If your existing home is lacking the space or functionality your family needs, home additions are a great way to solve those issues. They can also be a great way to add value to your home.
At Lagois, we are no strangers to such projects. Our experience with building additions is extensive, and through the years we’ve learned a few things that can help make the process for homeowners that much more successful and less stressful.
Before undertaking any type of home addition, there are three key things to do that will assist greatly in making the process smoother and the final product that much more satisfying. They are:
Know your space. Live in it.
We have seen many people jump the gun and take on their addition project too early after purchasing their home. We like to encourage our clients to become familiar with their living space, upwards of a year, so that they can make informed decisions about what issues need attention. Understand, this may not be realistic, compare your new space to the space you previously lived in, or visit friends and family to see how their space works for them. Additions are not one size fits all. Every family is different. There are many things that you may realize after living in your home for several months. They may include:
- Not enough counter space in the kitchen
- Laundry is inconveniently located
- Entryway is far too small for shoes, knapsacks, hockey equipment etc.
- You wish your master bedroom had an ensuite bathroom
- There’s no designated play area for the kids
- You could use a powder room on the main floor
- The home is lacking sufficient natural light
The list goes on. But these are all things you come to discover after truly living in the space. Making educated guesses about what you think you will need can often lead to disappointment.
Seek the advice of a professional.
This may sound obvious, but it is not unusual for people to bite off more than they can chew when it comes to major renovations. In addition to doing the actual physical labour of an addition, a professional homebuilder can also:
- Advise on whether an addition is even necessary. Sometimes a home that feels small or sub-optimally functional is really just in need of reconfiguration, taking down walls or adding additional windows or doors –which can be much less costly than an addition.
- Assist with the often oneroustask of seeking permits and minor variances with the City
- Guide you with your wish list, and develop drawings and estimates – something that is often required when establishing your project budget.
Get your budget in order.
Needless to say, major renovations require money. And knowing how much you have to work with is vital. You need to determine if you have enough to achieve your vision, and if you don’t, are you prepared to undertake something less ambitious? Or should you wait until you have enough finances to take on what you really want to do.
Understanding the value of your current home may also help to decide how much to invest. Establishing your budget usually means a visit to the bank, ideally with project estimates and drawings, to assess your financial position to move forward. Will you be accessing a line of credit, or possibly adjusting your mortgage? How much value will the addition contribute to your home in the long run? Have you incorporated a buffer into your budget, in case the project runs into unexpected expenses?
Homework pays off
By taking these three factors into consideration before undertaking a home addition, you increase your chances of project success significantly. You will have done your homework and aligned yourself with the professional expertise you need to get a home that fulfills your family’s needs and allows you to “Love Where You Live.”
We would be more than happy to answer your questions.