Discerning homeowners throughout Southeast Oakland County know they can increase the value and utility of their house through creative and innovative remodeling, of which a home addition is the crown jewel. Options abound for adding an expanded or new living space, from kitchens, laundry, and bedrooms, to mudrooms, porches, and garages. Whether you’re building outwards or upwards, inside or outside, a home addition is complex. A pro can help.

Before you consult with a proven and trusted design-build firm to bring your home addition vision to life, here are five tips to set you on your way to success.

Home Addition Tip #1: Identify Your Family’s Needs & Expectations

Home Addition Mission Possible — 4 Tips to Ensuring Your Renovation Is Seamless and Sensational toddlers playing in safe space during remodel

Of all the possible home remodeling projects you can take on, a room addition is by any stretch the most complex, and potentially the most pricey. By their nature, the foundational elements of your home will be impacted: walls must be added, removed, or moved; your roof expanded; electrical, plumbing, heating, and cooling integrated as needed; new furniture, fixtures, and appliances installed. So before you do anything, make sure you know the why before the what.

To best plan, discover your rationale for a room addition, which typically falls into these two categories: utility or luxury. Far as usefulness goes, a new child, live-in senior, extra car or boat might demand more space, solved by an extra bed, bath, or child’s room, expanded kitchen, laundry room, or garage. Working from home? A new home office could do the trick. Lifestyle upgrades include a new or expanded porch, sunroom, home entertainment area, or similar.

Home Addition Tip #2: Visualize the New Space & Build to Budget

Home Addition Mission Possible — 4 Tips to Ensuring Your Renovation Is Seamless and Sensational - home remodeling budget

Now that you have an idea of why you need your home addition, you can start to visualize what that new living space can look like, and begin the design process. Start broadly, then get more specific. For example, let’s imagine that your family is growing, demanding an extra bedroom, expanded kitchen and laundry facilities. Or imagine realizing your dream of an outdoor space where you can entertain guests year round, and design an enclosed and heated large porch.

Knowing the why and the what, the next step is the how. Partner with a trusted design-build firm to help you refine the design, and estimate cost and timing. An experienced room addition contractor will know everything from which permits are required to the necessary building materials. Since room additions have so much leeway in terms of scope and details, a capable contractor will help you find the sweet spot between what you want and plan on spending.

Home Addition Tip #3: Know Your Many Room Addition Options

From “Man Caves” to “She Sheds,” bathroom health & wellness spas to sunroom greenhouses and gaming dens, room additions offer nearly limitless options, but are subject to your home’s layout, and your wallet. Although a first floor addition to an existing space, such as expanding a kitchen to accommodate more prep and dining areas, might seem easier and less expensive than a second floor master bedroom or bathroom addition, actual plans might prove otherwise.

So if you’re building upstairs or outside, finishing the basement below or the attic up top, knowing your many options is the best way to choose the ideal one for your family and your home. To get you started, here are a few categories of room addition, with examples of the types of living spaces they create. Partner with an experienced room addition firm to identify the approach that works for the kind of addition you want, and the overall experience you can afford:

a) Cantilevered Bump Out

Home Addition Mission Possible — 4 Tips to Ensuring Your Renovation Is Seamless and Sensational cantilevered additionGenerally smaller than a full addition, and requiring less changes to your home’s infrastructure is the “bump out,” which is essentially new living spaces that are attached to your home. Considered more like an expansion of a room than your house itself, bump outs can be as small as 2 feet and large as 15 feet from your home, and often are “cantilevered” in the sense that they require no footings or foundation walls, saving money and construction time.

Additional bump out benefits include no need for extra roofing work, heating, cooling, and electrical, and less effort required to ensure the bump out blends with your existing architectural style. The downside, though, is gaining a smaller space than might be optimal, plus requiring all the permits a full room addition normally does. And if you do the math, a bump out might actually be more costly per square foot than if you went ahead with a full room addition.

b) Single, Two-Story, and Multiple Additions

Home Addition Mission Possible — 4 Tips to Ensuring Your Renovation Is Seamless and Sensational Home exterior addition and renovation in Poppleton ParkLeveling up from the bump out is a full scale room addition, which can take a number of different formats. These scale up and out from single- to two-story versions, which give you tremendous flexibility and range. Since you’re expanding the foundation of your entire home, you have complete control (within the physical confines of your property, and the size of your budget, of course) of the overall layout, square footage, and features of these new living spaces.

