Home and Room Addition Projects
Home Additions: Growing Family Needs, Convenience, Equity Values.
Home Additions: Growing Family Needs, Convenience, Equity Values.
Common Addition to home dimensions and sizes include: 12 x 12 addition, 26 x 28, 10 x 16, 2 story, 20 x 20, 40 x 40, 20 x 24, 16 x 24, 22 x 22, 10 x 20, 24 x 15, 27 x 20, 10 x 40, 20 x 26, 9 x 12, 30 x 30, 20 x 12
Owning a home is simply the American dream for most people. This is the place where we as a people spend the majority of our time. It provides comfort, safety and entertainment, but what if you want to add some spice to your homefront? Do you know where to start or what you are doing? Maybe you have a specific idea in mind, but you just don’t know how to make it a reality. Fortunately, you’re in luck, this page is designed to provide beneficial tips, tricks and ideas to get the ball rolling.
The U.S. is a pretty big sized country that’s sort of divided into sections such as the North, South, East and West. From this point, the country is further split into (sub-sections) such as the Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Pacific Northwest or Southwest. Each region has its own personal style of living, and the homes of these regions are a direct reflection of the people who influence the architecture.
Architecture, Style & Influence in American Homes
Before we get into greater detail, homes in each region are designed and built to handle that specific area’s climate. The weather plays a critical role in home building and renovation. Homes in the Northern states that have flat roofing surfaces isn’t ideal because of heavy snow accumulations.
On the other hand, Southern beach houses that are built off ground level, don’t have to worry about flooding during tropical storms. Always consider the climate in your area before making extensive changes to the home’s structure. Let’s check out some of the more popular homes of each area, and what can be done to make these dwellings even better.
Midwest: This area of the country has wide open spaces and rich architectural tapestry. The region is known for its wide range of home designs and architecture. This includes Prairie, Craftsman, Ranch and Traditional. These dwellings generally have neutral colors and are built with plenty of natural materials, which is a reflection of the environment.
Traditional Homes are fairly common here as they display comfortable living from historical American style. Many of the homes are encased in either bay/bow/box windows and posses vaulted ceilings or huge fire places. Large interior living spaces works great for family living and the homes have plenty of bedrooms. Big country style kitchens are present, which connects with a dining/nook area.
Traditional and Ranch Homes have an abundance of free space thanks to their size. These homes generally have a lot of hardwood flooring. Just by changing the hardwood, the home can create a fresh new look. Hardwood options can include:
Oak Harvest | Hand Scraped Hickory | Red Oak | Artificial Wood Laminate
Want to take it a step further? Tile is the weapon of choice. Thanks it’s durability, versatility and appearance, tile can transform bathrooms and kitchens into a work of art. For Traditional Home Addition Project, try removing the hardwood and replacing it with tile.
Natural Stone has a shiny, mirror-like finish, which is great fro bathrooms and walls. This includes granite, slate, travertine, or marble.
Porcelain is great for heavy traffic areas, and it emulates a natural stone, brick or wood finish.
Ceramic is a cheaper alternative, but provides a gorgeous look. Ceramic also can be easily cut, used as a “backsplash,” and is scartch resistant.
Engineered Hardwood is another great alternative as it’s scratch resistant and offers a 50-year residential warranty.
The Midwest also has Prairie Homes. These dwellings can be two-to-three stories with low slopped roofs. With stone and brick foundations, they blend in brilliantly with the natural landscape. Older Prairie homes have small porches, but many of the contemporary Prairie Homes, commonly have large porches.
Thanks to the large brick columns, back porches can be turned into terraces. An enclosed terrace with walls can be transformed into a home gym or game room, with or without windows. The options are nearly endless.
Southeast: The Southeastern United States has some of the finest house designs of any region. These homes are about as eclectic as the unpredictable weather, which forces contractors to build homes that are practical, yet luxurious. Mid-Century, Cottage, Ranch, Traditional, Beach houses and more, personifies Southern living. English Cottage Homes are very pleasing to the eye as they offer a mixture of exterior stone and brick.
