The Dos and Don'ts of Planning a New Home Addition

Ready to have an addition built onto your existing home? Perhaps your family is growing and you need additional living space, or maybe you're just ready to build that amazing game room you've always wanted. Regardless of your specific plans when it comes to your home addition, there are some things you'll want to know before you even hire a general contractor for the job; these tips will help ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

DO Be Prepared for Changes

First and foremost, understand that there's only one thing you can be sure of during the planning and design process...and that's that things will change. What you have in mind for your new addition right this second will not be what the final results reflect. And that's okay. Changes in your design will need to be made to accommodate features of your landscaping, the existing home structure, and even unforeseen circumstances (such as a load-bearing support that complicates your original plans for an open-concept home addition). Regardless, by having the right professionals on your side along the way and by keeping an open mind, everything will turn out great.

DO Agree on a Clear Payment Schedule

General contractors can vary greatly in terms of how they accept payment. Some contractors may want half the money up-front and the remainder upon completion, whereas others may want small portions of the total amount paid at different points of progress along the way. Make sure that your payment agreement is understood and put in writing before construction begins. This way, there's no confusion over what the agreement was or when payments are due.

DON'T File for Permits Too Early

More than likely, permits will need to be filed with your city before any actual construction can begin on your home. Sometimes, contractors will take care of the permit applications, whereas other contractors may leave this up to you. If you're in charge of filing for permits, be sure that you wait until the final blue prints have been drawn up before you submit your applications. Otherwise, if any changes are made and you need to update your application, you could end up having to pay some hefty fees.

With so much to consider when planning for a new home addition, the process can seem a bit daunting. By keeping these tips in mind, however, you'll be in great shape each step of the way.