Things To Consider Before You Break Ground On A Home Addition Project

A bigger and better home is a beautiful dream that most homeowners share. And why not? After all, our homes are where we lay our heads at night and raise our families. Your stunning abode has seen all phases of your life. From your first date night to your kids’ first day of school, from intimate gatherings over the holidays to all those times you’ve hosted out-of-towners, your home has been the backdrop of some of your most cherished memories. So, it only makes sense that as your life changes and expands, so should your home.

Home Addition Project Checklist – Things to Consider

home addition project checklist

Adding on to your current living space can create new possibilities for your family, from a spacious new kitchen to an extra bedroom or den. If you’ve been eyeing that empty lot next door and thinking about building an addition to your home, go for it. Here are some helpful tips to start a house remodeling project.

#1 Check If Your Home is Suitable for an Addition

No matter how much you’d like it to if your home can’t physically withstand an addiction, it’s time to face facts. If your home has a tiny lot or no foundation or framing to support an extension, it’s time to start searching for a house that better suits your needs.

It is mostly the case with houses 50 years or older. Before you start making any concrete plans, consult with an architect to get a realistic assessment of your home’s limitations.

Let’s consider you are living in Montana, where most houses are single units and age back to the 1940s. Start by checking for the building code requirements. The next thing you want to do is to get in touch with steel building installers or a structural engineer to help you see if your home can physically withstand an addition.

They will check the house’s bearing capacity. The soil’s load-bearing capacity is essential because it will determine how much weight your house can support.

Next, you should inspect your home’s foundation. If it’s a poured concrete foundation, has a block foundation, or a crawl space, it may still be able to support addition. It is essential to ensure that the foundation is level and in good repair without cracks.

#2 Hire a Contractor Who Stays Within Budget

We don’t mean to take the wind out of your sails, but your budget is among the most substantial things to consider before starting a home addition project. It is an enormous investment, and you want to be sure you are not overspending. Hiring a contractor who has a reputation for staying within budget is essential.

It’s not too challenging for a free-wheeling contractor to undercut all the competition just to get your attention and win the bid on your lavish home project.

However, these contractors prattle on about a lot (and many of them are well-intentioned), but mostly these low-ball bids grow into giant money pits. If you want to avoid financial ruin, it is critical to find a contractor who will work with you to develop a budget and stick to it.The last thing you want is the expenses to balloon out of control halfway through the project, leaving you with an unfinished home and a massive debt.

#3 A Craftsman is Who You Need

The excitement and enthusiasm of building an addition to your home can steer you towards the first contractor you meet.

Before putting your signature on the paper, be sure they’re a craftsman and not a cowboy. A craftsman likes what they do and takes pleasure in it. They will make sure the job is done right. So, if they say they’ll construct a deck, you can be confident that it will look good and be safe and structurally sound.

There may be a difference between what you see on paper and in real life. If you want to avoid any surprises (not so pleasant ones), you must thoroughly research the contractor you are thinking about hiring. A detailed missed today may haunt you for years to come.

#4 You Aren’t the Contractor

You might be a born handyman or woman, but that doesn’t mean you should take on the responsibility of being your own contractor.

Even if you are good at DIY projects, building an addition is a complicated task that requires permits, inspections, and professional expertise. An experienced contractor has the experience and connections to get the job done right.

They’ll be able to check if your house has a proper HVAC system to support the new space and if the septic system can handle the additional water usage.

You also need to factor in windows, doors, and electrical outlets. You may overlook these things (because, oh, I never imagined!), but a professional contractor will know exactly what to do.

#5 Get a Clear Understanding of the Building Process

The building process is the blood flow of any home improvement project. If you are not prepared for the construction process, it can be very stressful. Imagine a massive load of lumber being delivered to your front yard and workers traipsing through your house day and night.

The important questions to ask your contractor are:

  • When will the job start?
  • Who will be working on the job?
  • What kind of work will be done each day?
  • How will the work be done (e.g., in phases)?
  • What kind of disruptions can I expect in my daily life?

#6 Get the Permits and Check the Codes

You may be tempted, but take no shortcuts when it comes to permits.

If you try to build an addition without the proper permits, you may get fined or have to tear down the work that has been completed. It’s not worth the risk. For instance, cities like Los Angeles are very strict about building without the proper permits.

Finally, before you construct anything, double-check your city’s construction regulations. It’s easy to become flustered when dealing with a significant renovation.


A building addition will cause a dent in your wallet, but if you do it right, it will be worth the investment. With out-and-out research and due diligence, you can avoid any stressful surprises down the road. Just remember to include all your heart has been set on. After all, you can’t (and don’t) want to live in a half-finished home.

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