How to Build an Addition

Draw up thorough designs for your home addition and work with a trusted contractor

Before you begin to plan your home addition, ask yourself how you want to use the space. Since building an addition is a similar process to building a new home, you want to make sure you have the purpose and the design decided upon before beginning construction. Consider all the different layouts you could implement and the materials and appliances you would need. This will give you a better sense of the costs involved with building an addition.

  • Will you build a two-story or one-story addition?
  • Where will you build: on the side, back or front of the house?
  • What will you use the space for?
    • Master bedroom suite
    • Bonus room for the kids
    • New nursery
    • Kitchen and dining room expansion
    • All-season sunroom with a hot tub and wood stove
  • Which utilities will you need: plumbing, electricity, heating and cooling, cable or internet?
  • Do you want the space to connect to the existing home through a doorway or an open room?
  • Do you want doors leading from the addition to the outside?

You should obtain quotes from several contractors before choosing one to handle your construction. This will help you get the best deal and allow you to work with someone who understands your vision. Having a strong design plan will also give you a more accurate quote from the contractor, which in turn helps define how much financing you need for your home addition.

Research zoning regulations before building an addition

After you have drawn up building plans, check your local zoning restrictions to make sure you can build the home addition you've designed. Zoning laws tell you what you can build and where you can build it in. There may be restrictions on how close you can build to the property line, how large your addition can be and whether or not you can build a two-story addition. There may also be permits attached to these zoning laws that you'll need to obtain before you begin construction, so be sure both you and your contractor are aware of local restrictions.

You'll also want to know the locations of your septic tank and any buried gas or telephone lines on the property before you build. This information should be available in your town office and property deed respectively. If not, the town clerk should be able to direct you where find this information.

Costs associated with building an addition

Since building an addition is similar to building a home, it has many of the same fees. You will need to pay the contractor for the work on the home addition as well as the cost of the materials he uses. These costs will vary based on whether you choose hardwood, carpet, tile or linoleum floors, how large an addition you have planned, and the utilities you need to run to the space. Be aware of inspection fees and building permit fees to ensure the work is done legally and safely.

An overview of how to build a home addition

Even though you may not be building an addition by yourself, you should still know the steps involved. This will help you work with the contractor to keep your home addition on schedule. After you've taken care of the important first steps above, the contractor can get started. Here is a step-by-step process to give you a helpful frame of reference when building an addition.

  1. Prepare the construction site (this includes taking measurements and clearing and leveling the ground for building)
  2. Pour the concrete or dig a basement foundation
  3. Erect the walls of the home addition
  4. Put up wall panels and roofing
  5. Install the electrical system, plumbing and HVAC
  6. Put up insulation and drywall
  7. Install windows
  8. Lay floors and paint the walls
  9. Install trim and doors
  10. Create bathrooms and furnish the space

How to obtain financing for your home addition

After obtaining quotes from the contractor, you will need to consider financing options for your home addition. Since this is such a large project, you may want to consider a home equity loan or home equity line of credit from Citizens Bank. Explore our home loan offerings and speak with a Home Loan Advisor to determine your best option. When you're ready to apply for a home equity loan or line of credit, you can begin the process by answering a few questions online and we'll contact you by the end of the next business day to complete your application and help walk you though the rest of the process.


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