Monday, July 13, 2015

The Best Way to Plan Home Additions

Expanding your living space could require moving to a larger house or adding on to your residence. If you opt to renovate your existing dwelling, you will need to plan the project. Home additions can be challenging, but the finished results promise improved functionality and more space for your family.

Research Zoning and Property Lines

Investigate the property line and zoning laws in effect for your property. You must know the setback requirements for your property to determine where you can legally build. Every jurisdiction has laws about the placement of buildings in relation to property lines. These setback laws prevent people from building within a certain distance of property lines. If you fail to follow setback requirements, your local municipality might force you to remove your new construction due to the violation.

Determine Your Budget

Check your finances to determine your budget. As you explore how much money you want to spend, remember to include future expenses such as property tax increases, expected utility expenses, and increases in insurance premiums. Set your budget and maintain it to prevent unpleasant financial situations from developing.

Secure Financing

Many people need to arrange financing for their home additions. Before you proceed with any serious plans or preparations, determine how much financing you can receive to help pay for the work. The financing you arrange depends on several factors, including the cost of the work, the equity you have in your home, and how much cash you have on hand for the project. A home equity loan or line of credit can enable you to access your equity to pay for the new project, borrowing against the value of your house. If you don't have enough equity, other financing options include using a credit card or taking out a personal loan.

Explore Your Goals

Home additions can involve many improvements. Determine exactly what you want to achieve with the project before you move forward. You may need to differentiate between wants and needs to control costs. For example, just because you want to bump out your living room doesn't mean you need enough space to install a home theater. Adding a bathroom may not necessarily include adding a walk-in shower and a hot tub. List the requirements that you want to incorporate into your project. Place some "wants" on the list, also, so you can add these features if your budget allows.

Communicate with Neighbors

Home additions can impact neighbors. For best results, discuss your plans with your neighbors so they understand the project. Your closest neighbors may have issues with the project, so be ready to listen and respect their concerns. A proactive approach should enable you to circumvent problems to work toward an equitable solution.

Find a Contractor

Ask family and friends for contractor recommendations. Explore local business listings and websites to find a few contractors you may wish to use for the work. Check references and schedule preliminary consultations with at least three professionals to find one that fits your budget and needs.
After planning and research, you should be ready to move forward successfully with your project.

When considering home additions, Columbia, SC residents visit Construction Specialties, Inc. Learn more about this service at
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