Your family is outgrowing your existing home, so what do you do? List your property on the market and move?
Luckily, you don’t have to. There are other options besides leaving your family home that you’ve already put so much love and work into. Home additions are a great solution to open up floor space and let you reallocate uses to existing spaces.
However, you should have a clear plan about the addition, which will be made a lot easier when you work with a general contractor that specializes in this area. An expert will help you determine what the use is for the new space, and help design it with this in mind while staying within your budget. For example, are you looking to build a mudroom to have a place for the kids to put their soggy boots when they come in from the yard? Or are you looking for an area to use for storage or for quietly lounging with a book?
Whatever the reason, having a clear purpose for building additions to your home can help determine the scale of the project as well as the required features, so the extra space fits your needs without going overboard.
Aside from knowing exactly how much additional square footage you require, you should also consider the exterior of the addition. Do you want it to look unique from the rest of the home, or blend in with the existing look? This is an important detail to discuss with the builder.
Of course, you’ll also want to make sure the expenditure makes sense in the first place, whether you’re using your home equity for the project or you’ve put money aside for home improvements.
From an investment standpoint, you should also figure out whether you’re getting good value from the home addition. For example, if you’re adding more space to boost market value of the house down the road, do some local market research to find out whether you’re paying significantly more than you can expect as a return on your investment.
You may need to move out in order to allow for construction. Once this is determined with your general contractor, you should start looking for temporary housing ASAP as it is not easy to find a family member or landlord that can provide accommodations that suite your family’s needs. Another process you should get a jump on early is securing financing. Sometimes the back and forth between homeowners and lenders can take longer than expected. It is also important to know where your budget is in order to come up with a scope of work with your contractor that maximizes value.
Another advantage of using experienced contractors is that they will know the procedures when it comes to building home additions, and will secure the proper permits from the municipality to ensure the project goes smoothly.
The design and permit application process in the City of Toronto can be time consuming and tricky for first timers. Working with a general contractor or design/build firm that can take care of this process is key if you want to avoid delays before the project even starts. It is important to work with someone who has knowledge of existing zoning by laws and the permit process. Depending on what you want to build and where you want to build it within the GTA, you may end up wishing for something that goes against current zoning bylaws. In that case, you will need to have Committee of Adjustment hearing to ask for permission. This process can add weeks and even months onto your project timeline and you will want to work with someone who can advise you on the process early on in your venture to avoid any unforeseen hold-ups.
Keep in mind that modular home additions can cut down on project time, as the components are prefabricated off-site and then assembled with no additional construction required on your property. Some general contractors offer this option as an alternative to building additions to your home from scratch on the premises.
Home additions are a great solution to upgrade your home at a reasonable cost, and when you’ve marked the above points off your checklist, you can get to building and enjoying the new space!