Some people probably wonder why planning before construction begins is so important. The simple answer is that you want to be prepared for every possible outcome. Deciding to add an addition to your property is not something to declare on a whim. For the project to be done correctly the first time, it will take a little research and time on the part of the homeowner. The project has to start somewhere, and a home addition isn’t any different.
Every homeowner will say that they want what they want, but they also don’t want to break the bank. Cost-effective design can give a homeowner everything they want in a design but still remain aware of the budget limits. Of course, you can splurge on that new dishwasher you’ve wished for or that washer dryer combo you’ve dreamed about. No one said you couldn’t have high-ticket items; it just means you need to balance it out somewhere in the budget.
The most important reason to plan ahead for a home addition is, of course, the budget. Even further, a realistic budget. We could all look at a million-dollar home and think, “I want that for my house.” But do you really have a million dollars to spend on an addition? Most would answer no.
As a homeowner, it’s your job to figure out what items are non-negotiable and which items you could live without. This is where the realistic budget really comes into play. For example, let’s say in your addition that you want a true master bathroom with a large glass-enclosed shower and a Jacuzzi tub. All of that is non-negotiable, but you may also be thinking about installing a gas fireplace somewhere else in the addition. The bathroom is something you definitely want, but a gas fireplace could be expendable. It’s want vs. need.
Now just because you want certain things doesn’t mean there are aren’t ways to make a room exactly how you envisioned it while still saving money. In that hypothetical master bathroom, you could choose cheaper materials that look exactly the same as more expensive tiles but are significantly less. These materials are referred to as “look-a-likes” because they resemble the more expensive product without having its price tag.
The planning process isn’t just great for organizing your budget; planning allows you to come up with various ideas and see how they would play out. Having plans drawn up for you not only lets you get a feel for the overall layout of the addition, but it provides a firm idea of what the addition will really cost.
Having plans drawn up could be an added expense, but it gives you options. Having different plans at varying pricing can also give you an idea of what a little more money could get you in the end. It’s nice to have options, but these options also help you realize what you truly want in a space over what you don’t necessarily need to spend money on.
As with any project, hiring a professional is an important step. When it comes to construction, no one knows the process like the people who do it every day. Professionals like general contractors, architects, and structural engineers are all outstanding resources when it comes to planning a new addition to your home. However, the design and complexity of your addition can better determine which type of professional you will need to complete your project.
Usually, a general contractor will be the one completing a bulk of the work on your project. With that being said, there are instances where an architect or structural engineer will be called in if further expertise is needed to resolve a problem. More than likely a structural engineer or architect would only be needed if the addition poses structural issues to your existing home or it will require further structural support via roofing lines and supporting the weight of the new space.
Reliable professionals will be up front with you about cost and will keep track of the budget as the project progresses. If there are issues, be open to your contractor’s suggestions. After all, they have probably seen these potential problems before and know multitudes of ways to solve them.