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What considerations do I need to think about when planning my home addition design?
When you make the decision to go forward with a home extension, one of the first steps is planning the home addition design. While you may even have a good idea of what you’d like to see done, the design aspect is usually not a simple as merely drawing up a set of plans. Expert knowledge is required in order to ensure that no damage is done to the existing structure and to ensure that the new portion of the structure is sound. Additions are unique from other building projects because they must take existing structure into account.
Before any plans can be drawn up, your home will have to be inspected to make sure that it is sturdy enough for the extension. Are the walls where you’d like to add an extra room load bearing? Will the weight of the renovation be supported with the current foundation? Will temporary supports be necessary? These are all questions that must be answered to ensure that your renovation is both safe and appropriate for your home.
Once it is determined that the renovation is possible, your designer will consider three key factors.
- One of the first factors that your contractor will look at is the type of framing that your house has. The type of framing that you have will affect how complex the plans will be. Most homes that were built post 1930 use platform framing, but it is still important to be sure. While the original blueprints could tell you this information, these are not something that most homeowners have. Your contractor will be able to tell the type of framing by removing the wall surface at the bottom in order to inspect the framing.
- The next important factor has to do with the layout of your home. This is important because your home’s systems need to be taken into consideration. This includes things like HVAC, electrical wiring and plumbing. Whether you are considering a first story addition that adds to your home’s footprint or a second story one, the home addition design needs to be planned in a way that is not going to cause problems or inefficiencies in it heating, plumbing and electrical systems.
- Finally, there is the style of your home to consider. Everyone has seen homes that have additions that appear to “off”. Not only can you clearly see exactly where the original structure ends and where the addition begins, the renovation doesn’t even seem to go with the rest of the structure. While good home addition design does not have to match perfectly with the rest of the structure, it should not look like an afterthought either. Everything should flow well from one area to the next.
Adding extra space within your home can add both to your home’s market value and to the enjoyment that you and your family get from it. Planning what your new space will look like can be a fun part of the process. Before you start picking out wall colour and furnishings however, make sure that the proper consideration has been put into your basic home addition design.
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