Preparing An Add-On For Your Home

The right add-on can transform your house into a dream home, but as it’s usually a rather pricey endeavor, there are quite a few things you should think about before moving forward, whether your property is in San Diego, Fort Lauderdale or somewhere in between.

Consider Your Needs and ROI

Your first consideration for an add-on should be your own particular needs, but it’s also a good idea to keep in mind which additions offer the best return on investment (ROI). Even if you have no plans to sell in the near future, you or your family are likely to sell it at some point. You may want to take out a home equity line of credit or refinance, which means you’ll want the best possible appraisal.

According to HomeAdvisor, a two-story addition that includes an upstairs master suite and downstairs living area brings the best ROI at 65 percent, while a master suite addition is close behind at 63 percent. An addition bathroom recoups an average of 53 percent and a sunroom, 49 percent.

Cost and Financing

Unless money is no object you’ll need to sit down and figure out a budget that you’re comfortable working with. Every house and project is different, so the only way to get a realistic estimate is to speak with local contractors. The cost varies widely depending on multiple factors such as the type of add-on and where you live, but as a general guideline you can expect to spend anywhere from $100 to $200 or more per square foot.

Some homeowners refinance their homes in order to pay for an add-on, and some lenders are willing to provide a loan for construction based on the future value of the property after the addition is completed. If you want a home mortgage, apply on and get that on your terms.

Zoning/Building Restrictions

There are almost always building restrictions to consider, though they vary from neighborhood to neighborhood. The first step in project planning is to check with your local city and county offices to find out what the rules are when it comes to building an addition to your home.

Choosing a Contractor

While it can be tempting to make what seems like a simple home addition yourself, unless you’re a professional contractor, that’s usually a bad idea. There is really no such thing as a simple home addition, considering essential elements such as power sources and maintaining structural integrity. Only a professional contractor who is licensed, bonded and insured should be trusted with a home addition. Be sure to check references and reviews, looking at prospective contractors’ track records to see if their work speaks for itself.

You May Need an Architect Too

Depending on the add-on, you may need an architect, particularly if you plan on adding a second floor as it requires some finesse to make it look like it belongs. You’ll want it to compliment the style of your home while creating a functional, modern space that takes advantage of the amenities available today, which is a tall order for most general contractors.

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