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Home Additions

Should You go through with that Home Addition?

When contemplating a home addition, there are quite a few variables to weigh.  Here we will touch on a number of them, to hopefully help ease the decision making process and maybe even enlighten some folks about what is involved. First and foremost, let’s define what an addition actually is in the eyes of the building inspector and of course the dreaded tax collector. An addition is adding on living space through construction.  You can do this by building up or out from your existing home. Adding a deck or garage is actually an addition, which not everybody realizes, despite the fact that it is not 4 season living space.  However, it is taxed at a different rate. When and if you convert your existing garage or basement to year round living space, that also will change your tax rate on that space. Assuming you did it legally and pulled a permit, the building department will tell the tax department about the change in status of that space and your taxes will be adjusted accordingly.

Going up With an addition, this could be adding a second floor to a ranch or capecod style home.  In essence, you are recreating it as a colonial, or you could be adding a third floor, or converting or enlarging existing attic space for additional living areas.

What are the advantages to Going up?
If you build up there is no foundation work involved or excavating. This can greatly reduce the cost of the addition, and there is minimal disturbance to your present landscaping. Also, many times you do not have to worry about your setbacks, between your property line and your houses existing footprint being changed. This could also be your easiest avenue to getting that colonial you always wanted, or adding significant curb appeal to your house with new, more modern roof lines.

What are the disadvantages to going up?
In most cases the client’s space is encroached on to a greater degree than when you build out during the construction/ remodeling phase.  Invariably there will be some dust spill over despite all precautions. Some clients choose to relocate because of this until construction is completed.  If they can not move in with family or friends this could be an additional expense. Other clients have a much higher tolerance level for additional dust and disturbance to their regular routine and have no problem living through the process.

Going out This could entail building off the back of the house, the side or the front. The addition could be one or two stories and usually involves some foundation work . A common exception in our area to the basement, could be a 2nd story addition off the back of a bilevel. This addition is usually to increase the size of the kitchen and quite often the dining room and may allow you to create that breakfast nook you always wanted. The addition itself stands on stilts or posts much the same way a second story deck does,it is open underneath and you could easily put a patio there that already has built in shade.

The advantages to going out?
There is minimal disturbance to the client who is living through the construction. It is equivalent to building a new home next to the existing and usually you leave the tie ins or break throughs to the end of construction to greatly limit any intrusions. You can be a little more creative in some instances because you are starting from the ground up.

The disadvantages to going out?
As mentioned earlier, there tends to be a much greater disturbance to the landscaping, and additional foundation work can be more costly. Another thing to consider is when you start digging you are never entirely sure what you will find, you could find old gas lines, sewer lines, septic systems, wells or large rocks that require extra effort to compensate for. There is also the possibility that you can not build out without applying for a variance depending on your size lot , how it is zoned or how big and where your house is on your lot. This is not to deter any one but really for informational purposes, and just a few of the obstacles that are worked around every day in the course of construction.

A word on Variances, this word itself can be quite scary to many people, but it really shouldn’t be. First off, when you are granted a variance, you have been given permission by the town to build beyond your setbacks or beyond your typical guidelines for your particular property. It usually takes a little longer to get a permit when these are encountered, but in most cases they are obtainable. It is easier not to have to try to get one but sometimes you have no choice, however they are not guaranteed.

Quite often, after the client and I talk preliminary numbers on their potential addition, I hear from people that maybe they should just sell their house and buy a newer bigger house that already has all their wants and needs met. If that was possible, there are still other considerations. Many people do not realize that quite often your property taxes are much higher on a newer home than a renovated home of the same square footage. Renovation prices are not much higher than new construction prices. You are going to move to a new neighborhood with a whole new set of neighbors that you might not be as happy with. The construction can be paid for with a home equity line of credit on the front end or you could refinance on the back end because now your upgraded house is worth more. Renovating allows you to customize your house the way you personally would like it . The actual process of selling a house, packing all your stuff and finding a new house, can be quite a daunting task especially in this current market.  Most likely, whatever you purchase, will need some kind of work to suit your personal tastes and needs.

I hope this brief synopsis on additions and renovating has been informative and it has helped you decide what you would like to do with your own home in the future or perhaps just to get some additional insight into the process and what is involved. Here at CD Construction, we are highly familiar with all phases of the addition / remodeling process and we already work closely with a very reasonable architect who is accustomed to working with us on designs that make sense and designs, that in the end, flow right with the house and appear to be part of the original plan, and turning those designs around in a timely fashion so we can move ahead with the rest of the process. We enjoy delighting the customer by making there house better than they thought possible and we are here to assist you from conception to completion .

If you decide this is the route you would like to pursue a project or if you would just like a little free information and to pick our brains, please don’t hesitate to call us at 845-610-3630 or click here to CONTACT US.