Improving your home’s resale value and comfort by adding new space is a bold and exciting choice. The journey you have now begun has many potential pitfalls, but you can manage the complexities of residential construction by following a simple plan.
Consider Your Needs
The first step toward your new addition is to carefully consider how the space will be used. It can be tempting to skip this part because it may seem obvious, but an addition could be employed for any number of changing activities. Maybe the main purpose of your new sunroom is to relax and enjoy the sunset, but recognizing you may also use it for crafting or for watching TV could influence the ultimate design.
Consult Local Authorities
Residential construction is regulated by many laws, all of which you must follow judiciously. Once you have determined what goals your new space will meet, you should contact your jurisdiction’s building-code enforcement agency. They may be able to provide general guidance on the legality of your proposed addition, and may also be able to clue you in to modifications that could be required to the main house or property to accommodate your plans.
Choose a Contractor
The scope of a major residential construction project can quickly overwhelm most people. Hiring a competent contractor to manage the process is a must. Do your homework when looking into construction companies. Ask friends and family about companies they have used and would recommend. Check your local Better Business Bureau to ensure companies you’re considering have no complaints. Look into legal records to discover any litigation a contractor may have been involved with.
Create a Budget
Once you secure a contractor, he or she should provide a detailed breakdown of your project that shows material and labor estimates along with a schedule of the residential construction phases. Research typical expenses for comparable projects to gain an idea of reasonable pricing. Be as wary of estimates that are too low, just as you should be wary of estimates that are too high.
Don’t tune out once you have a contractor and work gets underway. Staying involved is key to ensuring everything is going as it should. You should meet with your contractor on a regular basis to discuss progress, revisions, and delays. Recognize that he or she is the expert, but you’re the one who will have to live with the results.
Enjoy Your New Space
All residential construction comes with some headaches and unexpected issues. However, if you do what you need to every step of the way, you’ll arrive at the good part—living in your new addition.