Expanding Your Home – Checklists You MUST Follow
As your family grows the need for additional space may lead you to thoughts of a home addition. If you build up or out, the additional living area will outweigh the effort needed to acquire it.
All projects need a plan, this project demands one. You need to consider:
- Home market values in the neighborhood:
- Determine the size of addition and market value prior to actually breaking ground.
- Find out the market value of homes in the local area with similar size and features.
- Calculate the difference between their current and improved home market value.
The difference should represent the maximum budget for the addition.
- If current mortgage rates are higher than the existing mortgage use a home equity loan.
- If current mortgage rates are lower than the existing mortgage, refinancing your home and cost of the home addition project.
Size and scale of project:
- The extension should be of size and scale so it fits in with the original house.
- When you add living space the addition should have a good outside appearance.
- To maintain its exterior aesthetics consider siding, doors, windows, rooflines, and elevations.
- Know how much yard space that will be used.
Personal disruption/inconvenience threshold:
- A home extension can very disruptive and chaotic.
- It is a dusty, dirty and noisy endeavor.
- Working with subcontractors can be challenging and will need your time during the day, at work or not.
Your sweat equity commitment level:
- Honestly assess your skills, available time, and project schedule.
- Tasks that require specific skill, time, and brawn range from ground work to drywall.
- Electric and plumbing will need permit and inspection.
- Consider doing inside finish work with know-how and available time.
- Do what you can, hire out the rest.
Time To Check –
- Hiring a Contractor: Know what you want.
- List every detail of what you want done.
- Know your budget and stick to it.
- Friends or family
- Online reviews
- Other contracters
Do phone interviews:
- Get references and previous clients in your area.
- Meet in person to discuss details.
- Follow-up on Contractor provided information.
- Get bids.
Put it in writing.
- 10% at contract signing, three payments of 25 percent, 15 percent when completed.
- Proof of liability insurance and worker’s compensation payments;
- Start and projected completion date;
- Lien release from all subcontractors and suppliers
Home Technology – This is an opportunity to begin behind the walls, not to retro fit. Think out your needs ahead of time.
- Energy saving equipment
- Home control systems
- In- and outdoor light control
- Home theater system
- Temperature systems
- Phones & intercoms
- In- and outdoor security system
- Indoor room monitoring
In addition, you will need to:
- Know your Local building codes.
- Check with a building department if you are planning an addition.
- Local codes usually specify the distance from the property line a house must be.
- If your addition is too near, you may need a variance, or maybe prohibited from building anything
- Find out whether you should submit your plans for approval.
- Get printed information about the legalities that apply to your remodel and the various permits you need.
- Ask for a list of certified contractors who are legally allowed to install in your area. Check with the local building department before undertaking any work yourself.
- Prepare for inspection.
- Read relevant sections of the building codes so you know exactly what inspectors will look for.
- If you use subcontractors, request that they are present when their work is inspected.
For more information, visit www.touchstonelofts.co.uk