If you’re in love with your home but simply don’t have enough space for your family, you always have the option of staying put and adding on. And while some houses are naturally conducive to additions, others require a bit more creativity. In order to achieve a seamless look where the addition looks like part of the original home, there are some specific things you’ll need to do.
“A home addition isn’t something you want to rush into. Though you might be anxious to get started, this isn’t a reality television show where everything will occur within a precise 30-minute (or 30-day!) window,” explains Green Residential, a property management company based out of Houston, Texas. “It’s going to take months for the process to unfold from start to finish.”
Patience will serve you well in this process. Rushing into a design will get you nowhere. It’s better to spend more time and get the job done right than to hurry through and end up with something that looks like it doesn’t belong.
Consider the Overall Architecture
When it comes to a home addition, there’s a tendency to think about the interior design first (since it’s what you’ll spend the most time looking at). Really, you need to be thinking about the overall architecture first. Does the planned addition fit in with the roofline, windows, and lot? A misstep here could send the value of your home plummeting.
Use Similar Building Materials
One of the more challenging aspects of a home addition – at least from a design perspective – is matching the existing materials. This is especially true if the house is 20, 30, or 50 years old. For example, the same hardwood flooring that you have in the rest of the house may not be available any longer. The key is to get as close as you possibly can, which may mean replacing some of your existing design elements.
It’s not just the big things like flooring and paint that matter. If you really want an addition to look natural, pay attention to the tiniest of details. This includes things like crown molding, hardware, window blinds, and trim.
Choose the Right Contractor
Choosing the right contractor for the job can make all the difference in the world. Not only will the job get done right, but you’ll have less stress and fewer headaches along the way. As a rule of thumb, interview at least three contractors before proceeding.
“Ask a lot of questions and get a written bid from each one,” suggests Teresa Mears of U.S. News. “When you compare bids, make sure each one includes the same materials and the same tasks, so you’re comparing apples and apples. Get three bids even if you have a contractor you like because you’ll learn something from each interview.”
Know When to Stop
Inevitably, a small home addition will turn into a larger one. You’ll start to see other things that need to be done and a one-room addition will spill over into a renovation of the next room. Make sure you know when to call it quits; otherwise, you’ll end up redoing the entire house before you even realize it.
Sort Through Your Options
Once you’re set on doing an addition, it can feel like you’re in too deep to back out. You aren’t required to go through on an addition until after you’ve actually started, though. Even if you meet with a design team and come up with the plans, you can choose to back out and do something else. Remember, it’s your house. Make sure you’re 100 percent on board before proceeding.