how to prevent home addition planning disastersHome additions are a significant investment, and unfortunately, you don’t get do-overs. Getting your addition right the first time is crucial. If you’re taking on a home addition sometime project in the near future, following these tips will help you avoid costly mistakes and ensure that your home addition goes as smoothly as possible.

Work with an Experienced, Knowledgeable Team

It may be tempting to save money by hiring a less expensive team of people to work on your addition. Hiring an architect you’re not comfortable with, or hiring a contractor who isn’t insured, bonded and experienced can leave you exposed to risk and could result in a botched addition. Mistakes can result in the devaluing of your home and the loss of hundreds or thousands of dollars. To find the right architect and contractor, follow these tips:

  • Work with a professional who has a good reputation in your community.
  • Check references.
  • Study contractor and architect portfolios carefully. When looking through each portfolio, ask yourself questions. Is the work in line with what you want for your home addition? Is the work professional quality? Was it done recently?
  • Interview each candidate extensively. Pick someone that you can communicate with easily. Don’t hire someone who can’t answer all your questions to your satisfaction.

Determine a Budget

Your budget should be the starting point for your home addition. Knowing your budget will help you control costs appropriately, keep the scope of the project manageable and will also set parameters.

Of course, determining your budget is just step 1 of the financial management of your project. The financial boundaries of your home addition must be communicated with your architect and contractor up front. Being aware of your budget will help your home addition team make decisions that will influence your project.

In addition, once your contractor and architect know your financial parameters, they can give advice and help you stick to your budget while still meeting your criteria for your home addition. Getting this kind of advice early on in your renovation can help steer you away from unnecessary or unrealistic purchases and keep you safely within your limits.

Think in the Long-Term

There are many factors to be considered when planning a home addition. Thinking in the long-term will help you make reasonable decisions that will ensure your happiness with your home addition for many years to come. For example:

  • Sustainability. Sustainability is becoming more important to consumers as time goes on. Choosing sustainable materials and installing fixtures that use fewer natural resources will reduce your home’s carbon footprint and help ensure that your home is a viable place to live for many years to come.
  • Timelessness. Following trends will put an expiration date on your home’s interior. In just a few short years, you could find yourself gutting the space and all but starting over. The best way to avoid this problem is to use classic building materials and high-quality, standard fixtures.
  • Home Value. Some additions add value to your property, while others may be less desirable to future buyers. For example, in-law apartments, second bathrooms and kitchen expansions are all valuable home additions that will increase your property’s resale value. Exotic structures like green houses and sound-proof music rooms are less likely to add value and more likely to deter potential buyers.

For more information about how you can make your home addition a great success, talk to your chosen architect and contractor. Working together with your team of professionals, you can make your addition a valuable, beautiful part of your home.

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