A home addition is usually one of the more exciting parts of owning a home. Instead of just wishing for an en-suite bathroom or extra bedroom, homeowners have the option to make it happen. But new construction can also be more of a hassle than residents ever imagined it to be. Between wrestling with contractor quotes and watching a savings account quickly deplete, it's not always the best idea. In addition, most additions are not good candidates for a weekend DIY project. Homeowners may want to ask a few key questions before they start calling construction companies.
A lot of homes have rooms or parts of rooms that aren't effectively being utilized for the residents. They may even have whole floors available that can be repurposed. Instead of adding a new bathroom, consider converting a small utility closet. Instead of adding a home study, consider outfitting the space under the stairs with a small desk and bulletin board. Only when every spare inch of the home has been thoroughly exhausted should homeowners consider adding more space.
Solving a Problem
Similar to the question of space utilization, homeowners should know what benefits they want to get out of the addition:
- Congestion: If there are constant fights about who gets to use the bathroom, then a home addition could help lower everyone's stress level and keep the peace.
- Room to breathe: People living on top of one another will affect the family's quality of life. More space gives everyone a chance to cool down in the heat of the moment.
- Resale value: Home additions tend not to recoup their value—unless the home is located in a recently popular area. The extra space could make the home that much more competitive in a seller's market.
Homeowners should attempt to solve these problems on their own long before they consider a home addition. Maybe a garage could be used to clear out space in the home. Maybe a new schedule would reduce conflict for the bathroom.
Canada and certain cities have strict building codes when it comes to home additions, so homeowners should be aware of how those codes will affect the work. Rural parts of Canada are hands-off when it comes to how people can alter their homes, but they may have a few permit laws of their own. Some cities may need all work to be inspected, while others may demand approved contractors on the job. Homeowners will need to determine the exact property lines before they determine the spatial coordinates of the addition. Some homes, like those made of synthetic stucco, may not even be able to support a home addition.
Of course, not all government interference is bad news for the Leduc homeowners. The federal or local government may be able to offer low-interest financial assistance to homeowners who want to improve the state of their property. Checking with the CMHC or local officials can give owners a better idea of the opportunities in their area.
The practical matters of a home addition can pose more of a challenge than homeowners first think, especially if a homeowner hasn't factored in just how much time, money, and effort it will cost them. However, there's also little doubt that a home addition can be a great project to take on once a homeowner decides it's truly worth it.
By Justin Havre