pieces that will complete your vision. 

“Be realistic.”
Guess what? A gourmet kitchen will not make you a gourmet cook. And, your 12×12 living room can be amazing, but it will never be a combination office/game room/media room/kids hangout/formal dining area all at once. Be realistic about what your space can (and can’t) do for your life and what we can do with the space you have. We’ll help you design a space that meets your needs, but we have to work within the limits of space, time, and your budget, too.

What is Architectural Interior Design and Why is it Important to Your Next Project?

What is Architectural Interior Design and Why is it Important to Your Next Project?

What is Architectural Interior Design and Why is it Important to Your Next Project?

Photography by Lisa Russman

As a homeowner, it can be confusing to know when you might need an architect to help with your interior design remodel or when an interior designer will suffice. Knowing what an interior architect can and will do enables you to decide what expertise you need for your home’s renovation and who has the skills to help transform your home into the space you need. 

Understanding Interior Architecture vs. Interior Design
What exactly is interior architecture? This discipline includes knowledge and skills that consider all aspects of building and finishing an interior space. It encompasses everything from choosing the materials, planning for the necessary systems that influence habitation, the intelligent use of space, and how that space integrates with the rest of the structure. An interior architect applies design concepts to create areas that are not only structurally sound, but that are also functional and beautiful to the user. 

Interior design, strictly speaking, works with an existing space to craft spaces that meet the needs and wants of the client. While interior designers may recommend changes to structures, systems like HVAC, or support features, only a licensed architect can make those plans, as they have specialized knowledge about building design. 

Interior designers today often have some training or expertise in architectural and likewise, many architects have education and skills as designers, thus blurring the line between these two roles. A new specialization of interior design and architecture has emerged. Those in this combined role have the skills and knowledge to understand not only the structural and materials requirements for completing a space but also an eye for the softer components that finish and make it a home. Interior architectural designers have an understanding of design theory, technology, use of space, and styling to make the best choices for the homeowner. 

Does Your Next Project Need an Architect or a Designer?
Understanding the difference between interior design and architecture is helpful, as it can make a difference in your budget when you determine who you need to hire for your build or renovation. Because architects are licensed and require additional training, they are necessary for some kinds of projects but not necessarily all. 

 If you are making minor updates to your home, changing out paint, or just enlarging or replacing a few windows and doors, you may not need either an architect or a designer. Your contractor can help you with these types of updates. For larger projects, such as whole-room or whole-house remodels, additions, or any project that involves taking out walls or redoing plumbing, electrical, or HVAC systems, you should hire an architect. 

 An architect not only designs your space and helps you create a plan that will meet your needs, they also help manage your renovation project. They work directly with contractors and subs, oversee all the work, and manage your budget. Interior architects specialize in solving complex design problems while also making the new space aesthetically pleasing. 

 Interior designers are not engineers or architects, but they have wonderful expertise in space planning, remodeling rooms like kitchens and baths, or updating your room’s finishes. Any plans created by a designer should be reviewed by a structural engineer to ensure the safety of your home, and designers generally do not serve as project managers during the construction process. 

Get Everything You Need
Today, the role of interior design has grown to encompass knowledge of architectural design and principles, and the training of architects often includes interior design specialties, as well. Remember that if the exterior shell will remain the same but everything else will change, or if you will be adding additional square footage, hiring an interior architect with design experience and expertise will give you the best of both worlds.

What NJ Architects Want You to Know About the Home Design Process

Behind the Scenes: What NJ Architects Want You to Know About the Home Design Process

What NJ Architects Want You to Know About the Home Design Process

Photography by Lisa Russman

If you have never worked with an architect before or aren’t even sure why you might need one, there are a few things that you may want to know. Regardless of which NJ architect you choose to hire for your residential design project, we’ve laid out a few things you should understand before you decide to DIY your home design. 

You Are an Active Participant in the Architectural Design Process
NJ architecture firms want you to know that we value you and want your input in the design process. If you want your home to be everything you dreamed, then you need to be open and honest about your expectations as well as your budget. We value your candid feedback and appreciate when you are decisive, as it keeps us all from feeling frustrated during the design phase. Architects also appreciate when you are realistic and flexible, which means you are open to our ideas and respect our professional knowledge and expertise. 

