The Top Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Home Addition

The Top Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Home Addition

A home addition is a big and exciting step, if not a little overwhelming. Knowing the potential pitfalls of the planning process can help reduce stress and save you time and money. Here is what to look out for when preparing for your home addition.

Insufficient Budget Planning

One of the most common mistakes is underestimating the amount of money needed to complete a project. Setting a realistic budget is vital. Lowballing the number can lead to various stressors and less-than-satisfactory outcomes, whether having to use lower-quality materials or forgoing certain elements of your plan.

Skipping detailed cost estimates and quotes is a good indicator of insufficient budget planning. Do your research, and don’t just accept the first or lowest offer. Double-check that the estimate accounts for unexpected expenses and is on par with your area's average home addition cost.

Poor Design Choices

A home addition should seamlessly complement your house’s current architectural style. Inconsistencies between the design of your addition and your existing structure can create aesthetic and functional issues.  Aside from the design, space planning is also crucial. Accurate measurements and plans are required to ensure your addition offers adequate space and can fit within the surrounding area of your home.

Both your space needs and design choices should be considered through the lens of the future. Will your future needs require a larger space than you're planning for? Do the design choices you are making enhance the resale value of your home? A home project is an exciting undertaking, but be careful not to let your emotions cause you to rush the planning process.

Hiring the Wrong Contractor

We’ve hinted at this pitfall, but hiring the wrong contractor can set you up for stress as well as extra time and money spent. It’s absolutely crucial to vet contractors thoroughly. This often means starting with online research by checking reviews and viewing their portfolio. When you have a few candidates selected, ask for a consultation, references, and examples of their previous work. You can also look for contractors who are members of professional associations, often requiring members to adhere to certain standards.

Equally as important is getting a quote for potential contractors. But remember, you are not choosing based on price alone.

Ignoring Local Building Codes and Permits

Another pitfall is disregarding local building codes or permits. However, this usually isn’t a concern for responsible and experienced contractors. Homeowners attempting projects themselves must research local regulations and pull permits independently. If permits or codes are neglected, there could be serious consequences.

These may include fines, hefty penalties, costly inspections, and removal and redo of non-compliant work. Not to mention, the safety and integrity of the work are often compromised, which could lead to low resale value and difficulty selling your property in the future.

Underestimating the Disruption

The final mistake to avoid when planning a home addition is underestimating the impact of the process on your everyday routine. Of course, this can vary depending on the scope of the project. You may have to deal with some debris and noise, or you might need to plan for temporary living arrangements. Whichever the case, don’t overlook how much it can affect your daily life.

Before the home addition process begins, consider your daily schedule, room needs, and work or family routine. Think about which rooms you use the most and how you may need to adjust once the project starts. You can talk with your contractor about the start and end times of work each day to try and minimize the impact it will have on you and your family’s normal day-to-day.

Preparation and Professional Guidance Can Help

Skilled contractors have experience with the home addition process and know which pitfalls and mistakes to avoid. Their expert advice and detailed planning can make your project go more smoothly from start to finish.

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