An Essential Guide to Room Additions
Planning an addition to your home needs to be approached analytically in order to proceed smoothly to a satisfactory conclusion. A good idea when you begin planning is to set a definite goal or purpose for the addition rather than just tacking a new room onto the house.
Another good idea is to consider future needs that can be incorporated into the addition either as it is being constructed or as an easy renovation afterward.
Decide if you want the addition to maintain the continuity of the existing house or if you want it to provide an architectural contrast. When making this decision, be sure to include important features that can impact your decision, such as siding, exterior trim, roofing materials and colors.
Map out a proposed floor plan for the addition. The layout of the room will vary according to purpose. The floor plan for a kitchen will likely not be the same as the floor plan for a home office. Allow for some creativity when drawing up this floor plan, such as a bay window, a skylight or bookcases or shelving built into the walls.
An architect is not necessarily required for drawing up plans for an addition. You may be able to effectively create a detailed plan worthy of being submitted to your building code agency. Computer-aided design programs give you the opportunity to create a three-dimensional layout of your new room.
Meeting Building Codes
Before any plans are submitted for approval, check with your city’s municipal code agency for standard requirements. Check to see if your city has this information available on a website before heading down in person to the agency offices.
Financing a new addition can be done through various means. An addition to a house in which you have lived for some time can be funded at least partially with a home improvement loan based on the equity you have built.
A more expansive addition may require taking a second mortgage or refinancing your current mortgage. Check with your bank to see if you can qualify for a construction loan for an amount equal to the final estimated cost provided by your building contractor.Environmentally Friendly and Energy Saving Design
One prospect that comes with building an addition to your home is the potential for making it more energy-conscious through environmentally friendly design choices. You can choose to build the exterior with recycled composite wood and plastics.
Loose fill insulation made of recycled paper can be used to create an addition that costs less to heat and cool. Passive solar heating can be used to make the new addition even friendlier to the environment.