Architects in NJ are Here to Translate Your Needs Into Function and Beauty
Whichever architect you hire for your job, it is essential to remember that our number one priority is providing you and your family with the home that meets your needs. While your focus may be on the bottom line or the style of your new space, we want to marry those with utility and flawless design to create a functional space that works for you now and into the future. Our focus is entirely on listening to your needs and wants, then designing a home that matches all of those as closely as possible. We are here to work with you. 

Find the Right New Jersey Architecture Firm For You
Not sure which architect is right to design a home that matches your aesthetic? Start by looking at our portfolios. Every architect is inspired by role models and has their own style and taste. This is reflected in the work that we do, and viewing pictures of past projects can show you how this translates into clients’ homes. When you talk to us, ask about which New Jersey architecture we admire and who our design role models are. While architects are flexible and work to make the client’s vision come true, our design lens influences all that we do, so be sure it aligns with your vision for your home. 

Be Sure You Ask Questions Throughout the Process
Design and architecture are complicated sometimes, but a good architect can always explain them simply. When you are working with your NJ architect, you should always ask questions when you don’t understand something. We want you to know the ins and outs of the process and finished product because it will be yours for years to come. If you don’t understand or need more explanation, say so! If you think you have a better idea, share it. 

New Jersey Architecture Firms can Oversee Your Project From Start to Finish
Most people don’t understand the full scope of what a residential architect can do, but architects in NJ can help you from beginning to end of your new home build, redesign, add-on, or renovation project. If you are struggling with where to start or how to manage all the details once construction has begun, then stop worrying. We have the training, connections, and skills to keep your whole project running like clockwork and on budget. From site selection through closing checklists, we can help as much or as little as you want. Talk with your residential architect about the services they offer. You may be surprised at all we can do!

 Your architect is your partner. Knowing their capabilities, role, and vision for your home will ensure a successful partnership from start to finish.

Confused and Overwhelmed by Interior Design Trends? How to Pick the Best Style for You

Confused and Overwhelmed by Interior Design Trends? How to Pick the Best Style for You

Confused and Overwhelmed by Interior Design Trends? How to Pick the Best Style for You

Photography by Lisa Russman

Deciding on a style for your new home or remodeling project can be overwhelming, but if you want to really love the final result, it is vital that you are clear about what you want before the design process begins. Internet quizzes abound on residential interior design trends that are meant to help you identify if you are more “Scandi” or “Boho,” but what does that actually mean for your home? 

Focusing on interior design trends can give you ideas and inspiration, but if you want to pick the best style for your interior design updates, then you need to ask yourself a few simple questions. Find the right look for your new home interior design with these tips. 

Do You Lean Towards the Past or Present?
Look at your wardrobe, your taste in cars, and the art and books you gravitate toward. If you tend toward the past, appreciate vintage or retro clothes, or enjoy historical fiction or classical art, then you may want to investigate designs that favor traditional, French country, or mid-century styles that are reminiscent of times gone by. 

If, however, you tend toward straight lines, minimalist sensibilities, or modern and contemporary forms of expression, then you may prefer design trends like those in Scandinavian, or industrial design styles. 

Is Your Life Full of Color or Based on a Neutral Palette?
Again, look at your closet. Do you love to wear things that are bright and colorful? Or are your clothes primarily dark or neutral hues with a dash of color here and there? These give you additional clues about what you would prefer in your home. While any design can be monochromatic or brightly-hued, those that lend themselves to more colorful choices include eclectic, contemporary, and Boho styles.

Are You More at Home in the City or Country?
Where your heart feels most comfortable will help you decide your style. Country living is epitomized by more rustic, coastal, or French country designs while the minimalist, Scandinavian, and Hollywood glam styles popular today embody city living. 

What Suits Your Family?
More important than any other question is, what do you need to live and be happy? While you may adore crisp lines (i.e., sharp corners) and sleek surfaces, that does not always work with several small children who enjoy leaving sticky fingerprints; furthermore, those sharp corners are anything but child-proof. Your heart may be dying for an all-white living room, but your three black cats have other ideas. While style is essential, so is honoring the reality of your life. 

Finding your style is often about choosing from several design traditions to create an eclectic or transitional look that suits you and your family’s needs. Combining styles allows you to select pieces and touches that help you feel at home while also remaining practical and creating a space that you can use, not just one that looks good. After all, a family should define the house, not the other way around.

