1. Consider the Neighborhood’s Character
A great home addition requires an understanding of your street, neighborhood and town’s distinct character. What makes homes from one neighborhood different from those in another? Are the homes Colonial or Federal? Striking or subtle? Your addition design, no matter what kind it may be, should consider the uniqueness of your street and neighborhood.
2. Think of the Surrounding Resources
When designing a home addition, consider your property’s orientation to its resources: its orientation in relation to the sun, shade, your neighbors’ homes, the street, etc. Your home addition can either block and hide or expose and accentuate the resources surrounding your house.
3. Fitting in With Your Home
Sometimes homeowners get excited about the prospect of an addition and think of it as a chance to design the home they never had. This is one of the most attractive reasons for building a home addition, but don’t forget the rest of your home in the process. The best home designers try to make home additions either indistinguishable from the larger home, or different but complementary. Your home addition doesn’t need to look identical to your house, but it should fit in with its style.
4. “Good Bones”
The phrase, “good bones” is used in Realtor circles to describe buildings that are structurally sound. A properly engineered home is absolutely critical, especially if you’re thinking of selling your house at some point in the future. Make sure to keep the foundation and engineering of your new addition in mind when talking to designers and remodelers.
5. Choose the Materials Carefully
The selection of materials for your home addition is very important; after all, they can’t be changed later. Make sure to put some thought into choosing materials, whether it is for the roof, windows, doors, siding, etc. The choice of material for the exterior, public façade is especially important since it’s a primary feature of your home’s curb appeal. But the materials used inside are equally important since the colors and textures will go a long way towards creating a comfortable space for your family.
6. Your Identity Should Also Determine Your Addition’s
In order for a home addition to be truly special it should speak to who you are and how you live. Your family’s activities, rituals, habits and passions should inform the design of your project. Letting your designer know about your habits and special tastes is the best way for them to make sure you’re happy with your addition.
7. Have a Little Fun With It!
Understandably, people often choose relatively traditional home addition designs. Sometimes it’s not worth taking the risk of a radical design choice. But don’t forget to still have a little bit of fun with your new home addition. This could mean anything from installing a fire engine-red kitchen range in an otherwise conservative color scheme to designing a special niche in a wall for family pictures. Home additions have so much potential because they give you the chance to really put your mark on your home. You won’t get this chance often so have fun with it!
8. Get to Know Your Designer/Remodeler
Your designer and/or remodeler is going to be a big part of your life for the duration of the project. Get to know them! They should be committed to building the best home addition possible for you and your family. Though you might not expect it, your relationship with your designer or remodeler is a pretty personal one. After all, they’re going to be spending a good deal of time in your home.