Proper Planning for a Home Addition

Design Build Home Improvement Contracting – Addition and Exterior Remodel

You’ve decided that you need some extra square footage in your home. A home addition is the best way to do that. There is a lot of planning involved in building an addition to your home. You want to be sure that everything is in order before you get started. Here’s some advice to properly plan for your home addition.

 

How Far Should I Plan in Advance?

You should begin your planning a minimum of 6 weeks before you want the project to start. A major reason for this is the various permits that are involved with building a home addition, By allowing this much time before the start of the project, you have all your preparations in place before construction actually begins. Make sure that your project can be permitted in time for the project to start.

Also, ensure that the required building materials will arrive on schedule for when they need to be used. Any material delivery delays can become costly headaches later, especially if they are at critical junctures in the project. Therefore, it’s good to have everything ready as you need it. Otherwise, you may need to delay the start of the project so that what you need will be available when it’s necessary.

 

What Should I Check With the Town Before Beginning the Addition?

Make sure that your project can be built the way you were intending at all before bringing out the hammers! Every city and town has different building codes and laws about what needs to be permitted in residential areas. Each municipality is different in what needs to be permitted. Sometimes, they have very specific rules on what they will even allow you to build on your property.

If something is not how the city or town likes it, you may be able to get a variance if the terms are within reason. But variances can take time to process and it’s very possible for them to be denied. You want to try and avoid these if at all possible. A good local contractor will be able to find out what might need a variance in advance.

You will also want to check on town zoning laws, especially with things like septic. It’s important to know the potential setbacks that may occur with permitting your project, especially if you require a variance with what you are trying to build with your addition. You may discover that you can’t build a new structure within a certain distance from your property line. You also want to discuss the addition project with your neighbors in case they may end up having issues with it being built. The last thing you want is someone next door messing up your project as it’s already in progress!

 

Have a Detailed Design-Build Plan

Once you have a good idea what you’ll be able to afford to build within the local building codes and zoning laws, it’s time to draw out the project as in much detail as possible. The more specific you are in your plan, the less likely that there will be mix-ups. The advantage of choosing a design-build contractor specifically is to make sure the project is drawn out as part of the contract. This way, you have peace of mind in knowing that you, the design team, and the contractor are all on the same page. You want a design-build team that under promises and over delivers, and keeps your mind off of all of the potential downfalls of a project. Then, you can focus on the eventual success of your beautiful new home addition.

Sunrooms and Three Season Rooms as a Cooking and Entertaining Space

Have you ever thought of building a sunroom as your outdoor party space? Maybe you have an existing one that can be redone for that purpose. Instead of a simple seating or gardening area, your sunroom can actually serve as a full service outdoor kitchen and entertainment area. Keep your guests coming back with everything in one place. Here’s how.

Extra Cooking Space Without the Outdoor Weather

Too hot out? Maybe it’s raining on your parade? Not to worry when your outdoor kitchen is essentially indoors – in your sunroom. You obviously don’t want to smoke out your guests. So, your outdoor sunroom kitchen should include cooking areas that use electricity, rather than charcoal. There are more ways to do this than you might think. Talk to a remodeling and addition contractor to find out the latest innovations.

Keep the Party Outdoors

If you enjoy the outdoors, the sunroom is still an awesome place to build in a kitchen and entertaining area. With easier access to the yard, you and your guests get all the benefits of an outdoor party without being limited to just the outdoors. This way, guests who wish to be outside won’t have to go far and those who prefer the indoors can stick to the sunroom. This keeps people more social, as it’s easier for everyone to communicate.

Sunroom Feature Ideas

Cook tops are a great kitchen addition for sunrooms, as it eliminates the need to go in and out of the house while preparing food for your guests. The same can be said for griddle and grill tops that use electricity, rather than charcoal. This keeps things both convenient and social.

Another idea is to install a small powder or half bath. This is more convenient for guests and helps keep the mess outside, rather than in your main living space. These are especially handy if you have a pool or if guests have small children or will be over long periods of time.

Outdoor furniture, such as tables and ample seating is obvious. However, one may not always consider built-ins and fold-outs, which can be extremely convenient. Others may also decide to have a small mud closet area for guests to use during get-togethers. A pool table, card table, outdoor theater or stereo, and other entertainment-related amenities may be another choice.

