15 Things to Think About BEFORE Adding an Addition to Your Home

Hello! About a year & a half ago we completed an addition to our home. I never really blogged about it during the process because {one} It was a super stressful time! ha! ;){two} At times I wasn’t 100% sure we could pull if off. Annnnd {three} it took a super long time to get ‘er done! Adding on to your house is a HUGE decision. It is not one to take lightly, & so much goes into deciding how to do it, what needs to be done, how to pay for it, where to begin & lastly, finishing the job. So today I thought I’d share 15 Things to Think About BEFORE Adding an Addition to Your Home. So let’s get started! 🙂

15 Things to Think About Before Adding an Addition to Your Home at GingerSnapCrafts.com #homeaddition #DIY #addingontoyourhouse

1. What will this addition be used for? What are your needs?

We bought our 1531 square foot home in 2007. It was a 4 bedroom, 2 bath home with an open eating area & living room with a big pantry & laundry/mud room. When we bought our house we were a family of 6. Each boy got their own room & my girls shared the bigger of the three kid’s room. Since then we’ve added another kiddo, & my kiddos have gotten much bigger, too! ha! We have 2 (almost 3) teenagers now! How did that happen? 😉 We love the location, the neighborhood, our little town….the house was getting a bit cramped though! We needed another living area for the kiddos to hang out in when friends were over & just a little more space to spread out. That’s when my head started spinning….maybe we should add on to our existing home!

2. Then you will need to brainstorm lots of ideas. Books, the internet & Pinterest are all good places to start. What styles do you like? What is your game plan? What do you want your finished addition to look like?

We decided on a simple square room off the back of our house. Nothing fancy! 😉 If budget allows you could even get an architect to draw up some plans. We didn’t have an architect in the budget. So that left the hubby to draw up some plans! Thank goodness he has lots of experience building things ~ mostly barns & sheds though! Eek! I trusted him completely though!

3. How will you finance your addition? What is your budget?

Before you start any major home improvement project you’ll need to decide how much you can afford. Your budget needs to be a little bit flexible to factor in the unforeseen things that are bound to come up. I promise they will! ha! We were going to do everything ourselves & pay out of pocket. So staying close to on budget as we could was crucial. Additions can cost thousands & thousands of dollars. Our budget was $10,000. Thankfully we came in just under budget! Whew! 😉 Remember if you are going to hire out a lot of the labor to contractors you will pay much more than this. Here’s my “hired” help! ha! 😉 We were moving rocks from our rock patio out of the way, & they thought all the slugs we found were so awesome. I thought they were gross! 😉


4. Another thing to think about is where you should you add on? What would work best? Will your new addition go with the flow of your current home? Also, think about if you be able to find building materials that match your current home.

The most successful additions will look like they’ve always been there. We knew the easiest addition would be to the back of the house. It would be easy to go off our kitchen. It’s hidden from the road, so it wouldn’t alter the appearance of the front of the house. It would also be easier to match the existing siding on the back of the house rather than the brick on the sides & front. It just made sense for us to go that route with our plans. We were also fortunate that our home is pretty new. It was super easy to find matching windows, siding, doors, etc. that were exactly what we already had in our existing home. Planning an addition carefully with a skilled architect is the best way to ensure that the house looks as good, or even better than before. My “skilled architect” was the hubby! Since our addition was pretty simple it turned out all right. Thank goodness! Buuuut when in doubt call in the professionals. I wouldn’t recommend the guy below! ha! 😉


5. Before you begin you will need to think about any POA or HOA guidelines & restrictions. Most POAs and HOAs will require approval before you do anything.

We made sure that we ran our ideas past our POA board. In our POA by-laws we had to get everything approved through them down to what materials we were going to use & how far our addition was from the fence. We had to agree to use the same roofing material, siding, colors & window that were on our existing home.

6, Think about the permits you will need to get from your city or county. You will need these before you begin any work.

We needed a building permit & an electrical permit. Your city or county may vary. So be sure to check on all of that before you begin. Be sure to budget the permit cost into the cost of your addition. Annnnd be prepared for inspections! Stressful! haha! We had three different ones. One to check the foundation, one before we put the sheetrock up to check all the electrical wiring & then one final inspection. Annnnd did I mention my hubby wasn’t home for 2 of those! Eek! I’m so glad we passed! 😉 Also, keep in mind that these permits have time limits. Ours expired after a year. We barely got in done in time. Yay! If you do go over time, you will need to renew these permits.


7. You also have to think about what’s under your addition! You don’t want to bust any pipes putting in your new foundation. So before you begin any work be sure to call before you dig! You’ll need a professional to mark all the utility & water lines. Most states have a number you can call to set up an appointment. Then you’ll know that you are good to go!


