Homes are the most significant investments most people make in their lifetimes. People's homes typically serve them well for many years though certain repairs and upgrades may need to be made over time. That said, families often outgrow their current living spaces or their needs change dramatically. In those cases, a home expansion may be in order.
Home improvements come in many forms, each of which has its own set of benefits. Some result in a rapid expansion with minimal disruptions. Others take more time, effort, and money to complete. Still, they all give you extra space and add value to your property.
Home Improvements by the Numbers
Based on a recent report from the home improvement sector, spending in this arena has reached nearly $395 billion in the United States. Experts predict this figure will climb to nearly $455 billion within the next few years. People cite several reasons for improving or expanding their homes. Some of the most common are updating their living spaces, having more children, and college-aged children moving back home. Many also add onto their homes to accommodate aging or ailing family members. Bringing in family members who are experiencing hardships is becoming increasingly common as well.
Things to Keep in Mind When Expanding Your Home
If you're considering adding extra living space to your home, it's important to keep a few things in mind. Projects like these require quite a bit of thought and planning. Taking the time to think things through and go through all the proper channels will save you a great deal of time, effort, and expense in the long run.
1) Be Aware of Local Building Codes and Requirements
No matter where you live, a long list of building codes, zoning ordinances, and permit requirements are bound to be in place. It's important to take your building plans to the county assessor, have them approved by the proper authorities, and acquire all the necessary permits before starting a project. Otherwise, you could face harsh fines and penalties after the fact. Homeowners are generally required to acquire permits when adding square footage, altering the use of a room, having a new roof installed, and having demolition carried out among other projects.
2) Add Space Over the Garage
Having a new room added to your home can be a loud, messy, and time-consuming process. It's also very disruptive when you have to work around the construction just to carry on with your daily life. One way to avoid some of the chaos while still gaining extra square footage is to have a room installed above the garage. You could add a single room or an entire apartment, and the project may be less expensive and involved than certain alternatives.
3) Go with a Modular Addition
Prefabricated additions are becoming increasingly popular these days. They can be used for adding a partial second story or simply expanding a single-floor home. Since they're built off-site, they keep the majority of the construction noise, mess, and chaos off of your property. They can also be a great deal less costly than a traditional home addition.
4) Use the Space You Have
Expanding your living space doesn't necessarily mean you have to add build an addition. Numerous homeowners have plenty of unused space in their attics or basements. All that extra square footage is just sitting there waiting to be converted into usable living space. This type of project can make for a faster, more affordable option than a conventional home addition, and the unused space can be transformed into virtually anything you like.
In a Nutshell
Whether you're making room for a new family member or revamping an empty nest, countless home expansion options are at your disposal. Many of them cost less than you might think. Either way, projects like these are sure to increase your property value as long as they include quality materials and are carried out by certified and experienced professionals.