As the population changes and families are choosing to stay in their current homes rather than purchase a new one, building a home extension is becoming a popular choice for adding more needed space. Home extensions can take a wide variety of shapes and forms, from extending living space to an outside entertainment area, to room additions that provide a separate living area and everything in between.
Evaluate the Space Available
As you consider a home extension, look at the space available for an extension and how you might use it. If you plan on adding by constructing a room to connect to your current home, you will need to find out if your Home Owners Association has any restrictions or regulations about these kinds of activities. In some cases HOAs require approval from the Association before you can change your home’s floor plan.
If you’ll be adding construction, most areas require submission of building plans to your local building department for approval and permits before you can get started. You’ll also need to learn about building code requirements for things like set asides – the amount of required space between buildings and property lines, electrical, plumbing and safety requirements.
Evaluate Structural Elements
Consider that you may be adding construction that will require installing new load bearing walls or impact existing walls. If at all possible, plan for transitions from the existing building to the new addition to utilize an existing doorway, like a sliding door or garage access door. Also, you should plan to include windows, heating and cooling ductwork and vents.
Decide How You Will Use the Space
How you will use the space will be the primary determinant in what kind of extension you build or construct. The simplest home extension is an outdoor room, where the living space of the home is extended outside to a large patio or garden area. However, building an addition may be much more involved. If you will be using the space as a separate living area for an older child, in-law or renter, then the space will likely not only include a bedroom and living area, but also a bathroom and possibly an efficiency kitchen. Other options for home extensions include family rooms, additional bedrooms and home theater rooms, just to name a few.
Decide on Room Finishes
In some cases, the room finishes are a simple matter of choosing the right furnishings. For extensions like an outdoor living room, finishes can include building an outdoor conversation area, installing a cooking area and placing sturdy outdoor furnishings in a covered patio area.
However, an extension that includes building an addition will usually include choosing flooring, wall coverings, lighting fixtures, bathroom fixtures and anything else that will make using it a comfortable and enjoyable experience. Furnishings can be a substantial contribution to the added living space, and may include sofas and chairs, desks, entertainment centers and electronic components.