Emphasis is based on framed bay windows and shed dormers, which are great for letting in plenty of natural light as well as protection from the elements. Since the South has a lot of rainfall, many homeowners have opted for (board & batten) siding. Huge wrap around porches provides shade during the hot summer months. Pitched/Gabled roofs are common, which finishes off the appearance.
Southern homes tend to implement vinyl and laminate flooring. Though hardwood is present, extreme humidity can cause the hardwood to swell, especially if the home lacks good ventilation. As of late, English Cottage homeowners have ditched asphalt shingles and have renovated with metal roofing instead thanks to its high durability.
Southern Beach Homes are found in coastal areas such as Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina or Louisiana. These homes are generally bright in color and are raised from ground level since the region suffers from tropical system storm surge. Big box styled windows encases the dwelling on all sides, which lets in plenty of natural light.
Depending on the location, most beach homes have wrap around porches. To maximize this space, homeowners have opted to transform these spaces into extensive decks, which increases property value. The interiors are quite open and airy while lacking any strong pillars or structures. Residing in a coastal environment has its challenges.
Saltwater corrosion and moisture fraught air are prevalent here. These natural circumstances can have negative effects and will eat away at standard paint and wooden girders. For home addition projects it may be wise to use corrosion resistant material for paint, nails or any metal substances around the house.
Beach Home Addition Tips
If your beach house has an upper and lower level, one of the best home addition tips for increasing space is to add upper and lower level patios.
For a more symmetrical appearance, rectangular shaped houses should implement rectangular shaped patios.
Add decorative fencing around the upper level, which can some in any color such as gold, stainless steel, dark brass, black etc.
Beach house owners can use the existing lower level or extend it outward away from the house for more space. Flameless fire pits and couches completes the look.
Georgia Cottage Addition Tips
These homes have plenty of potential for renovations thanks to their square shaped layout. Porches are popular in the South and a rustic appearance is stunning to see as it matches the Georgian environment.
Replace the standard wooden beams with bigger, darker and thicker wooden beams. The bottom of the beam should sit in a staggered design concrete slab.
Porches with good roof beam support could have a rustic hanging swing or rustic hanging night lamp.
Mid-Century Home Upgrades
These homes have been around for decades, but their popularity has grown dramatically over the years. Are you looking to add more space for entertainment purposes or update the throwback appearance? Here are two tips for success:
Try removing the (ultra wide brick fireplace), which plagues these homes. After removal, it will give your living/family room a bit more square footage.
To drastically change your interior’s appearance, try implementing (brick veneer). Also known as Manufactured Stone Veneer, this material can be used on fire places and walls, which creates a cozier feel.
Northeast: This region of the country is like a gumbo pot of different cultures thanks to its inhabitants. Northeastern Homes vary in appearance and structure with models such as Neoclassical, Traditional, Cape Cod, Town House and Tudor houses. Once again, the weather plays a huge role in how the structures are built as this area’s homes have more steep roofs and broader chimneys.
Cape Cod Homes are an eastern seaboard favorite, and they’re more prevalent in the New England region. The homes are generally one-and-a-half stories with simple floor plans. Shutters are common along the big multi-pane windows. The interior can posses sweeping or symmetrical staircases along with big living quarters. Vaulted ceilings create even more space in a sense, which opens up the entire floor plan.
Many Cape Cod Homes have a side entry garage with windows to the front. Garages tend to hold one vehicle, but thanks to the home’s simple layout, homeowners have renovated this to hold at least two vehicles.
Tile flooring is very common in Cape Cod Homes, but with such cold temperatures, homeowners have implemented Radiant Floor Heating Systems, which keeps the kitchen and bathroom floors warm.
