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Have you outgrown your home? When you add space to a house through a home addition, you’re not just expanding your living area, you’re remodeling the house to fit your needs. Whether you’re adding space for a new family member or to create an office now that you’re working from home, you must consider the purpose behind the new space when thinking through the design. We’ve compiled several things to consider to help guide you through the decisions required for your home addition project.

planning your home addition

Many homeowners think that you can simply tack on a new building to your existing house and call it a day, but the reality is that an addition lies somewhere between a ground-up build and a renovation in terms of the amount of planning and coordination required. Consider where you want your addition to fit in your home, regarding your routine as well as the physical space, and then determine what needs to move to make room. For example, if you’re going to expand a small kitchen to a larger one, will you knock down the wall to expand the room directly, or do you instead want to move the kitchen to the new space entirely, leaving the old kitchen area as a dining room or sitting area?

Additionally, a facet that many homeowners are slow to consider is the mechanicals and utilities that must be supplied to the new area; after all, a new office space is useless without a few carefully positioned electrical outlets, and a bathroom can’t function without plumbing. Considering points such as this will allow your addition to function and fit in seamlessly with your current home and could save you money in the long run.

Working with a design build firm, such as Ramos Construction, early in the renovation planning process will help reduce costs and time spent on your home addition.

Ask yourself the right questions

It’s only natural to get excited for a new home addition project, but before you start flipping through magazines or choosing selections, you need to ask yourself a few questions.

What value will this addition add to your home?

You may not have plans to sell your home anytime soon, but when remodeling, you should always consider the resale value of your project. Ensuring that the value of your home is comparable to the values of the homes in your local area is a good way to gauge whether you’re overbuilding.

Because additions are on the higher end of the spectrum regarding cost, they often have less return on investment than other remodeling projects, between 65% and 49% return on average according to a Remodeling report. To maximize return, add amenities that are highly sought after in your area; for example, if your neighbors have a master suite and you don’t, then it’s a good investment to build one as an addition.

Are there any zoning restrictions to consider?

Most municipalities have rules restricting construction in residential areas, and these will affect the way you can build your addition. Though local zoning laws vary, almost all residential areas have what is called a “setback” distance, which limits how close to the edge of a lot a building can be built; generally, a building cannot be constructed anywhere within 20 feet from the front of the lot, 15 feet from the rear, and 7.5 feet on either side.

Additionally, there are rules that determine how close you can get to wetlands, how much of your lot can be covered in ‘impermeable materials’ (which includes structures as well as paving), and how tall buildings can be. It’s important to check with your local building and zoning offices as you begin planning, so you don’t sink hours of money, time and effort into something that can’t be built.

How will your home addition tie into the house?

Adding onto a home can take a lot of careful planning and finesse, especially if you want it to look like it is part of the original house. Building styles vary over time, and the materials and stylings that were easy to source 25 years ago when the house was built may be much more difficult or even impossible to find. You’ll have to consider details such as how the roofline connects to the house, how to use modern finishes to complement the existing style of the house, how to tie into the existing utility infrastructure in your home, and also make a functional, modern space with maximum benefit for your family.

Building up or building out?

There are two main types of building additions that can be done to a home: you could expand the footprint of the house and build out, or you could add space to a second story (or add a second/third story) and build up. Each has their own benefits and downfalls, and solve different needs, but both should be considered when looking to get a building addition.

With so much money and emotional investment on the line, make sure to have professional by your side to guide you through a successful home addition project. If you’re considering a home addition in Tampa Bay, allow the experienced renovation team at Ramos Construction to provide you with a complementary consultation.

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