Room Additions and Space Conversions
Lately, many homeowners are contacting us about a room addition to their current floor plan or a garage, patio or courtyard conversion into living space. With conversions, in particular, the space already exists so why not turn it into livable space? Sounds easy, right? Well, it is typically more complicated and not as budget friendly as people are lead to believe. Can it be done and is it a great way to add value to the home and livable space? Absolutely! Here are a few facts that will help:
Tips for Room Additions and Space Conversions
1. You need to have engineering done, plans drawn and get a permit from your jurisdiction. Some contractors may do your project without them and that poses many problems. A big one, you decide to sell your home and you can’t count the new addition as sq. ft. Also, you may need to pull permits after the fact. You don’t want to open walls and dig out concrete when you are trying to sell your home. That’s a mess and extra expense. When you add electrical, gas, enclose space, etc. it requires permission and plans to be sure the work is completed properly.
2. When you add “load” (the addition has weight from framing, new concrete, you will likely put furniture in it, etc.) the structure changes. Typically concrete footings need to be poured and straps, tie downs or other structural elements need to be installed (even if the walls are already existing) to support the new weight. For example: if you have a garage… You can’t just install carpet, build a closet, and paint the walls and call it a bedroom. You may even need new trusses, supports, and roofing, depending on your structural situation.
3. The new space will likely require plumbing, electrical, gas and HVAC. If you are lucky and those utilities are located nearby that is great! Often times we must trench and/or run overhead to get the utilities needed. Relocating/adding utilities can be an expense that is higher than homeowners expect. It is crucial to be done correctly so that your new living space functions like it was always part of the home.
4. The finish work is the “easy” part. Insulating the walls and using energy efficient windows and doors is the industry standard. Choosing flooring, counter tops, and other design elements can be exciting for the homeowner. Investing you dollars into constructing the structure properly, from engineering to the final faucet install, will ensure your dollars are well spent and you won’t run into issues down the line.
We hope these tips help to give you a better idea of what it entails to add square footage to your home. Many of our clients are choosing to remodel their current home rather that purchase new!