The Benefits of Building Out — and What to Take into Consideration Before You Add On

Do you feel as though your home is bursting at the seams? No playroom, no guest bedroom, no room for everyone to go to their room? If you have made the best use of what you have, it may be time for you to melt, go up or build out. When an addition makes sense together with your home’s construction and site, building outside, rather than up or down, can be more affordable. But there’s still plenty to think about before beginning.

Professional Photographer, Susan Teare

Questions to Ask Yourself

Do you have room? If you’re hemmed in by land-use codes or just don’t want to give your spacious garden, then building out may not be the ideal decision for you. But if you have room to spare and also can be designed around an outdoor gathering area, your inclusion can actually capitalize on a bigger lawn.

Will it finish your residence? Think about the brand new floor plan you’re considering (for instance, adding a third or fourth bedroom in the primary level, relocating the kitchen, including a great room, making a open floor plan) and if it will really resolve the problem you are trying to fix. When there is not space in the primary level to fix the design issue, you may choose to visit your basement or a second-story inclusion for the response, or possibly a main-floor inclusion that includes a basement or second-story area.

Duo Dickinson, architect

Matters to Consider

Feasiblity and cost. A main-level addition on a set property can be the least expensive square footage you put in to your home. But if you throw in a steep incline, an inclusion below grade, complex tie-ins to the existing house or difficult access to the construction area, the costs can quickly rival the cost of a second-story inclusion — or perhaps be greater. Talk with your architect and contractor about which portions of your strategy are cost drivers, and make choices that will restrict their effect.

Alair Homes Charlotte

The path of least resistance. Main-level additions are often the easiest, structurally. They can be built to code without needing to retrofit much of their existing home or its base. This can assist them cost a lot less than second-story additions, which frequently need structural retrofitting to the base, removing siding and disturbing interior walls.

The only trick with main-level improvements is connecting the new base to the older one if the original base is made of brick or another unreinforced masonry material. Nonetheless, it’s still far easier than having to completely replace the base to accumulate.

Frank Shirley Architects

Making a match. Anytime you add to the outside of your home, you should carefully consider how the addition will match or purposely not match the finishes of the first residence. If your home includes weather-worn wood, unmatchable brick or vinyl that’s no longer left, you will have decide whether to replace the siding on the entire house or have the inclusion not match.

Consider windows too. In case you have leaky old single-pane windows, it may be time to replace them with versions that are cultured.

A whole-house outside makeover can a project’s cost, but it can also yield a unified, updated look for the exterior which makes your inclusion seem as though it has ever been there.

Bosworth Hoedemaker

Small solutions. Sometimes a tiny addition can yield big results, particularly in kitchens. Adding just three or four feet to a cramped kitchen can open up a world of possibilities for appliances and extra cabinetry. If this can be accomplished by cantilevering the inclusion (that does not take a base) and if the inclusion can be tucked under existing overhangs, the requirement to frame in a brand new roof is eliminated as well.

Strategies for if you need just a little more room

Wyant Architecture

The building-out bonus. There’s a valuable incentive to building out rather than up or down. Often the groundwork, concrete and framing for the inclusion can be under way for at least two weeks before the construction moves into your current home. That buys you more time to package up and prepare for the rest of the undertaking. If the range of work is restricted to the inclusion, this means you can maintain the balance of your home furnished and operational, which means that you won’t need to pay for a temporary transfer.

More: How to melt for more room

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