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Home Additions: Why to Create Them and What to Expect
Home additions: No other remodeling project will offer as much space for you and your family. Additions are the one home remodeling alteration that everyone wants, however, often comes with undue stress and headache. Because these kinds of projects are often so large and extensive, all advice you'll read or hear is equally large...and extensive. Here's a shortened version of all the things you might learn as you begin your journey. We hope you find it helpful!
Your Final Decision
Know the Scale: When you build an addition, you are practically building another home; it just happens to be tinier and attached to your real home. And like building a real home, all of these items will come into play: permits, contractors, foundation concerns, electricians (possibly new breaker panels too if your house is maxed out), plumbers, framers, roofers, siders, window installers.
Know Your Budget and the Cost: All of us (or nearly all) have a budget. And as a base line, you should know that a small but decently built addition will cost no less than $25,000.
Know How to Plan: From timing and schedules, to securing funding
Meet with a Contractor Everything hinges on finding a good contractor that you can work with. Get real, from-the-gut recommendations from neighbors and friends. Check online to review their reviews and feedback, and don't be shy to request phone call conversations or more than one in-person meeting. The first meeting should establish the overall understanding of the project: scale/size, timeframes, design issues, and material requirements. After that, the contractor should then be able to give a homeowner a solid overall estimate. There may be a few finishing touches that need to be discussed again, but 90% of the project should be understood at this point. The importance of the contractor cannot be underestimated. The project of a home addition is normally too big for homeowners to contract on their own, unless they have professional experience and ample time.
Permits, Demolition, and Preparation of the Site First things first, anything other than level, bare dirt will need to be graded. That means bring in the heavy equipment and perhaps a portable toilet. Your contractor will obtain permits and will be required to post the approved permits in a visible spot on your property. Obstructions will be removed, even trees (if permitted by your community). Fences will be temporarily taken down to allow heavy equipment to access the site.
Foundation Building: Slab, Basement, or Crawlspace Just like a real house, the addition will get a full-scale foundation. Depending on the plans discussed with your contractor, the crew will begin pouring a concrete slab or digging out a crawlspace or basement.Foundation footers--the peripheral base upon which the addition will rest--are poured or constructed of block concrete.
Framing: Walls Go Up As soon as the concrete is cured, exterior walls are built. One day you come home from work and, suddenly, your walls are up. Of course, they are still open, exposed stud walls, but soon enough OSB wall panels and roof panels are installed and then quickly wrapped with a house wrap such as Tyvek, roofing felt and ice and water sheild.
Vital Systems: Electrical, Plumbing, HVAC As the remaining crucial services like electrical, plumbing, and heating/cooling begin to go in, you may see some slow down the project again. At this point, it is not abnormal for the project to slow down a bit. These trades, which often times represent your biggest expense, tend to work fairly rapidly. However, the slowdown tends to happen while waiting for city inspectors to approve their work.
Windows At this stage your new-construction windows are installed. As with the roof and OSB walls, windows, of course, further button up the structure and keep it weather tight.
Insulation and Drywall Your addition must be insulated. Normally, roll fiberglass insulation will be installed between the interior studs. Batt fiberglass or blown-in insulation will be added between the ceiling joists. The next step is installing drywall, which is a multi-stage process of hanging the boards, taping and mudding the seams, letting the compound dry and then re-applying more compound to create a smooth wall or ceiling finish. At this point, your ceiling can be textured (if requested) and prepared for primer and paint.
Flooring, Trim Work, and Paint Flooring might be installed before paint is applied or paint may come first, but a final coat of paint will always need to be applied to trim work once it gets installed. Professional paint contractors can easily paint cleanly after finish flooring has been installed, and vice versus. Therefore, it's a toss-up as to which is the most effective method (in terms of cleanliness), and so it is often ruled by scheduling. In these situations, it's nice to find carpenters and painters on the same crew.