What to Know Before You Add on to Your Home
Adding more square footage usually adds two types of value to your home -- increased monetary value and the enjoyment of additional space. Before you make the investment you should consider the following things:
Why Are You Adding On?
Are you adding on to add more value in order to sell your home or flip an investment property? Do you want to avoid the hassle of moving, but need more space like an extra bedroom, larger kitchen or master, great room, or other space? Navigating through the worldwide pandemic, some people may want to add on a home office.
Be aware that even if you aren’t planning on moving in the foreseeable future, extenuating circumstances can occur that cause people to move such as job loss/relocation, change in finances, divorce, and unexpected debts such as medical expenses.
Do a Market Analysis
Contact a local realtor for a market analysis of your home compared to others in the neighborhood. If your home is already the biggest on the block it may not add as much value you think. If this investment will bring your home up to the standards of the area then it may make financial sense to make the investment to add on. Or if you don’t plan on moving anytime soon it may be that the value of more space for a higher quality of living in your home outweighs the value of your home.
What is Your Return on Investment?
Homeowners who add on or remodel rarely recoup their entire investment, but get on average between 60% - 80% return on their investment.
Determine Amount of Time and Hassle
It’s important to be realistic about the amount of work to be done and how much time it will take. A home addition is just like building a house on a smaller scale and involves designing, budgeting, securing contractors and subcontractors, getting permits, and building the structure from the ground up. You should also take into consideration the displacement or relocation of certain amenities. For example, if you are extending your kitchen then you may have to relocate some appliances temporarily or do without.
How Much Will it Cost?
To determine this, you will need to secure as many as 3 bids from contractors and architects.
Some contractors can design your addition or choose stock addition plans; however, in many cases it's best to hire an architect. You can ask your contractor for a referral for an architect as they will have established working relationships with some.
The importance of a contractor cannot be underestimated. Unless you have professional experience and plenty of time, this job may be too big for you to manage and subcontract out on your own. The first meeting with a contractor should establish the scale of the project, the time frame to complete, and may include some potential cost-saving ideas. Your contractor will look into the zoning regulations and know what is needed for a permit and the cost.
If you are subcontracting out the work, here is a list of materials that you will need to get costs and labor for:
Most homeowners do not have the cash in savings available to pay for the entire project. Consequently, a loan or line of credit will need to be secured. Usually this involves obtaining a home equity loan, line of credit, or a second mortgage. The lender will consider this loan based on the amount of equity that you currently have in your home.
Your contractor is required to post permits in a visible spot on your property. A crew will drop off a portable toilet and maybe a sign advertising which company is building your addition, with your approval of course.
To prepare the site, everything will need to be removed and demolished with the bare dirt that is left graded to be level. All obstructions will be removed such as trees, bushes, etc. You may have to temporarily remove fences and/or tear out landscaping and reconfigure sprinkler systems. It is advisable to lay down construction mats if any heavy equipment bringing in supplies has to drive across any grass to access the site.
If all goes well, you’ll have an improved home with more space and perhaps a more modern vibe. Just be sure to consider all the costs before getting started and get all of the information you need up front from the loan officer and the contractor. It’s always best to know what costs you’ll incur.