Picking the best style for you starts with identifying your most essential needs as well as those aesthetics that speak most strongly to you. When working with a residential architect and interior designer, communicate these things thoroughly and allow them to help you create something beautiful as well as functional. Interior design does not have to oppose practicality, and working with professionals can help you create a home where everyone feels comfortable and joyful. 

Homes should be a reflection of who you are as a family. Getting in touch with your style means trusting your intuition and staying true to yourself.

Are You Ready for a New Exterior Home Design? Now You Can Have It!

Are You Ready for a New Exterior Home Design? Now You Can Have It!

Are You Ready for a New Exterior Home Design? Now You Can Have It!

photography by Lisa Russman

Does the outside of your home reflect your personality and style? Is it time to refresh your home’s exterior so that it matches the beautiful design you have created indoors? Whatever the reason, if your home needs a new look, a residential architect can help you choose from modern exterior home designs to find one that is perfect for you and your family.  

Exterior Home Design Styles and Updates
While a fresh coat of paint and new landscaping can undoubtedly improve your curb appeal, exterior remodels and renovations go beyond minor changes to give your home a whole new look and feel. Your renovation is a perfect time to take care of that decades-old leak that has mildewed your patio while also providing more natural light inside, and creating outdoor living areas for your whole family to enjoy.

Install New Siding
Give your home a whole new look by installing new siding over your existing facade. But don’t stop at just one type. You can use various materials or colors to accent different sections or architectural features of your home. Shingles or corrugated metal can call attention to eaves or dormers, while board-and-batten or fiber cement planks can create a durable, low-maintenance exterior that completely changes the look of the house.

Add a Porch
Front porches not only change the look of your home’s exterior but they also add outdoor living space. Consider adding a porch that extends around the side of your home to add curb appeal, plus a fun and functional space for the kids to explore and play or a quiet spot for mom to escape. When you add your new porch, consider updating your front door or redesigning your entryway to include a larger front walk, a more defined and welcoming entrance, or wider and safer stairs leading into your home.

Replace Your Windows or Roof
Adding new, larger windows can improve the natural light within your home while also changing the exterior design. A bay or picture window provides a new focal point for your exterior, and varying the shape of your windows can add interest and texture to your facade. Plus, new windows can reduce your energy use and lower your utility bills. 

Upgrading your roof is an easy and effective way to update the exterior design for small houses. While providing excellent protection for several decades to come, a new roof can also become an architectural detail for your home. Adding a metal roof, cedar shakes, a tile roof, or architectural shingles can help enhance the look of your home while adding durability to your exterior remodeling project. 

Install a Fence
If your kids or pets need more room to roam, adding a fence can not only give you peace of mind when they are outdoors, but it also revitalizes the exterior of your home. Fences are great for defining property boundaries or select areas of your yard, and they can add style and interest to your exterior. A fence not only updates your home’s look, but it also keeps your family (including all two- and four-legged members) safe and secure.  

Combine Small Changes for a Big Impact
If your budget or needs don’t call for substantial changes to your home’s exterior, even small projects can make a big difference. Replacing exterior lighting, shutters, landscaping, or trim colors are all small and inexpensive updates that also add new interest and detail to your facade.

Do I Need a Residential Architect?
If you are looking to completely overhaul your home’s exterior, add architectural details, add or change windows and doors, or alter entryways or access points, having a residential architect will help ensure that your project runs smoothly. When you work with a design professional, your exterior changes will complement and flow seamlessly with your interior design, too.

Architects in NJ are Ready to Give You the Space You Need - On Trend and On Budget

Architects in NJ are Ready to Give You the Space You Need – On Trend and On Budget 

Architects in NJ are Ready to Give You the Space You Need - On Trend and On Budget

photography by Lisa Russman

So, you’re ready to remodel your home. You have some ideas about what you want but aren’t sure where to start. Deciding to work with one of many residential New Jersey architecture firms is an essential first step in getting the home you need that matches your style as well as your budget. And when you choose to work with NJ architects, you are entering into a significant relationship. So, it should be with people you feel like you can work with and trust throughout your home renovation project. 

Which New Jersey architecture firm is the right choice for you? Who is going to be able to design a home that will give your family the space as well as the joy you deserve? The decision may seem difficult given the many excellent choices, but here are some simple steps to help you decide the right NJ residential architect for you. 

