If you are considering a new home addition, these are 10 tips that should prepare home owners for their project. Share this list with potential customers so you can help them through the process of planning a home addition.
- Gather Legal Documents – If you’re serious about adding an addition to you home you’ll need to track down a few legal documents before you plan anything. First and foremost you’ll need to find an accurate plot plan of your property showing the property lines and the proximity of the existing and proposed buildings to those lines. This is extremely important because you’ll need to ensure the new addition isn’t built “outside” jurisdictional set-backs defined by local Zoning laws. If this step is skipped it’s highly likely a building built too close to the property lines will have to be torn down! Plot plans and surveys are usually available your local Registry of Deeds.
- Determine a Realistic Budget – Before you meet with a builder or architect it’s important to set a budget that you feel comfortable with. The last thing you want to do is fall in love with a design and stretch yourself thin financially. You should develop a budget that includes the hard cost of the project, a decent contingency number, increases to property taxes, utility expenses and even insurance. Stick to your budget and you’ll be stress free when the project is finished and ready to enjoy your new space.
- What Do You Need? – Determine what you need above and beyond what you might “want”. It’s really important to identify what exactly you need. If you need another bedroom don’t be tempted to add a hot tub! Be sure to write down a very specific list of the needs and functions the new space will provide. In addition, it’s always good to have a list of “special” items you might want to consider if the budget ends up “fat”. Instead of ignoring some of the finer things in life why not add a couple to your list and see which ones you might be able to do add if there’s room in the budget.