Cape Cod Homes posses’ arched doorways throughout the home. One way of spicing things up is to add decorative molding on/above the arch. There are numerous pre-cut designs to choose from and all you’ll need are your arch’s measurements. For those who want a custom look, try working with a home building contractor for best results.
French Style Homes are another Northeast classic that comes in an ancient and contemporary design. These houses have detailed entrances, tall brick chimneys and vertical, double pane windows. The interior has plenty of renovation potential thanks to the abundance of extra rooms. Living quarters are rather large, which connects to long dark hallways.
To spruce things up, homeowners have completely reworked the garage area by increasing size, and changing the style of brick. Options include:
Calcium Silicate Bricks: Composed of limestone & sand, comes in numerous colors, and have a smooth uniform finish
Fire Bricks: Brighter in color, used for exterior upgrades & used in fireplaces
Engineered Bricks: Provides a darker coal-like appearance
Another popular renovation is to add a custom garage door with Chateu Style Windows for a more refined look.
Southwest: Southwest Homes have a lot of Spanish influence in its design. Also known as “Pueblo or Sante Fe,” these homes pepper the landscape of Arizona, New Mexico and California. Adobe Homes are very common here, and they have a unique design, which includes flat roofs and rounded edged walls.
The windows of these homes are smaller than normal, but the Adobe Homes have unlimited space and potential. Highlights included are:
Numerous bedrooms, a central skylight, deluxe bathrooms & fireplaces
Extra closet space
Adobe Homes generally have a big country kitchen with unlimited counter space. Being in such an arid dry climate, the homes tend to have tile flooring, which are cool to the touch. Many upscale (Adobes) are constructed with marble or limestone flooring.
Other popular Southwest Homes included are Modern, Mid-Century Modern, Ranch and Monterrey. Modern Homes are plentiful here also, and they stand out considerably. These homes can have asymmetrical shapes with large panel windows.
Being fairly futuristic in design, these homes need little to no exterior renovations and come with expensive granite counter tops and marble floors. Most of the renovation work is done on outside driveways and garages.
Having so much extra square, kitchen footage, many homeowners have opted to putting in an island range or small bar.
Tip #1: For a more uniform look, granite counter tops should match granite flooring.
Tip #2: Thanks to their square roof layout, this area can be transformed into a “Green Space,” or a roof terrace. Implement straight, diagonal or multi-directional steps for accessing the roof.
Tip #3: Importantly, consider historical considerations. Homeowners of Adobe Homes may have to stick to historic regulations or guidelines.
Southwest Ranch Homes Ideas
These homes can easily be transformed thanks to their blueprint. Just about everything is four-sided with these homes, whether it’s the rooms, windows or counter tops. Ranch Homes have many columns and walls throughout, which can make the area feel a bit restrictive. Some great home additions can include:
Removing some interior walls or columns for added space and increasing an airy environment.
Remove long rectangular counter tops and replace them with modern curved counter tops.
Implement larger pane windows by removing the home’s natural four panel designed windows.
Working with precious and extremely heavy materials like granite should only be done by professionals. Home addition contractors have special equipment to get the job done without destroying your home. Whether it’s granite, marble or an engineered component, polishing the material is crucial to create a gorgeous finish.
Average homeowners don’t posses the knowledge or skill to use such industrial grade chemicals. If done incorrectly, your new counter top or floor could get scratched, give off a blurred shine or end up totally uneven and this is why professional use is so vital.
Though some renovation or restorative work can be done by the individual himself; more extensive remodels require professional home contractors. Here you have the four major sub-regions of the U.S. As you can see, each region has its own style and architecture though some styles overlap and are popular across the board. If you are thinking about bringing your home back from the brink, these tips can surely be of some much needed use.
There are typically several reasons why homeowners decide to take on a home addition project:
Adding value to the home
Adding functionality to the home
Support a growing family
Damage such as from water or other
Regardless of why you’re adding onto your house you need to be prepared. Let’s break down the list of questions into categories:
Ideally you want to work with a contractor who has the experience necessary to complete your project on time and on budget. Regardless of how you grade the contractor try to be up front with any questions or concerns you have. They will appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns.
