What to Consider Before Planning a Home Addition

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The Washington DC area, especially the Bethesda area, is home to beautiful historic houses that add character and style to our tree-lined streets. However, as our families grow and needs change, more space is often needed. Adding on to an existing home provides an opportunity to gain extra square footage while also adding desired functionality and personal style.

Over the years, we’ve helped many homeowners add to their homes. Below are a few tips to consider when looking to make an addition.

1. Consider your lot size
First and foremost, you have to find where you have the space on your lot while also considering zoning laws and restrictions in your neighborhood. For most, available space is in the backyard or side yard. Decide if losing some of your yard space is worth the extension. You’ll also directly affect the space you are connecting to on the house, perhaps losing window light or an existing entryway. For those with little to no yard space, an option may also be to go upward, adding an additional floor, which requires understanding of the home’s structural stability, roofline, and more. Working with an experienced builder is necessary when making such massive changes to the structure.

2. Select a style that adds value
Many are tempted to step way outside the box, using a different exterior material or color scheme, or creating a more modern aesthetic when the house itself is traditional. While some creative additions end up adding value to the home, others can look awkward and out of place. Consider a style that best complements the existing structure, including the roof, facade materials, and foundation.

Size and scale can also affect the final result. While homeowners are tempted to take advantage of the opportunity and add as much square footage as possible, an addition that is too big can devalue the character of the home. An addition should look secondary to the original structure, allowing it to still take center stage.

3. Understand the timeline
Adding on to a home you’re currently living in can be obtrusive, from taking up regularly used space to adding noise, equipment, and dust. Be ready for these changes, especially if you’re adding on to a kitchen area. Talk through the estimated timeline and understand that unforeseen delays may occur due to inclement weather or decisions made throughout the process.

To learn more about our building services in Bethesda and Washington DC, please contact us at 301-656-6500 and visit our portfolio.

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