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Some home extension ideas
Maybe your needs have changed because you welcomed a new family member into your home and are now thinking of expanding or even moving? Before deciding to move, find out about the possibilities of expanding your home. Indeed, several options are possible depending on what you would like to add:
- 2nd Floor addition
- Extension on a concrete slab
- Extension on foundation
- Extension on piles
Quick tips from Smart Reno for your home extension project
Planning your addition
A home extension is one of the biggest home improvement projects that you could undertake because it forces the planning and construction of an entirely new structure. The first step is to decide exactly what you need in the extension. Planning the details is vitally important. Do you want an extra living room, an expanded kitchen, or is your home extension meant to provide space for a new home office or additional bedrooms?
These decisions will affect the size and type of structure that you need. Remember, the more details you can give a contractor, the more precise they can be with their estimate. Since most projects are priced by square footage, you do not want to get an extension that is larger than you need.
Regulations to consider
You will want to consider the zoning ordinances for your local area. In some cities and towns, you may need special permission for an additional level on your home. However, a permit for a rear extension may be easier to obtain. Also, the rear extension might need to be a certain distance away from your property line and roadways, and it should not interfere with any easements. A good contractor will know the local rules and regulations already. At the very least, they can help you make a detailed planning application to present to your the local authority so that they can point out any problems before you actually start construction.
Don’t sacrifice or overlook functionality
Finally, you will want to consider practical aspects of your home extension project. How will you connect electricity, heating and ventilation to this new part of your house? Will the contractor help you with water proofing and guide you in choosing the most durable, attractive materials? These are all crucial discussion points to cover with your contracted professional before working on your home extension.
How much does a home extension cost?
Like all other building projects, the cost for extension work can vary depending on the details of the project. It is usually easiest to estimate the price of building an addition by figuring out the cost per square foot of floor space.
On average, however, you will spend about $100-$125 per square foot for an unfinished two-storey extension. Prices for a floor level rear extension that requires pouring a foundation start at $125 for a square foot. This is the average cost for an unfinished extension. You would have to add $20-$50 more to the price per square foot for a finished extension that is ready to be lived in. Some contractors may refer to a completely finished extension with tile, paint, and drywall as a “turnkey” extension.
Example of price for a home extension project
|Extension||Price per / sq2|
|Garage||$100 to $145 / sq2|
|2nd Floor addition||$100 to $125 / sq2|
|Extension on piles||$130 to $160 / sq2|
|Extension on foundation||$130 to $180 / sq2|
|Solarium||$145 to $180 / sq2|
How to keep costs low on your home extension project
As you can see, the extension cost can be quite steep, especially if you are planning to add complex rooms like a new kitchen or bathroom. However, you can take some steps to keep the costs of extension projects down.
Working with what you’ve got
First of all, you should make sure that your existing structure can facilitate an addition. If you are building a new level, you should make sure that your foundation and house frame can support the extra weight. The cost of the project could increase if you have to make adjustments to your existing structure before even starting the extension work. If your house frame cannot support another level, you could instead opt for a rear extension or side extension because they would help you avoid extensive structural work on your current foundation and frame.
Also, you should factor in what you will be using the extension for. If you are making a kitchen extension, you will need to include the cost of electrical outlets for appliances. A bathroom extension might require new plumbing infrastructure. A living room or dining area usually requires the least amount of infrastructure features, though your budget should still factor in windows and other items which could add to the overall price tag.
Home extension pitfalls to avoid
First and foremost, you want to be very detailed when planning your home addition. This will help you understand the overall cost of the project, and it will make it easier to make sure you are meeting all building regulations. This means making plans with a designer and architect or structural engineer and then working with a contractor to finalize the plans. Under-planning is one of the worst mistakes you can make when building a home extension.
Do not obtain the necessary permits
With this slow-and-detailed approach, you can avoid problems with planning permissions and make sure your project fits with the permitted development rights for your area. You will take many of the same steps for a home addition as you would if you were building an entirely new house.
Location of the extension
Also think about the orientation of new rooms added to your home. It is always nice to enjoy natural light. For example, you may want to add a skylight to your extension project, or glazed walls or windows. The possibilities are almost endless: it's up to you to create the extension that will meet your needs and desires!
Finding Good Help
Finally, you need to choose the right contractor. If you plan to have a single storey extension, you will want to find a professional who has worked on this type of project in the past. Furthermore, you should try to find someone who has worked on such a project in your area so that they are already familiar with zoning and building codes.