Deciding What’s Best For You

When imagining your entertainment sunroom, think about the things you and your guests enjoy the most. Also, consider the space available to decide which features you need most, as well as those you can do without. If your sunroom is small, consider built-in options with high storage and shelving to maximize the space. A fancy entertainment space is nice, but only if you’ll use all of the features. Be sure to choose the best features for your personal idea of outdoor fun. Your contractor can help you figure out what works best with your budget, needs, and style. It helps to write all of your ideas, wants, and needs in a notebook when meeting with them. This way, nothing is forgotten in the final design.

When You Realize That You Need More Space

Getting married and starting a family is an exciting time in everyone’s lives. It is around this time that many decide to take the extra step of buying their own home. Home ownership is one of the rites of passage kinds of things that make most men and women truly feel like an adult. The combination of being a parent and owning your own home is like the ultimate American dream come true.

While owning your own home is a great thing, it also comes with its challenges. The biggest of these is when the planned family size is exceeded, especially when it is greatly exceeded. Many couples decide to have just two or three kids, but destiny deems that more is in store for them. When they have four their four bedrooms home simply isn’t able to accommodate the larger sized family.

What becomes such a problem is that many couples cannot afford to sell their current home to get a bigger one. That is an expense they simply cannot take on, especially since they have more children than what was expected. There are options that make sense, and the best one of these is the home remodel.

Remodeling your home can usually be done at a reasonable cost, keeping your financial security safer than deciding to buy a new home and move. One of the best places to start is to look at larger sized rooms and see if they can be turned into two smaller rooms. While some space is taken away by an additional wall and a new door, the fact is that two children get their own space, or four kids can share two rooms instead of just one room.

You can also look at great rooms you may have. Many families have a basement or downstairs living room that could be turned into rooms. A simple addition of walls and even a bathroom can do the trick for you and give you the added number of bedrooms that you need.

The unfinished basement is one of the best places to remodel, usually because they are made to do with as you please. Many are just big open spaces with some support beams around spread evenly around. These support beams make it easy to add walls and build the additional rooms you need.

There are times where that may not work. You may not have extra space like that, and so you will need to add space to your home. This can be costly, especially if you do not have a lot of property to build off of. For many the solution is to look at the garage as an option. The garage can be used in one of two ways to solve your problem. If you do not need to park in the garage you could turn the garage into a room or two. Frequently there is water access in the garage so a bathroom can be added as well.

If you need to have your garage space, then look into putting the room above the garage. This is obviously more costly, but is a way to use the space you have to accommodate your needs.

Useful Tips and Ideas for Home Additions

If you think that your current place is no longer able to accommodate you and your needs, there are two options open for you; sell and move out or improve. When you assess both options, you will find that it costs more to find a new place than to have your present home renovated.

It is better to stay in your home, especially if you have no complaints with everything around you – you love the neighborhood and school district, your yard and you like it that you do not have to travel far when shopping and going to work. What you can do if you want more living space is to add on and upgrade your current living conditions. It is true that renovation projects can be messy and stressful, but when done right, you can expect the most satisfying results.

The important thing to keep in mind is the need for careful and effective planning; you have to understand what the job requires. The steps to follow are quite simple; decide on what you want done and hire the best contractor to help you get the job done right.

Get Started on the Right Track

Adding on is not just about putting a new structure to your house. It is essential to understand that an addition project actually affects the whole home structure.

When you add on, you need to remodel. For instance, creating an extension to your kitchen is surely going to mean that the room is going to be totally messed up. What’s there will be ripped out to make room for the bigger space that you need. Even if the addition you need is for a new room, the existing structure of the house is still going to be affected.

So, your addition project is actually a remodeling plan. When you just add something, it’s like putting a new room and neglecting the look of the old rooms. This is not going to look right; you want everything inside your home to match and complement each other. As much as possible, the new additions should blend in so well that people will find it hard to notice. Thus, in order to achieve that objective, the rest of the house should undergo remodeling when you add space.

Additionally, experts say that it is actually better to look at your project with the remodeling approach before you consider the addition plan. Look at your existing space and reconfigure it based on what you require. If you do this right, you will surely end up avoiding the need to add and will just stick to remodeling (which is really the more cost-effective option).

Remodeling allows you to have the extra space that you need without the need to add another room or extend an existing one. If you really need another room though – like a family room – it would be better to step back a little and reassess your existing space. The best idea is to upgrade your home instead of just tacking a new room to it.

 

Shrewsbury Remodelers Use Digital Media to Boost Customer Satisfaction

The demand for remodeling services in Shrewsbury has risen significantly over the last couple of years. Kermit Baker, a director for Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard said that recent data shows the need for remodeling services may surpass the peak in 2007. Competition is increasingly in line with the market, which is forcing remodelers to leverage new digital media to improve the quality of the services that they provide.