How long have you been in business? (Contractors who go into business often have been in the trade for many years. You might want to clarify this.)
Do you have a contracting license? (Cities, states and even counties have different requirements for contractors getting licensed. Make sure that the contractor has gone through all of the necessary channels to obtain any required certifications specific to their field of expertise.)
Do you work with a dedicated team? (Contracting companies often work on multiple projects at a time, so it’s important to verify that you can count on consistency in who comes to work on your home each day.)
Will I have the same team working on my home every day?
Do you work with subcontractors? Are they properly qualified and covered by your liability and worker’s compensation insurance?
How often does the owner of the company check on the progress of the project?
What experience do you have with my specific type of home addition? (Different types of addition projects require different things which can add to the complexity of the project: Permit requirements, use of subcontractors.)
If you are adding onto your home making significant changes, you need to have permits. This includes all proper building inspections during the process and after the project is completed. Additionally, each specialty trade, such as electrical or plumbing, has its own permit.
Can the costs of all permits be added into your bid? (Permits should be pulled and issued in the Contractor’s name not yours. If the contractor hesitates it may indicate a red flag. Perhaps they have issues working in the city or are not licensed. Ask clarifying questions.)
Do you have experience in my local municipality pulling permits? (You should hire an experienced, locally licensed contractor who does quality work and knows the system. A properly licensed contractor must meet certain qualifications to pull a permit. These include having a master technician on the team and meeting selected screening qualifications)
Contracts are obviously important. You have room to negotiate and add in items you want in there.
How do you provide a description of the work? (Make sure it outlines all of the work, materials, and products that will go into the job. What will be knocked and torn down, what will be constructed—and each different material and fixture that will be used, with its associated cost.)
How are you paid? (This includes how often as well as the total price for the project. Contractors often create project milestones. Make sure they clearly define these. Initial down payments are typically around 10 %.)
Can you add “start and end dates” into my contract? (The point is that you both have an understanding of when work will commence and approximately when it will get completed.)
Addressing changes to your contract: (No changes to the original scope of work can happen until your contractor has given you clear description, costs, and what it does to the schedule. Change orders should be done in written format: email, pen & ink. Verbal agreements should be followed up with an email and confirmation from the contractor.)
Grace period to rescind your contract: (Some states allow for the homeowner three days rescinding their contract without penalty. If you’re not in one of these states you can request this to be added in. This helps prevent you from losing your deposit if something goes wrong early on.)
Can you add language into my contract that removes any liens? (Any professional that comes into your home as part of the crew has the ability to put a lien on your house claiming they were not paid. Request and ask about lien waivers as you make each installment.)
Here the idea is to get a picture of how the contractor will run your project. Are they responsive, what does a typical day look like? How Responsible are they?
What is your working day like? (Whether you are at home all day or at work it’s important to know what to expect during construction days.) Contractors:
What are the approximate start and end times during construction days?
What items do I need to remove around the construction site?
How much noise can I expect?
Do I need to be at home during construction?
Your Responsibility to the contractor:
Where can the crew park in your neighborhood? Restrooms. Some homeowners rent a Portapotty Who may be home, and what pets you have
How do you cleanup at the end of the day? (Set the expectation that the contractor and his/her crew will clean up at the end of every day. Trash, nails on the floor or ground, cleanup work surfaces, vacuum etc.)
How will you protect my property? (This is typically a given that a contractor will do this but you have the right to ask it. Just try and be respectful when posing these questions.)
How will you cover furniture items and surfaces in work areas?
What do crew members wear when they enter my home?
Can you make recommendations on what items should be moved?
How and where will you store tools? (If your job requires multiple days or weeks ask the contractor where they will store and keep their tools. How will they be transported?)