How to Get a Bigger House Without Moving – Part 1

by Carmen Corbin on February 18, 2012

If your home has become (or has always been) a little cramped and unaccommodating, you may be entertaining thoughts of moving to a bigger house.  But before you start scanning the real estate ads, consider what might be your best option – adding on to your existing home. 

Unless you absolutely have no tolerance for construction projects, the room addition choice has a strong argument in its favor.  Although there is certainly substantial cost involved in adding a room, it may actually be less than moving to a different home when you consider loan costs, real estate commission, and moving expenses.  Other things to consider are the physical logistics such as packing, unpacking, cleaning, arranging utility shut-offs/installations, school changes, etc.

First Floor Home Additions

Whether you need more space for a growing family, or you long for an ideal layout for guests and entertaining, building an extension onto your first floor opens up a lot of possibilities.  A home builder can help you decide what type of room addition will fit your family’s needs – a large family room, kitchen expansion, extra bedroom or new home office.  Or maybe you’ve always dreamed of having a sunroom with a hot tub for relaxing after a hard day’s work.

What’s a Bump-Out?

When discussing your budget with a general contractor, ask about the cost of a simpler bump-out versus a full-size room addition.  A bump-out is basically a smaller addition, great for uses such as laundry rooms, bathrooms, mudrooms or room expansions.  Sometimes having just a little more space (for a lower cost) is all it takes to make a big difference.

Zoning, Permits and Inspections

Before any home addition project begins, you or your contractor will need to find out about any zoning restrictions, as well as inquire about the permit and inspection process.  Zoning is often more relaxed in rural areas, but it’s your responsibility to be aware of any local codes.  Permits usually need to be obtained prior to any work starting; inspections take place at various points during and after construction to ensure each step is properly completed according to building code.

Join us for Part 2 of our series, when we’ll take a look at building up vertically to get the additional space you need.

For more ideas on home additions, call or visit your local home improvement contractor.

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