Planning the Best Bang-For-Your-Buck When Designing Your Room Addition

Not every homeowner knows exactly what he/she wants when the idea of building a room addition first comes to mind. It often is a need or desire for some added space. You’ve invested so much in your home, you don’t want to move out, so that means that you’re staying put where you are…but you need more space. But then you start looking around your old, San Diego home and you think, maybe you can do some work around the house while you’re building your addition. So you start making a list of items you’d like to discuss with your list of potential contractors.

It begins with maybe some dated linoleum and tile in the bathroom, followed quickly by the old cabinets in the kitchen. Soon you’re thinking about how the carpet can go, the walls need to be repainted, the windows are the old, drafty aluminum, the sliding glass door doesn’t slide anymore, and so on… And from that, spawns the concept for a home makeover to go with your addition. But you have a limited budget and you quickly realize that something is going to have to get dropped from the list.

Often in this situation, homeowners look to the addition. Many homeowners think that instead of adding a completely new room, they will add just a few feet to the back of the home. What these homeowner don’t realize though is that not only is that a very very expensive few feet that’s being added, but in the end of the project, that same 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom house is still a 2 bedroom, 1 bath house, and they’ve done almost nothing to add to the value of the home.

A simple rule in building is, build on the ground whenever you can, and leave the existing home alone whenever possible. Kitchen and family room extensions are typically an exception. In the case of bedrooms however, when you can add a new bedroom and leave the existing structural elements of your home alone, then it’s an easy addition. Whereas, expanding a bedroom, you have to open part of the back of the house, engineer a beam to go up in the ceiling to hold up that part of the house, all for a few added feet. As stated, that’s a very very expensive few feet, and really doesn’t add much value to the home.

So again, just to recap, the rule is, when adding a room addition, build on the ground whenever possible, and leave the existing house alone.

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