How Will Digital Technology Affect the Remodeling Industry?

Since the Massachusetts remodeling industry is on the verge of rapid market growth, contractors must offer their services more efficiently and find more effective ways to reach customers. There are a number of ways that they are taking advantage of new technology to reach their goals.

Bruce Case, president of Case Design/Remodeling, told CNBC that social media has been a very effective outlet for reaching new customers. “Most of us got into this remodeling business because we love the smell of sawdust, we love design, we’re passionate about homes,” said Case. “Now we have to be experts in social media and all these other platforms.”

Social media isn’t just more efficient for finding new leads. It is also becoming essential for earning trust and bidding against other competitors. Consumers have abandoned using the Yellow Page and started turning to platforms such as Yelp and Houzz to locate contractors. There are a number of reasons these websites are preferable to the old Yellow Pages:

  • Contractors can update their information immediately, which makes it easier for customers to reach them.
  • Customers can view feedback from other homeowners, which helps them choose the right contractor.
  • These websites can be accessed on any device in a matter of seconds.

These websites are clearly simplifying life for both homeowners and contractors throughout Massachusetts. They are even playing an important role for the remodeling industry in Shrewsbury and the surrounding area. There are currently 406 contractors in the area listed on Yelp. Feedback among prior customers shows that the quality of these remodelers varies considerably, so these sites make it much easier for customers to make unequivocal comparisons.

At Remodel Werks, we have found that sites such as Houzz have been especially beneficial. They have helped us draw more qualified leads, so we can work with the clients that are the best fit. We have also received great reviews from previous customers such as this:

“We would highly recommend Remodelwerks. Joe and his crew created a fantastic entertainment room in our basement. We are very pleased with the result, and our kids and their friends love this new, appealing space of their own. Mark and Ron did the majority of the work. These guys are hardworking, skilled, and professional. It was a pleasure having them in our home. Remodelwerks attended to every detail, and Joe did an excellent job of designing and coordinating the project. He was at our home regularly to check on progress and kept us informed about the schedule. We will definitely hire Remodelwerks for future projects.”

Since people are highly influenced by feedback from other customers, we appreciate receiving such reviews. They prove that we take pride in the work that we deliver to our customers.

6 Simple Master Bathroom Addition Ideas that Offer Great Luxury

Many folks these days are building additions onto their home including master bedroom and master bathroom additions. Our designs include a variety of uses include master bedroom additions over existing garages, 2-story additions adjacent to the home, or even master bedroom / master bathroom additions on the ground level in preparation for the ability to stay at home during post retirement.

bathroom-lighting-ideas-fancy-bathroom-lighting-ideasHectic lifestyle can really impact our health and mind and therefore many homeowners today look out for luxuries that they can add to their home that can allow them to escape and kickstart their day in a better way. Creating your own master bathroom plan can be exciting, but it certainly needs some planning based on your budget and requirements. This will help you to be sure that you’re not overspending, but at the same time you have the luxuries that you need to start your day in a better mood. Let’s take a quick look at some of the master bathroom ideas that you can focus on.

Flooring Options

While flooring is often ignored by most homeowners you need to make sure that you have the right flooring material for your master bathroom. This can make a great impact on how your master bathroom addition looks and you can choose from variety of options available in the market. However, the most popular options are tile flooring, granite flooring and linoleum flooring that you can use to personalize your master bathroom.

Appropriate Lighting

A dimly lit master bathroom in your new addition can make you feel dull at the start of the day or when you return home from work. You also need to work on the lights to ensure that they set the right mood and make you feel fresh. You can call in the experts that can ensure that the lights are placed at the right level and angle to get maximum brightness.

Shower Style Preferences

Different people have different opinions and therefore you need to think about the shower style you prefer. If you want more space you can go for open shower which usually requires a curtain. However, if you want a closed shower style you can choose from enclosed shower cubicles and other options that you can find in the market. However, do keep in mind your budget because some enclosed shower cubicles are quite expensive.

Luxurious Bath Tub

If you want more luxury you can also install a luxurious bath tub where you can have some private moments of peace. Relaxing in a bath tub can help you to relieve stress and allow you to feel better at the start of the day or when you are back from work tired and stressed out. However, ensure that the bath tub is not too big or too small for the space available in your bathroom.

Simple Fogless Mirror

What annoys most people is that they have to wait for few minutes for the bathroom mirror to de-fog after a hot shower. If you live a hectic lifestyle where every second counts then you have to opt for fogless mirror that stays fogless and allows you to checkout yourself.

