Photo by Carrie Qualters

by Dan Fritschen

Update: One of the best ways to save yourself time and money when embarking on a remodeling project is to try and have a pretty good idea of the final outcome before you start getting estimates and hiring contractors. As well as interior design, it’s good to have an idea of the size, shape and layout of your remodel or addition. Apart from sketching plans yourself, there are a number of apps and websites such as Smartdraw that will help you get a head start on your remodel.

The design of an addition to a home can be a major undertaking or really quite simple.  What an addition should look is sometimes obvious, other times it can be a big challenge.

Reviewing and collecting  floor plan ideas is a great place to start.  Even if you are hiring an architect or a home designer, having your own collection of floor plans will help you decide what you like and ultimately make the best decision.

Envisioning the addition from floor plan sketches is easy for some and near impossible for others.  “Taste” is the same; some people just know what looks good, while others really struggle to get just the right look.

My suggestion to most people is to work to ensure that the addition matches or complements the style and features of the existing home.  Ceiling heights, door and window styles, wall texture and trim should all appear cohesive between new and old.  While this isn’t everyone’s first choice, I think there are a couple of reasons to try it.

1. If your addition is one style and the rest of your home is a different style – you won’t enjoy the older part of your home as much as you could.  One great solution is take a small portion of your remodeling budget and upgrade the original part of your home so that it has some of the design characteristics of the addition.

2. If you plan to sell your home – it is likely that potential buyers who otherwise are attracted to the size and location of your home, will not appreciate or tolerate the differences between new and old, and will either offer less for your home or pass on it entirely.

So before  you remodel, get many different room addition floor plans and work with them to ensure your addition meets your needs and is really the best solution to your design challenges.