Sunday, February 2, 2020

Additions Not As Simple As You Think

With the real estate market in the Georgian Bay area continuing to run hot with little on the market and what is for sale selling quickly, more and more people are turning to building additions onto their existing home or chalet that they already own.

This can be a good idea for resale as any improvements made to an existing home will only raise the value of the home in the eyes of potential buyers. In fact the return on these investments will usually raise the value of your home or chalet more then you will spend on the project.

But there are a lot of things that you need to understand if you want to add an addition on to your home or chalet, its sometimes not as simple as you think.

Here are some of the things that you have to be aware of when wanting to add an addition to your existing home or chalet;

  1. Costs. Putting an addition onto your home is not cheap and can even be more expensive sometimes then if you were building a new home (when you look at the per sqft cost). Tying the new part of the house together with the old part can eat up a good portion of the budget depending on the design.
  2. Renovations. Most people think about adding an addition and the cost but they don't realize that they will probably end up renovating a large part of the existing home because the addition changes how the home functions and its new which points out all the flaws and warn out parts of the older part of the home.If you don't put money in your budget for renovations of the existing home you will be sorry.
  3. Permits. Sometimes getting a permit for an addition is not as easy as you think it is. Most townships now require extensive planning on your part as the homeowner before they will give you permission to build. These can include; surveys, engineered grading plans, engineered soil tests, septic reviews, lot coverage surveys, energy audits, a variance, storm water management plans. 
  4. TimeLines. Building an addition is a lot like building a new home, the time it takes to build an addition can take almost as long as it takes to build yourself a new home. Even though its a smaller project in scale it takes the same amount of tradesmen.
  5. Neighbours. People usually get along with their neighbours at some level, but put up a construction project beside someone for 6 to 9 months and the best relationships start to wear thin. Be prepared for backlash from your neighbours from the start. Also be prepared for an argument over the lot lines and the setbacks. People never understand how close you are legally allowed to build to the property line.
  6. Compromise. One of the things that you will have to understand is that when you are adding an addition to an existing home you will have to make some compromises. Whether its the design, the budget, the finishing's or the timeline additions are not as cut and dry as when designing and the planning a new home.
  7. Home usability. If this is your primary home or even your secondary home you as the homeowner are going to have to make sacrifices. There is now a large construction project next to were you sleep and eat, there will be times when you don't have water, or indoor toilets or electricity or heat. Can you handle living through that? Can your family?
  8. Pressure.With any large construction project there are pressure put on you the homeowner from outside forces. Pressure from your neighbours about the noise and the parking, pressure from your contractor to pay bills and to make choices quickly and pressure from your own family to complete the project quickly so that everything can go back to normal.
In today's construction climate if you want to build an addition then your going to need to find a contractor early and engage them. You might have to give them a deposit months in advance just so that you can be sure that they can start your project when you want them too.
The better the contractor the more in demand they will be, that means they book up faster and earlier. Be prepared to be patient.

Rob Abbott
Great Lakes Custom Homes Inc.

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