Whichever approach you choose, every architect will have different ideas of building the addition and blending it with the rest of the house, so make sure to interview them and try to see the addition through their eyes. Here are some of the considerations.
Assess Your Needs
Architects often advise that the owners spend at least a few months in the house before deciding what needs modifying. In some cases, the answers are obvious, but sometimes a speedy decision can make things worse than they are.
For a kitchen extension, for example, you should ask yourself whether you like company while preparing meals, or if your kids sit there with you a lot.
Someone who sees all the shortcomings can hope to spend money well. With downsizing trends, the days of big additions are gone, and people are more interested in making smart upgrades, like expanding a family room or adding a first-floor master suite.
Determine the Budget
Once you know the scale of your project, you’ll be able to assess how much you need to spend. Not unlike building a house, a home addition involves design, budgeting, permits, contractors, subcontractors, and in some cases building the structure from the foundation.
If you’re extending a house, consider using this free extension cost calculator, but roughly for a single-story extension, the building costs not only depend on where you live but what you want to achieve.
These don’t include professional fees, which might cost from 10 to 15% plus VAT. Then, there are labor costs which tend to vary around the country, and together with design quality, build specifications, and materials affect the final price of your project.
Consider Tools and Supplies
While specific building materials and tools to work with them will vary from project to project, there are some items that home additions, as a rule, can’t go without. These include foundation materials and framing lumber, as well as floor, wall, and roof sheeting. Also, make sure you find a great deal on quality concreting tools such as rebar cutters, rakes for spreading the mixture evenly before it sets.
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Edgers and groovers are useful for smoothing the surface, while finishing sealant sprays help protect the surface against the elements. For the bathroom or kitchen extension, you’ll need plumbing materials and fixtures, and whatever the purpose of the extended area, you’ll need a source of electrical and lighting materials.
Match the Extension to the Rest
Exterior materials you’re going to use for your extension should either match those of the original house or chosen to contrast with the original structure. In the first case, reclaimed brick can make an impression that the extension has always been there, while in the second, cladding and render, or even glass can give the whole house a more contemporary look.
In the past, planners generally wanted extensions that matched the original building, but nowadays, it’s more popular to let the original building keep its character. The contrast, on the other hand, doesn’t need to be shiny and modern – when extending an old building, it’s better to mute down the extension and let the main structure remain in the spotlight.
other valuable tips:
Create a Continuous Transition
The ceiling height and the floor elevation between old and new spaces should ideally be the same. If they are different, the higher ceiling can be brought down by adding plasterboards over the top. While there’s no minimal ceilings height under the building regulations except above staircases, 2.3 or 2.4 meters is standard.
When setting out floor levels for an extension, it’s always better to work backward from the finished floor level to make sure they’re the same elevation when linked. In case you’re remodeling, instead of extending, the differences in floor level can be solved by using a quick setting silicone screed.
A well-made extension feels like a part of the original house, or at least like a beautiful addition, rather than something awkwardly cemented on the existing structure.
Image credit: Pixabay
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