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Update: A living room addition can be a great way to make the space in your home work for you. Most family homes these days have at least a couple of living rooms, with areas for the whole family, just for kids, and a formal room for entertaining. Whatever you want a living room addition for, it’s a good idea to look at the space you have available and how easy or difficult it will be to make certain structural changes. And as with every remodeling project, you need to look at what it will cost against potential value it will add to your home.

A living room addition can be the answer to a number of lifestyle issues as well as space issues for families and add to the value of your home at resale. Your home may have a living room that does not meet the needs of your family or it may have no living room at all. Many new homes are designed with a great room only. While these designs are wonderful for a casual lifestyle, they may not work for you if you need for a more formal entertaining area. Many homes built in the 1940s through 1960s were designed with huge living rooms. They were intended to be the room in which the family lived – multi-functional space for relaxing, watching television, reading, listening to music and entertaining. Certainly many people add living rooms to be family living spaces, but a majority of people also add living rooms in order to create more formal settings for entertaining or escape from the television and the noise of children playing.

There are some words in the English language that are helpful in thinking about the function of a living room. A room in which guests are greeted and entertained might be referred to as a parlor. A cozy retreat might be a withdrawing room (or drawing room). A multi-functional space might be a living room. The first decision you must make in designing the new space will be the function of the room. This will help you determine the appropriate size of the space.

The second group of questions concern decisions about how the space will be created.

  • Will you remodel part of your home to create your new living room?
  • Will you add the room to the existing house?
  • Will you divide a large existing room to create two separate spaces?
  • How much space do you need in your new room? Will it be the primary family living space? Will it be a small formal room for entertaining? Will it be a relatively small but comfortable place to escape and relax? What does your lifestyle require of the space? Formal living rooms built today tend to be much smaller than those designed fifty years ago.

If your needs dictate an addition to your home, there are many considerations before you begin to demolish walls. The list below will get you started, but a successful remodel requires organization. To help make your project a success, consider getting The Complete Remodeling Workbook and Organizer, click here for more information.

  • Where will you place the addition? What location seems to be indicated by the architectural style of your home? What location is best to conform with the contours of your lot?
  • How will the addition affect the existing home? How will you provide access to the new room? How will you move from the new room to other parts of the home? How will an addition look in terms of the proportions of the existing structure? Will the roofline negatively affect the view from other rooms of the house?
  • Is there enough usable space on your lot in the proposed area? What are the local building regulations about how close you can build to the property line? Are you willing to give up the necessary amount of your yard?

A home addition is not a weekend project. You will want to schedule the work to cause the least disruption to your family’s life. If you will be making structural changes, you may want to consult an architect. You will need to work with roof and wall supports, know which walls bear the weight of the roof or other walls. You will want to design your addition so it enhances the exterior appearance of your home. Working from a blueprint will also help you to avoid costly oversights.

You will need to check local building codes for specific requirements for exterior building materials or design elements, requirements that licensed professionals perform certain types of work (such as electrical or plumbing). Click here to find the best contractors that specialize in working in your neighborhood. 101 Ways to Save Money When by by Dan Fritschen Here are some of the things you will need to include in your remodeling plan:

  • Excavation for the footings and foundation
  • Removal of walls
  • Construction and installation of supporting beams or columns
  • Framing
  • Placement and installation of doors and windows
  • Insulation
  • Installation of a fireplace
  • Construction of partitions, customized cabinets, shelving or storage areas
  • Upgrading existing electrical circuits
  • Positioning and installing electrical outlets, switches, lights, fans, etc.
  • Heating and cooling flow
  • Flooring selection and installation
  • Installation of home technology features
  • Exterior wall construction – do you need a bricklayer or a stone mason?
  • Interior wall construction – will you use drywall or paneling or some specialty materials like glass bricks?
  • Painting or wallpapering

Once you have planned for each phase of creating your new living room, you will need to decide if you need professional assistance. If you have the skills, the experience, and the time to do all the work yourself, and conform to local building code regulations, you are ready to get started. But if local government requires that some work be done by licensed professionals or if you don’t have the skills to do all of the work yourself, it is time to bring in the professionals and schedule the work. You may decide that the project is too extensive for you to handle due to limited skills or time restrictions. If you plan to have the entire job professionally done, you might want to save yourself the risks and the headaches of managing schedules and subcontractors by hiring a general contractor to oversee the entire job.

Then, at last, you can turn your attention to decorating and furnishing your new living room. The function of the room will provide some guidance for you in choosing colors and materials for floor, walls, ceiling, and window treatments. You might choose cooler colors for a more formal room and warmer colors for a retreat. You might choose colors, carpeting styles, and wallpaper to carry the style of your house into the new addition. A very modern home, for example might indicate ceramic tile on the floor with an accent area rug. A traditional home might seem to call for hardwood floors. A Queen Anne style home might lead you to select a particular style of wallpaper. And, don’t forget to include that one, special accent or conversation piece that will make the room truly special.

With careful planning and design you can create a living room addition that will meet the lifestyle needs of your family. You can enhance the curb appeal of your existing home with the addition and increase the resale value of your home. A living room addition is the perfect opportunity to create the perfect space for your needs.

Adding a room to a home is fun and exciting! Once you understand any restrictions placed on the project by local building codes and the architecture of your existing structure, you can create the room of your dreams.