The first step to building an addition is to decide what you want it to be. One of the most common home additions is a master bedroom or bathroom. Homeowners often request that their bedroom have more space for a sitting area or a walk-in closet. Bathrooms that were once small and cramped, can be expanded into master luxury retreats with a separate tub and shower and double vanities. Other common addition requests include family rooms, kitchens, garages, sunrooms and decks. Whatever you choose, be sure it is something that will make a definite difference within your home.
After figuring out what you want the addition to be, it’s time to figure out how to build it. You have two options: out or up. Choosing to build out means adding space to a home horizontally. Additions that are typically done this way are kitchens, family rooms and areas that extend to the outside (i.e. porches, garages). The advantage of building out is less disruption to the existing space for homeowners, because there’s no need to support the new space over the existing one. However, yard space is lost with this option and you may run into problems with your town’s zoning laws. Building up eliminates these setbacks. You’re able to add another story to a home and add living space above a garage or first floor area. If you add another story, you’ll need to account for a stairwell being placed somewhere on the downstairs layout. Building up can be very disruptive (if you are living in the home during the project), because walls and ceilings must be torn apart and redone to accommodate more weight. Also, towns may have restrictions on the allowable height homes can have. It’s imperative to consider all these factors when determining.
Not ready to commit to building an addition? Try a micro-addition instead! Micro-additions or “bump-outs” are used when just a small amount of space is needed. Due to the addition being cantilevered from the existing structure, there is no foundation work resulting in time and money saved. Micro-additions are usually no more than 3 feet from a home and stretch 10-12 feet long. Bump-outs are normally used to add additional storage space or an eating area to a kitchen or add a few extra feet to a walk-in closet. These minor adjustments can make a big difference to a family’s home.