The downside is the cost of all this construction, and the need to maintain seamless architectural continuity between your existing home and these extensions. Both factors further increase the importance of designing, planning, and building with a highly experienced, trustworthy room addition contractor that is accountable every step of the way, and ideally integrates the design and build phases to ensure nothing gets lost in translation.

c) Dormer Addition

Home Addition Mission Possible — 4 Tips to Ensuring Your Renovation Is Seamless and Sensational dormer additionA common and effective hybrid between the bump out and full room addition is known as the “dormer addition,” which creates excellent and cost-effective bedroom additions. Coming in several varieties, dormers are bedroom extensions that jut out of the existing room, and run perpendicular to the main roof. A “gabled dormer” has two or three extensions surrounding each window, and a “shed dormer” only has one that runs flush along most of the room’s outer wall.

Dormers are a great way to affordably expand the square footage of bedrooms (and bath and storage rooms) since they don’t require new walls or infrastructure. The simplicity of the approach also ensures they can fit the existing home style. Also note similar downsides, though: they provide limited additional square footage, and beg the question of creating an entirely new living space, and its benefits of privacy and specialized utility for new family members.

d) Outdoor Living Addition

Home Addition Mission Possible — 4 Tips to Ensuring Your Renovation Is Seamless and Sensational outdoor livingBuilding out is another room addition option that excites many Southeast Orange County homeowners who yearn for enjoying the great outdoors year round. By creating an enclosed, fully functional first floor space, your family can experience “the best of both worlds” between indoor and outdoor living. Examples include insulated, heated and air conditioned porches, sunrooms, and even completely furnished living, dining, and recreational rooms with expansive access and views.

These exciting indoor/outdoor areas can take the form of bump outs or room additions, but if you’re looking for more ample space and expanded functionality, a full room addition approach is optimal. Creative homeowners work with design experts to equip these fun spaces with wide windows for stellar views, and convenient access points from inside to outside, through kitchens or garages depending on the experience being designed and built. Let the sunshine in!

Home Addition Tip #4: How to Ensure Seamless Integration & Optimal Functionality

Home Addition Mission Possible — 4 Tips to Ensuring Your Renovation Is Seamless and Sensational wine and design seminar kitchen

The biggest challenge of any approach to room additions you choose from is ensuring that whatever you do, the new design and construction will perfectly match your existing home’s architectural style. That begins with the foundation, and applies for every inch from your materials and hardware selection to paint colors, siding, doors, trim, and windows, all the way up to pitch, soffit style, overhand, eave depth, rafter size, and spacing of your roofing.

The major test of how well your room addition blends with your existing home is how seamless the experience feels, both inside and outside. All structural, design, and style elements should match, so that anyone visiting your home for the first time wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between the new construction and the original. And don’t forget external factors, including local building codes and zoning laws. Landscaping will also need to accommodate your new build.

Partner with Birmingham’s Most Trusted Remodeling Design-Build Firm

MainStreet Design Build is a full service, design-build remodeling firm dedicated to creating a luxurious end-to-end experience through personal care, accountability, timeless design, and exacting attention to detail. Voted the #1 remodeler in Detroit and #2 general contractor in all of Michigan, since 1991 their in-house design team, staff of carpenters, and deep bench of skilled tradespeople have made the renovation process comfortable, enjoyable, and safe.

Having produced elegant results that transform remodeling dreams into stunning and functional living spaces, MainStreet Design Build is favored by discerning homeowners in Southeast Oakland County who value a high level of comfort and trust in knowing that their Universal and Age In Place remodeling project will be done RIGHT. Browse our gallery of award-winning local home additions, and schedule a virtual design consultation. Let’s partner today!!

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