Creative Cabinets

Various personal items in the bathroom addition can make the area look cluttered and therefore you need cabinets and shelves that can store all the items neatly. Creative cabinet layouts and more drawer space can ensure that you get the option to store more items while keeping your master bathroom clean and uncluttered.

 

Building Code Regulations for Creating a New Garage in Shrewsbury

A growing number of Shrewsbury homeowners have started renovating their properties over the past year. Garage renovations and additions are among the most popular home improvement that they seek. Unfortunately, there are a number of building codes that homeowners need to navigate before commencing on a project. Here are some of the key details that you need to be aware of.

Building Code Requirements for Garages

The requirements for new garages are outlined under Sectional-type_overhead_garage_doorthe State Board of Building Code Regulations and Standards. Some of the most important building code regulations are listed below. Although these are state laws, the Shrewsbury Building Inspector is responsible for overseeing and enforcing them. You can reach them at (508) 841-8512 if you need information beyond the scope of this guide. Your contractor will also be happy to provide additional information as needed.

Working with a CLS Contractor

According to 780 CMR, Section 108.3.5, any work that is done to a structural element of your property must be conducted by a contractor with a Contractor Supervisor License (CSL) if you want to receive the protections afforded by the CSL and HIC programs. Constructing or renovating a garage falls under the scope of this provision, so you should seriously consider hiring a CSL contractor. Otherwise, you have few protections if you have a dispute with your contractor.

Life Safety System Requirements

Massachusetts Building Code 780 CMR 5313 specifies that all garages that are attached to the rest of the house must have certain life safety systems in place. These include fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. They must include simulated voice and tone alarms to ensure homeowners are alerted of potential hazards. They must also have a backup battery in case the electric connection fails.

Understand Zoning Requirements

It is imperative that you understand the zoning requirements before building or renovating a garage. State regulations prohibit homeowners from storing more than three vehicles in a residential garage, so you don’t want to build a large garage for the sole purpose of keeping additional cars for your guests. The law also limits the amount of exposed ground in the garage to 10% of the lot size.

There are some additional regulations on storage of commercial vehicles and other factors that you need to be aware of. You should consult with your CSL contractor or the Shrewsbury Building Inspector if you need more guidance.

How Do You Build an In-Law Apartment that’s Worth the Investment?

American real estate market has always been changing as per the needs and demands of the home buyers that want something more from their properties that they purchase. While comfort is at the core of home buyer’s requirement there are many other things that constantly changes with the change in lifestyle. In-law apartments also popularly known as mother-in-law apartments or granny apartments is the latest concept that is making waves in the American real estate market and the basic objective here is to provide senior citizens with an option to lead their life with complete freedom and privacy without interfering in the life of the young ones. Read more

Why Have an In-Law or Above-Garage Bedroom Addition?

Have you ever considered an in-law addition? Whether you need a selling point for potential buyers, a private guest area, or you simply need extra space for renters, building an in-law addition can help.  Those and many other factors make them worthwhile. Here are some of the main reasons people choose this type of addition. Read more

Adding on to Your Shrewsbury Home

Hunting for a new house can be stressful and time consuming. One of the reasons people move is because they need more space.

Many people enjoy living & working in the Shrewsbury, Westborough, or Metro West Boston area.

Homeowners should consider adding on to their existing traditional-family-roomhome to avoid paying higher mortgage rates and to make their homes more valuable. Adding on to an existing home can add value to the property when deciding to sell it. The property will be more desirable to a potential buyer because it stands out from the other homes and offers additional features. Additional rooms can be very profitable to the seller. There are several ways to expand upon the property, but planning is the key.

Home owners should determine what the extra space is going to be used for. Consider areas of the house that are a priority. The extension should be determined based upon the needs of the household. A couple may need more room for the children or a larger work space. Extending the home does not only occur indoors. Outdoor extensions include patios, gazebos and front porches. For a warm climate area such as California pools may be a great investment.

This can be a big job to complete alone without expert advice. RemodelWerks is a Design/Build Specialist and we pride ourselves in making the process of adding on to the home a breeze and stress free. We will provide expert advice about the best location to make the extension within the home.

Have more questions about design or building your shrewsbury home addition? Should We Expand? How much additional square feet should we add? Will the design and scale of the addition fit in with our existing home? Can we handle the disruption that may come from building an addition?

 

Visit our home additions page for more information.

Visit our In-Law Apartment Addition Gallery page.