Narrow the Field
Online research can help you narrow down your choices significantly. Start by looking at firms’ online portfolios. How does this architect design for the needs, mess, and fullness of family life? What details do you notice that indicate they are in tune with their clients’ daily needs? Don’t see anything that feels like “home” to you? That means they are probably not the right architect for your project. Getting to know an architect’s design aesthetic starts with their portfolio, so spending time here is a great first step.

Ask Around
Getting referrals helps a great deal in choosing the right residential architect. Ask friends and contacts on social media for recommendations. When you see a house you really love, ask who designed it. Check online review sites to see what others have to say about those on your short list. 

If you have a few firms you are considering, ask each architect if you can speak to past clients. Be sure to inquire not only about their satisfaction with the finished product but about the process of working with the firm. Did they feel heard? Was the process collaborative? Were their timelines and budget honored? How was communication throughout the build? 

Meet with Your Top Choices
It is crucial that you meet with any potential architects before making a final decision. You want someone who believes in partnership and will delve deep into your needs to create a house defined by you. If you can’t work together, there is no point in hiring them. Meeting face-to-face is the best way to tell if you will be able to collaborate with someone and if they can create a space where everyone can enjoy one another.

This person will be helping your family bring your vision into reality, so it is absolutely worth the time to meet with them and ensure the relationship will be what you want. Once you have narrowed your options to a few, you still have to consider logistics. Are they available when you would like to complete your renovation? Does their fee match your budget? These are important details that should not be overlooked, as they can lead to serious problems down the road. 

Make Your Decision
After meeting with your top choices, you are ready to take the plunge. Ask yourself which firm was most passionate about their work while also being thoughtful about its practicality, use of space, and details. When talking about their designs, who discussed the rhythms and flow of those who occupied that space? Who asked you the most questions? These can help guide your choice for creating a home that evolves and grows with your family.


What are the Real House Addition Costs You Should Expect? Simple Answers for Your Family


photography by Lisa Russman

Adding an addition, bump out, or new detached space to your home is a perfect way to gain room and functionality for your home, but many clients wonder, is it worth it? There is always a cost to add an addition to a house, and understanding what to expect during the remodeling process will help your family make the best choice when it comes to deciding whether an addition makes sense.

What you need to know about the cost of addition

Most people know that the size of your addition will significantly influence how much it will cost. The more square footage, the larger the price tag. Obviously, the materials you choose will affect your budget, as well. Bathrooms and kitchens with high-end details will be significantly more expensive than bedrooms or sunrooms with more basic finishes. But what are some of the other things that can influence your home addition budget?

The type of addition has a tremendous impact. Most often, it costs more to build out than up, because excavation, concrete and masonry are all very labor intensive. On the other hand, when building up, composition shingle roofing, comparatively, is not a significant cost as a percentage of overall construction cost. You do have to keep in mind that additions often times require other remodeling projects within the house to make the existing space flow more smoothly with the new addition. This all adds to the overall design costs.

If your new space adds extra load to your existing plumbing, electrical, and heating/cooling system, you may need to replace these, which can increase costs. And any time you start a project like this, you may also discover existing problems that will need to be addressed before you can begin anything new, such as termite or water damage, wiring that is not up to code, or foundation issues.

Any site preparation that needs to be done to accommodate your new space will also affect the cost. Excavation, demolition, and wall removal can all add to the budget before you even start building anything new.

Your own sweat equity can keep costs down, though, if you want to make the most of your budget. If you can do demolition, painting, tiling, or other projects for your new space, this will lower construction costs and help you get more for your money.

So, how much does a home addition cost, then? Depending on the size, complexity, location, and design of your home addition, prices can range anywhere between $200 and $600 per square foot, with the national average for a home addition being around $44,000. Keep in mind that these averages include everything from three-foot bump outs to full kitchens with top-of-the-line appliances.

What you need to know about real house addition costs

Obviously, you want to consider what a new addition to your house will bring to your overall property value, but you should also consider how this new space will affect your family’s story and enjoyment of your home. Working with an architect who actively listens to you, works with you as a team, and understands your true needs will give you a home addition that not only gives you more space but adds purpose and meaning to your family life.

A professional architect will not only help you design the additional space your family needs, but they can advise you on how to prepare for the most likely construction contingencies for your project while helping to ensure that your addition blends in seamlessly with the existing structure. Select a team who specializes in renovations and remodels, as they will be able to create a design that matches your current home while giving you the updates your family needs.