What To Do When Life Outgrows Your Home

Remodeling Tips

By Megan Smith

Add On

Once you reach adulthood, your priorities start to change. Eventually, you tire of living with your parents and move into an apartment. Having your own space is a great accomplishment. However, over time, you get tired of paying someone else for housing. The next step is to purchase your own home. Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make, and it often comes with a lot of hard work to achieve that dream.

As you get settled in your home, things change. Maybe you get a dog or two, get married and have kids. As your dream life grows, your dream home may get smaller. So what do you do when your life outgrows your home? Do you move into a larger one? Sure, you could do that, but do you really have the funds to support a new home? If you’re like most families, the answer is “no.”

A slightly simpler fix would be to add on to your current home. Whether you do the work yourself or hire a contractor, it’s important to know where to start. Below is a list of important questions to consider:


RemodelAre there any zoning restrictions?

In most cases, there are zoning restrictions, ranging from how tall a building can be, to how close it can be to the front of your property. It is highly recommended that you contact your county office to verify the zoning restrictions before you settle on any course of action.

Will the addition flow with your home’s existing structure?

While many plan on staying in their home forever, sometimes there are situations that arise where you may need to sell your home. Depending on your personal preference, it may be important to have your new addition compliment the style of your home.

How should you spend on an addition?

This is one of the most important questions to address, because it’s easy to have champagne taste on a Kool-Aid budget. We all want our dream bathroom, or our dream man cave, but those dreams can cost a pretty penny. Typically, the cost can average anywhere from $100 to $200 per square foot for a room. So a realistic budget is important.

What are your needs versus your wants?

Prioritization is huge when it comes to any project, no matter the size. Make sure you take care of the “needs” before you work on the “wants” for your addition. For example, you’ll want to have a strong foundation before you start thinking about what color you’re going to paint the walls.

Are you prepared?

Home improvement can be a big job, and the task of a full remodel/addition is going to be filled with some amount of clutter and chaos. Try and stick to a schedule, but expect a few roadblocks now and then. Be prepared to have issues with your contractor, or with your parents and friends who are trying to be helpful. It’s ok to listen to the opinions of others, but in the end, remember that it’s your home.

Home improvement ideas and opportunities will always pop up, especially after you finish a previous project. It’s ok to take a break to step back and reevaluate what you’re doing. You will have days where you feel like nothing is getting accomplished, but then, out of the blue, there will be a day where you finish a project as small as installing the last doorknob and it feels like you’ve just built an entire house. Have fun, and enjoy the fact that one day, your project will be complete.


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