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Thinking About A Custom Home Addition?

December 16th, 2010

greyHouse Inc- Home Remodeling Blog, Raleigh, NC general contractor 

Thinking About A Custom Home Addition?


Even the smallest home additions are big projects, and there are plenty of items to consider - and decide - before the hammers start swinging.  To help keep from feeling overwhelmed during the pre-construction phase of your project, the team at greyHouse has compiled a list of important tips and considerations our years of experience as general contractors have taught us about having an enjoyable home addition project:

Home Addition Tip #1

From Will, greyHouse OwnerGeneral Contractor

Figure out exactly what you'll be using the new space for, and its potential uses down the road

If you're committing to a project as large as a home addition, it's wise to look down the road and anticipate what additional uses you may someday have for the space.  Although you may want a bonus room now, will it need to double as a childrens' playroom down the road?  Finishing off your basement may add a great TV room and den, but will you someday want to convert it to an in-law's suite?   Trying to have this foresight while planning for the construction phase will not only maximize your use of the space -- it will also add value to the home in the future when you decide to sell.

Home Addition Tip #2

From Angie, greyHouse Renovation Consultant: 

Don't underestimate the invasiveness of a home addition project when choosing your general contractor

It goes without saying that the general contractor you choose for any home remodeling project should be one you're comfortable with, but for a project as extensive as a home addition you must have complete trust that the company you're working with will be in lockstep with you from start to finish.  Because home addition projects are long, detailed and involve meticulous planning, getting to know and trust the individuals responsible for your project will offer the added peace of mind and comfort necessary for a truly enjoyable renovation experience.

Home Addition Tip #3

From TJ, greyHouse Project Manager & General Contractor: 

Put your money into quality products, and items that can't easily be changed. 

One of the best features of a home addition is the full customization homeowners are afforded by building a space from the ground up.  As the homeowner, you'll have the blessing (or curse!) of making decisions on everything from flooring to hardware and in between, and with that comes the responsibility of deciding where to invest your money.  For example (and we've seen it before), it's easy to change out door hardware...but not so easy - or budget friendly - to replace cabinetry.  Light fixtures can easily be upgraded down the road, but having to replace flooring is both expensive and inconvenient.  Keep this in mind when making decisions about where to spend your money, and you'll end up a satisfied homeowner with more in your pocketbook.

Home Addition Tip #4

From Lindsey, greyHouse Owner & General Contractor: 

Take full advantage of other home remodeling opportunities in conjunction with your home addition project. 

While you have the knowledge and services of a licensed general contractor at your fingertips, don't hesitate to ask questions or further investigate other home remodeling projects you've been curious about.  You may be able to save yourself some money by having multiple projects done at the same time by the same contractor, and having all the work done at once also means one less interruption of your busy life.  Most contractors will offer free estimates, and because you've already got one right there in your living room there's truly no harm in finding out more information.  Maybe you can turn a neighboring closet into a half-bath leading into your new bonus room, or easily renovate your kitchen next to your newly added sunroom.  By exploring additional, opportunistic projects you may end up with an even better home than you originally bargained for! 

Bonus Home Addition Tip

From a real & satisfied greyHouse Customer: 

Especially with a home addition, don't hesitate to ask a question if you're unsure about something.

Once you reach an agreement with a general contractor, don't forget that they're professionals and it's OK if you don't fully understand every element of the project.  Just be sure to ASK if you have questions or are unsure about something!  Especially if you have specific instructions or desires for an area, don't be shy about making your wants and needs heard -- both before and during the project to ensure there's thorough communication and understanding between you and your general contractor.  With a home addition there are plenty of moving parts and pieces that need to be tied down, so if you have a question, just ask!



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