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In today’s housing market and high price tags, buying a bigger home may not be an option. This doesn’t mean that getting into a bigger home can’t be a reality for current homeowners. If you have the resources and the land, doing a home expansion is the answer.

Understand that building an addition to a house is a huge investment and it isn’t cheap. Whether your family is growing or you just want to upgrade it taking on a project of this magnitude is worth the challenge.

Unless you are a building contractor, you won’t be the one doing the work. You can choose to be as involved as you like. Or you can turn everything over to the professionals. It is suggested that at the very least you do your research to better understand the process.

Continue reading to learn more about adding an addition to your home.

Have Realistic Goals

Who hasn’t fantasized about their dream home before? The reality is, most of us will never have the opportunity to build the home of our dreams. If you are lucky enough to have a home that you really love, adding an addition is the next best thing.

The addition can be a dream kitchen, mother-in-law suite, or a much-needed extra bedroom. Regardless of the reason for the addition, it is important to have realistic expectations.

Ask yourself, can I afford this? Do we have the space needed for the expansion? What is the timeline to get the job done?

It is not uncommon to see abandoned remodeling projects. In some places, a homeowner has to demolish an unfinished addition if they do not have the funds to finish. Some projects have a time limit and the owner can exhaust the number of extensions allowed to extend the project.

Set a Budget for Your Home Expansion

Once you’ve decided to move forward with building an addition, you will need to set a budget. The budget is not just for building the addition, there are many other expenses to consider.

You will need to hire a general contractor, and architect, get building permits, and more.

Once the addition is completed your focus will turn to the design aspects of the project. All of this needs to be accounted for in your budget.

To get an idea of how much money will be required, look for online remodeling calculators to compute a close estimate of the cost.

Get Approved for Financing the Project

Unless you’ve been saving for your home expansion or have come into a large sum of money, you will need financing for the project. Before you get ahead of yourself take a good look at your creditworthiness.

The last thing you want to do is get into debt. Make sure you can afford the extra monthly expense of refinancing your home or taking out a second mortgage. 

The best way to cover the costs is to utilize the equity you have already built up in your home. If your credit score is good, you should not see an increase in your current interest rate. If your credit is exceptionally good, you may qualify for a lower rate.

Research General Contractors

Finding the right general contractor is important. Look to family, friends, or other associates that have recently built a home or done a remodel. Work of mouth references is often the best.

Another way to find out which construction professionals in your area are the best is to read reviews on home improvement websites. There you can read about the experiences of homeowners in your area. These sites also rate contractors in multiple categories.

Once you have done your research, meet with a minimum of three general contractors. Have a list of questions and request references.

It is also a good idea to get a list of their preferred subcontractors and do research on them also.

Work With an Architect to Create Your Design

The general contractor you choose may work directly with an architect. This does not mean you have to select that person for your project. Like you did with the contractor, do your own research.

You also want someone with the same style, taste, and enthusiasm for your project.

Your home expansion should meet all of your expectations. Consider the cost of the architect and whether the person will charge more for required plan modifications.

Build a good rapport with everyone that will work on your home’s addition and make your expectations crystal clear. Also, get a realistic timeline on getting the job done.

Choose Your Design Materials 

The next phase of building an addition is deciding on the design materials. This includes roofing, siding, windows, and flooring. 

As you’re planning out your home expansion you may decide to change some things about your current home’s exterior. This will need to get figured into your budget and financing.

Take into consideration if your existing roof needs replacing or if you want to change the type or color of the shingles. Your home may have vinyl siding and now you want a stucco finish. You may also want to change the color of your home, or replace all of the windows with energy efficient ones.

There are many things that can come up as you are making your plans.

Add the Finishing Touches

After the planning and building are complete, it will be time to decorate your new home addition. This includes wall finishes, flooring, lighting, and furnishings. 

This will probably be the most exciting part of the journey. When it is all said and done, host a gathering with family and friends to celebrate the accomplishment and to do a big reveal.

Enjoy Your New Addition

Once your home expansion is complete you can enjoy the extra space without the inconvenience of moving to a new location. Your home’s value will increase and you will recoup the expense if you sell later on.

If you’re in the Washington area and planning a home addition, contact Higgason Construction for a consultation.