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10 Steps to Designing Your Dream Home Addition

The initial step in planning your home addition is thoroughly examining all elements involved to ensure it exceeds your dreams. Regardless of the type of addition you desire, factors like the room’s purpose, how it will connect to your existing home, material selection, layout, and budget are all common denominators that must be resolved before beginning your project. 

Home additions are a fantastic way to increase your living space and your property value

Whether you’re adding a rear kitchen with your dream master bedroom above it, adding a family room, or more, read on to learn the steps. 

10 Tips on Taking Your Dream Home Addition from Concept to Completion

1. Define your vision: What is the purpose of the added space?

Clearly define what problem the home addition will solve. Write out your vision for the addition. Grab a vision board and add pictures of the room’s style, materials options, ideas for fixtures, paint colors, and more. Include special features like an island or fireplace. Dream big, and define your desires with words and pictures

2. Finances: Set a budget for your home addition. 

Create a realistic budget for your home addition. Your room’s size, your material choices, and the project’s scope all factor into the equation. Not paying cash? Have your financing lined up beforehand. Builders need to know what you anticipate spending before presenting ideas to you. Once your budget is set, you can begin planning your addition

3. Select your contractor: The design-build process saves you time and money. 

Who you work with will directly impact every aspect of your project’s outcome and your journey to get there. Ask friends and family for referrals. Read reviews and testimonies. Narrow the list down, and interview your top choices. Pay attention to how well communication goes with your prospective choice. Ask to see some of their recent work, and go with your gut sense on your final decision. 

Homeowners either hire a design-builder (one company) or an architect and builder (two companies). At Action Builders, we utilize a design-build approach to your project so that everyone is on the same page, from the initial drawings to the completion of your addition’s construction. With the design-build method, you’ll save hassles, time, and cash by avoiding redesigning because your designer, engineer, and contractor will all be in one place. 

4. List your non-negotiables: What is it you can’t live without in your addition?

To help in the design process, make a list of your “must haves” and make another list of the “splurges” you’d like to have. 

5. Overcome any obstacles: Check zoning regulations.  

Ensure your building permits and inspections go smoothly by looking into your property lines and rights of way. Local zoning ordinances regarding setbacks, height limits, building codes about what can be built on your property, and other legal restrictions should be reviewed. 

Also, are there power lines that will need to be worked around? Do you want your favorite tree to stay in the backyard in spite of the addition? How will the construction team maneuver their equipment into your backyard? 

6. Outside: Find the ideal location for your addition. 

Designing an addition depends on the house and exactly what type of extension it needs. Depending on how the house is laid out on the property, there may be lot lines or other obstacles that eliminate specific options.  

At Action Builders, we look at your house and can immediately assess where the options are to place the addition

7. Inside: Note the floorplan near the options for your addition. 

After the contractor decides that an addition can be located out the back of the home, for example, they move inside and notice the existing floorplan near that option. Building a new kitchen close to the existing one helps with costs and mechanical work since you aren’t moving plumbing and other major fixtures entirely across the house.  

8. Weigh your options: Choose the best solution. 

Consider all the available choices before committing. For example, should you move the kitchen into the addition space with all new mechanicals, and then repurpose your current kitchen into a pantry, powder room, mudroom, or laundry room? 

If you desire a family room space, breakthroughs into the existing space must be considered. Decide if you want it to be a separate room where the door can be closed, or if you prefer that the space functions like an open concept to the existing kitchen and dining spaces—opening up the entire back wall of the house.  

9. Plan: Meet with the designer. 

Your vision will come to life as you meet with the designer. The added room or rooms should blend well with your current home. You’ll work together to ensure it flows seamlessly with your home’s style as you lay out the floor plan and select all the finishes. 

At Action Builders, our design-build process heavily emphasizes planning before the first nail is hammered. Our proven, streamlined process keeps your project on schedule and within your budget, ensuring quality workmanship throughout.  

10. Handle the logistics: Plan, prepare, and pack. 

If your pets are typically home during business hours, make arrangements for them during your home’s construction period. If you have young children at home, for their safety, ensure they will not be in the construction zone. Lastly, pack and store fragile items from the room adjacent to the construction area. 

Get the Home Addition of Your Dreams!

You deserve to live the life you’ve been dreaming of in the home you love. A home addition increases your enjoyment of everyday life while boosting your greater Pittsburgh area home’s value

At Action Builders, we are a one-stop shop for your architectural, engineering, permits, and construction needs. We listen to your dreams and guide you through the design process. 

If you have any questions about your upcoming home addition, contact us!