Adding an addition to your home is a great way to increase your home's value, as well as the amount of livable space. To get the most bang for your back, however, you must be prepared take into account several complicated planning considerations. Proper preparation will ensure that you create a space that is a great new living space for your family, as well as a solid investment in your future.
The first thing to consider is the purpose and function of the addition. If you have another child on the way or aging parents moving in, it may make sense to add on an extra bedroom, bathroom and even a kitchenette. Make sure any rooms you add have a specific purpose so you can successfully plan features and a layout that will enhance the space.
Finding a prime location for your addition is an important choice. While some decisions are simple—for example, expanding a current kitchen—others can be more difficult. A spare bedroom may be easier to add on over the garage but you'll gain more space by cutting into the backyard. Most importantly, you want the addition to flow naturally with the rest of your home. In an ideal situation, the addition will blend so seamlessly that it will be difficult to differentiate between the old and new areas.
Carefully consider your family's lifestyle and needs when discussing the addition's size and layout. For example, if you like to entertain make sure your new game room is large enough to accommodate all your guests. Lighting is also an important consideration when planning and homeowners should make every effort to introduce lots of natural light into the space. Also plan for features like skylights, fireplaces and doors that provide access to a deck or the backyard.
One thing that must always be in the forefront of a homeowner's mind is the project budget. It's easy to get wrapped up in all the bells and whistles and add in expensive features that your family doesn't actually need or won't use. It always pays to determine your home's current market value, as well as its projected market value after the addition is complete. The difference in the two prices should be your maximum budget allowance. This ensures that when it's time to resell, you will get a return off your investment rather than losing money.
Once you've decided the specifics of where your addition will be, how it will be laid out and how much everything will cost, it's time to consider the finer style details of the project. Make sure the interior of the addition will transition seamlessly into the rest of your home. For example, if the original layout of your home features arched doorways and heavy molding, add these details to the addition as well. A consistent exterior appearance is equally important. Make sure the addition's exterior doors, windows, shutters and siding all match the original portion of your home to avoid a disjointed exterior appearance.