Advice from the Experts: Adding an Addition to Your Home

September 19, 2014

Making any change to your home is exciting. Once that decision has been made, you’ve decided what projects to take on, what your budget is, and you have some inspiration. It’s important, however, to have some expert knowledge before you start the process. In our new series, “Advice from the Experts,” we give some tips about particular projects based on what we’ve seen in the past. This week we’re talking about home additions.

1. Create a wishlist. Are there specific elements that are “must haves?” Maybe you’re really excited about a new sunroom or extra space in your kitchen. Also, be sure to make a list of problems that need to be solved, and list them by what’s most important to you

2. Know what the legal restrictions are. It may not be the most exciting to learn about, but it will save you some headaches in the long run. Most cities have setback restrictions that govern how close a structure can be built to property lines, height restrictions, building area ratios, design covenants, and historic-district preservation ordinances.

3. Be positive in your planning. You may have a particular change in mind, but logistically it might not work out. Do your best to keep an open mind, and trust the process of designing your new space. It will pay off in the end.

4. Make efficient use of your space. Though additions are about getting extra room, they don’t need to be large. As you plan, consider stealing space from adjacent closets or hallways to keep your addition at a modest size. In the kitchen, a small breakfast nook only requires a few feet of space, yet it can transform the entire kitchen.

5. Be selective about your materials. A perfect siding match can help make a new addition look like it’s been there all along. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get the exact siding or roofing materials that were originally used on your home. Choosing materials of the same vintage and tonal range but with slightly different textures will create a natural appearance between the two textures.

6. Keep an eye on the details. A well-designed addition will make use of small architectural details. Look at the elements on the original structure – the trim, windows, doors, and lighting – and try to replicate those things in your new addition for a consistent overall design.

7. Use landscaping to your advantage. Whatever landscaping you’ve done around the original part of your home should be continued around the new addition. Pay close attention to walkways, gardens, and the borders that surround them.

8. Be aware of scale. Your designer will help to ensure that your new addition won’t be too large or small for your existing home. It’s important that the new space doesn’t overwhelm the house, and it’s also essential that it’s not too small and out of proportion.  

If you are interested in a free estimate or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form by clicking here. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page!

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