8. Think about who you are going to use to do the work. Make sure you trust them!

As I said before we did just about everything ourselves. It was overwhelming at times. Buuuut we really pulled together as a family to get it done. We saved a huge amount of money doing it ourselves. One down side of doing it all yourselves is that it is going to take time. Lots of time! It took us exactly a year to get it done from start to finish. Whew! Ideally it would be nice to hire in some help. Especially if you aren’t comfortable ripping into your home! I think the scariest moment for me was when my hubby cut into our existing roof. There was no turning back! ha! My biggest tip is to make sure you trust whoever you use. Get references! It’s a big deal to add on to your home. You need someone you can trust & depend on. Thank goodness my hubby (& kiddos!) fit the bill! ha! 😉


9. Be sure to factor in that you will have some unforeseen events & cost that come up! It will be OK! 😉

Our most stressful unseen event that came up was when we put the roof on. We thought we had a good week to work on it. Buuuut it ended up taking a lot longer than expected to get it up. A huge rainstorm was expected that weekend. My hubby was literally up all night the night before getting the roof on & the tar paper put into place. We cut it so close! Stressful! Annnnd boy did it rain! Thank goodness our addition stayed nice & dry. Another factor to consider is the cost of heating & cooling your new addition. Will you need to upgrade your HVAC system? This could get super expensive! So think about that before you begin. We were pretty lucky. Since this was a small addition our current unit was able to handle the new addition. We haven’t seen a significant increase in our utility bills either. Yay!


10. Another thing to think about is how this home addition will either increase or decrease your property value. Will it add value to your home? Are you planning on selling soon?

We knew going in that this addition would not add a huge value onto our home. We do not plan on moving anytime soon. So we were prepared to absorb most of the costs in exchange for having a bigger living area & more space to spread out. Our house is now the biggest home in the neighborhood. I remind my kiddos of this when they complain about our small house! ha! 🙂 Most houses in our neighborhood are 3 bedroom/2 bath/1 living area homes. Ours in now a 4 bedroom/2 bath/2 living area home. I’d like to think our home would sell faster & at a better price than other homes in the neighborhood, but I’m not going to bet on that! If you plan on selling in the next year or two I don’t think an addition would be the best route to take. Save your money for your new house. 🙂

11. Another thing to think about is how flexible you are with timing. Do you have any important life events coming up (weddings, new baby, job changes)? Do you have the time to tackle a huge project?

We are at a good time in our lives right now to tackle some bigger DIY projects. The kiddos are older. They can help out. 🙂 We don’t have any babies or toddlers crawling around. Nothing huge was going on. It was the perfect time for us to tackle a home addition.


12. Home additions take a lot of hard work. Be sure to think about everything that will be involved. Also, think of the tedious work that will go into it. Prepare yourself for hours & hours of painting trim, all the floating & taping, painting ceilings (oh! my neck!) & running electrical wire. It will grueling at times. Buuuut you can do it! 🙂

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13. Brace yourself for the chaos & mess that comes with any big DIY project.

I did not think about this beforehand! My neat freak self had to wrap my head around it! My backyard was a huge mess. We had piles of lumber everywhere, trash & extra building supplies stacked everywhere. Not to mention the mess the house was inside! ha! We had dust everywhere. Having friends over was a bit of a challenge during the whole construction process. It’s ok, and it will get better! I promise!

14. Are you willing to ask for help if you need it?

Even though we tried to do as much as we could by ourselves, we couldn’t be afraid to ask for help if we needed it. We borrowed tools from friends. Remember the roofing/rainstorm story I told you about? Well, we had a really good friend show up early in the morning after my hubby had been up all night. He helped put the remaining tar paper on the roof just before the rain started. We so appreciated his act of service. 🙂

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15. One last thing to think about before you add an addition to your home is that you will need update your home insurance policy, & be aware that your tax assessment may be higher. So higher home insurance & taxes need to be factored into your budget.

Alright here is the before picture!


Annnd here is the after. 🙂


My favorite (unexpected) part is our new deck. It is surrounded on three sides by the house now, & feels so much more private. This spring we are actually adding on to the deck. It is going to go across the entire back of the house (to the right). I can’t wait. We are also going to add skirting around the bottom of the deck & house. We always try to do at least one big home improvement project a year. It is always fun to invest in your home. 🙂 You can see how I made my vertical flower garden right {HERE}.


Here are a few pictures I snapped of the inside when we were just about done. We still needed to rehang our french doors. We took them off for some reason….I don’t remember why now! ha! 😉



The new addition has even made a few appearance on the blog!

how to decorate with clean lines & simple patterns at GingerSnapCrafts.com

How to Decorate with Clean Lines & Simple Patterns

DIY Shelf & Coat Rack at GingerSnapCrafts.com #DIY   #shelf_thumb

DIY Shelf & Coat Rack

Have you ever added an addition to your home? What tips would you add?
Any questions? Leave a comment below. I’d love to hear them! 🙂

15 Things to Think About Before Adding an Addition to Your Home at GingerSnapCrafts.com #homeaddition #DIY #addingontoyourhouse

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This post was created for Ginger Snap Crafts by Ginger Bowie.

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