New American Funding Blog

How to make sure your new addition goes smoothly

By Courtney Lynch   |  January 14, 2016

As families change and grow, housing needs begin to shift. Buying a new house is costly and stressful. However, there is another way to accommodate new needs. According to SFGate, an addition is a cost-effective alternative to a new home.

Though an addition is less costly than a new home, there is still a lot of planning and financing that is bound to come with the project. When taking on a project of this size, it is important to map out every detail before jumping in.

Making plans

Better Homes and Gardens said anyone planning to add to their home needs to submit blueprints and construction timelines to building code officials, whether or not they plan to hire contractors or architects. Creating drawings of the proposed addition and specifics of the materials that will be used are also important when the homeowner or contractor is obtaining the supplies needed. A building permit will also need to be obtained before construction begins.

Adding onto a home is full of decisions about what it will look like, where it will be and who will do the work. If the addition is simply adding another room onto the home, with no work to the existing interior, HomeAdvisor explained that a contractor will probably be sufficient. However, if the addition involves taking down existing walls and creating a new home layout, it may be a good idea to work with an architect.

It's also important to consider how the home will look from the street, SFGate explained. Adding an extension that doesn't look like it belongs to the rest of the house could harm the resale value. Make sure you and your contractor or architect discuss what the result will look like.

Paying bills

Once all the paperwork is in order, the specifics of the plan is decided on and a contractor is chosen, it's time to discuss payments. According to HomeAdvisor, it is crucial to discuss payment schedule and total costs before anything is started. Homeowners should get the agreement in writing for future reference.

However, even with well-thought out plans, changes are sure to happen. Houzz warned homeowners to be aware that many homes are likely to have some unexpected construction hidden behind its walls. If a contractor finds asbestos, incorrect electrical wiring or plumbing or other issues, they will have to be corrected. Because of situations, it is important to ask about the contractor's change-order policy. Extra work due to situations like this are sometimes unavoidable, but is likely to increase the price of the renovation. Houzz advised that those thinking about building an addition also set aside money for unforeseen costs.
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