Time to make room in your house 

By Andrey Sokolov, Camrose Canadian Lifestyles Contributor

There are many factors that go into deciding on buying a new house or adding an addition to create more space for a growing family. Supplied

There are many factors that go into deciding on buying a new house or adding an addition to create more space for a growing family. Supplied

You bought that house you and your spouse fell in love with a few years back but now your family has grown and you need more space. That charming little home that felt so perfect for your family starts to feel a little cramped and awkward. If that’s you then you need to consider either selling your home and buying a new one or it’s time to talk about doing an addition. 


There are many things to consider before you start a home addition so you know what to expect and don’t get surprised along the way.  

Developing a layout 

You will want to find someone who will be able to help you develop the plan that will address all of your needs. This is one of the most important steps because you want it done properly the first time and you want it to be functional when it’s all done. If you’re planning on doing an addition, then you want to make it as big as possible. If you’re considering doing a smaller renovation, then typically your price per square foot will be higher than if you maximize the size of the addition. As the project gets bigger, the price per square foot gets smaller. 


As excited as you may be to get started, you can prevent a lot of headaches by doing your research in advance. It’s very important to first check with your local municipality to see what restrictions there are for completing an addition, and ensure you know the necessary permits you will require. What you want to learn about are the setbacks from all property lines, site coverage restrictions, and whether or not there are any redevelopment plans in your area. If you’re at the maximum for your site coverage, or your addition will be going past the setbacks, this doesn’t mean that your renovation is done before it gets started. It just means instead of your square footage expanding out, it will have to go up.  

Getting out of the house 

A major renovation of this kind is fun to do, but at the same time can be very stressful. You will need to consider where you will live during the construction of your addition? This will of course vary depending on what type of addition you’ll be doing, however living in your home during the duration of construction can put stress on your family that isn’t needed. Most people do tend to have another place to stay during construction. 

There will be surprises 

Any time you open up a wall, floor or roof, you really don’t know what you might find. On the surface everything may look fine, but it’s possible that the electrical wasn’t previously done to code, or you discover structural issues; these situations are not uncommon. When you decide on your addition budget, you will want a healthy contingency fund as part of your budget to help mitigate those surprises when they come up. The good news is if there are no surprises, you’ll have some money to put back in your pocket, or you can splurge on your project and make some fancier upgrades. 

Additions of any sort can be a significant undertaking, totally worth it in the end to have a functional home for your growing family. Being prepared is the key, and having professionals involved is paramount to success.  


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