4 Helpful Tips for Designing Your Dream Home Addition

Marwa Hasan
Written by Marwa Hasan
Updated October 5, 2021
Dog sitting on the couch in a modern sitting area
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Before designing your home addition, you'll want to consider things like your goals for the new space and budget

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A home addition can be a great way to extend your living space and also increase your home’s value. Whether you’re adding on another room or finally ready to build your dream walk-in closet, you’ll want to consider a few things before you get started. These tips will help you navigate planning your home addition with ease.

1. Consider Why You Want More Space

You love the neighborhood and the location of your home, but your house is getting a bit cramped. You tried all the creative ideas to make your home feel bigger, but nothing is working. 

Before spending money on a home addition, start by asking yourself these questions.

What Are Your Key Objectives for Building a Home Addition?

Maybe you have a new family member, want a bigger kitchen, or you’re finally building the primary suite you’ve dreamed of for years. 

What Problems Do You Want the Home Addition to Solve?

Are toys everywhere? Is your mother-in-law coming to live with you? Do you need an extra bedroom to separate the kids?

Do You Have the Budget for It?

You might have an idea for your home addition, but you have to consider a solution that realistically fits your budget. 

A home addition can cost between $20,900 and $72,600. While adding a bedroom is the least expensive and easiest option, expect to pay more if you decide to build a bathroom or kitchen home addition, which requires expensive plumbing and specialized materials.

Will the Room Addition Increase the Value of Your Home?

You should consider what’s right for you, but it’s equally important to consider the ROI. While generally, adding square feet to your home will increase the value of the house, let’s consider the most profitable additions. 

Primary bedroom suites, garages, and extended kitchens have a very high ROI that could be up to 100%. Also, adding a deck or second-story additions pays off when it comes time to sell with an ROI of 80%.

2. Check for Obstacles and Zoning Regulations

Check for obstacles like trees or structures you want to keep and power or utility lines you want to work around. Consider if you have a beautiful view you’d like to look at through the window of your new addition or if you want your room to face a certain direction to help regulate temperature. For example, a sunroom will collect more heat in the winter if it’s facing south.

Be sure to also look into zoning, legal restrictions (i.e., building area ratios), and building codes about what can be built on the property.

3. Choose the Style

Couple planning style of home addition
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Like any home remodeling project, planning is the most important part. Keep these points in mind as you plan your new home addition.

Create a Vision Board

The best starting point for any design is to create a wishlist. Allow yourself to dream—create a vision board of photo clips from magazines and Pinterest ideas. You can also check brochures for information about products and materials. 

Include any special features you are considering, like a fireplace or a kitchen island. Even if a feature seems costly—you may be able to splurge on a couple of items and economize elsewhere.

Define Your Goals for the New Home Addition

Now make a list of your wants and needs. This list will help you prioritize and communicate with the designer and will determine how much your home addition will cost.

Be Practical

If you're planning on building a new kitchen, it can be smarter and more cost-effective to break some walls and maximize your current kitchen instead of creating a new kitchen from scratch. 

Planning goes a long way toward achieving the optimal design for your home addition. Reconfiguring and shuffling your current space can often get the same results with fewer expenses.

Design With a Budget in Mind

Once a budget has been set, you can now begin to plan your project. Work with your architect or interior designer on the details and the materials needed to design your vision. Later they will provide you with the blueprint to submit to the city. 

4. Create the Plans

Once you’ve selected a designer for your home addition, the fun begins. It’s time to bring your vision to life! 

Communicate With the Designer

A design professional (an architect or an interior designer) will speak with you to get all the information they need, including understanding your vision for the new addition. 

Once you meet with the designer, they will take a few walks around the home to see the impact of various changes, such as structure and circulation.

Match the Addition to Your Home

When building a home addition, you need to have a design that blends with the existing house and flows seamlessly with its style. You can achieve this by focusing on finer details, such as the roofline, interior trim profiles, and materials. The design should make the new addition look like a part of the original building.

Visualizing the Design

If it’s hard to visualize the design, ask the designer to provide you with a 3D drawing to see the new addition and how it fits with your home. The architect should have a couple of options for you to choose from.

Final Blueprint

The architect will now turn your vision into tangible plans. The blueprint should include details like light fixtures, electrical outlets, and cable hookups. Once the design is finalized, you can turn your attention to hiring a local remodeling contractor, which is something the architect can also handle.

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