For a smart home addition, it is important to carefully consider three factors: design, cost and quality. No matter why you are adding on, if you address these three things, you will get the best results for your investment of time and money.

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Carefully consider design, cost, and quality when you are planning your home addition.

The design of an addition is important for several reasons. The design you choose needs to carefully balance your specific needs, say for more more room for a growing family or removing barriers for someone with disabilities, with what “works” in the home, both functionally and aesthetically. What “works” are additions that match or compliment the style of the home and the neighborhood. This seems a simple task, many people don’t consider the need to match their dream space with the current space.  For instance, they may envision an addition with 10 foot ceilings and one wall a giant glass window.  A nice sounding space, but it won’t really fit if their house is a 1960’s ranch with 8 foot ceilings and small casement windows. The problem with doing it “your way” is that this design incompatibility will make the house look disconnected, which may bother you and hurt resale value. Instead, consider both the addition and the original home when you are creating the design.  They do not need to be the same style, but there must be some elements that tie the two together.

The cost of your addition is under your control..really, it is. So many homeowners talk with a few contractors, get quotes from them and accept them as being an absolutely final cost. While the quote from these contractors is accurate, it also is based on a long list of decisions and assumptions. So if you aren’t happy with the cost estimate, look at the details that went into that estimate – the design, materials, and labor – and make adjustments until you reach a cost that is acceptable to you.

Finally, “Quality” is a loaded term in the remodeling industry. There is the quality of the materials you select and the quality of the workmanship. When you get quotes, you will likely be told that the contractor’s workmanship is the “highest” quality. It is important to distinguish when quality and cost are linked. For materials, appliances and fixtures, there is somewhat of an association between the price and the quality. The most expensive is not always the best, but generally, the least expensive will not hold up well. However, the quality and workmanship of contractors and workman don’t correlate with price. Sometimes a contractor does excellent work, but will charge less because he or she chooses to run a small business with low overhead, and pay themselves a modest salary. On the other hand, a contractor may put profit ahead of everything and have slick sales people, fancy trucks, a big office, and a giant salary and will charge top dollar for projects.  In this case, your money will not be paying for quality work, but for administrative costs.

If you need assistance in locating a contractor, use our free contractor referral service.  Click here and we will find a pre-screened contractor in your area. If you want to get a cost estimate for your addition, click here to use our free cost calculators. We also offer workbooks and organizers to help you with your remodel.  Click here to take a look at them.