3 Things to Consider When Adding Extensions onto a Home

Written by  //  September 17, 2019  //  Home Addition  //  Comments Off on 3 Things to Consider When Adding Extensions onto a Home

home extensions

You may be gearing up for a home improvement project that includes extending the house with an addition like a deck, porch, or even small side or rear orangery-type extensions. Before jumping into the construction and embellishments, you should spend a little time carefully planning so that the process runs smoothly and the outcome is what you envisioned. To help you with this step, here are 3 basic things to consider before you start adding extensions onto a home.

Zoning and Building Regulations

The first thing homeowners need to think about before starting extension projects is how much of an extension is allowed by local codes. You need to understand where your property and setback lines are. While your property line is how far your property extends, the setback line is the minimum distance from the property line your buildings can be constructed on. Footprint size, or the ground area used in construction, and building height limitations have to be taken into consideration as well. All of these will impact what sort of extensions you can add.

You would do well to get a property survey or plot plan that includes the existing structure on the drawing. Your local zoning enforcement officer and building department personnel can go over the regulations with you by reviewing the plan. This will ensure you are following the local codes, so your project won’t run into any issues later.

Cost, Budget, and Return on Investment

Do you have a budget for the project? Many homeowners do not have a clear understanding of all the costs associated with building an addition. Even if you are a professional architect, there may be hidden costs that can ramp up your projected expenses.

Professional services, such as architect and engineering fees need to be factored in, as do permit fees and the possibility that your taxes and utility costs will increase. Then there is the cost of the actual construction. Be sure to think about all the various costs that will go into the project, and add some padding to your budget in case of emergencies.

It is always a good idea to set a realistic budget with a cushion built in for expenses associated with unforeseen conditions and delays. It is worth seeking construction estimating services from a qualified industry expert. This can help you to realistically plan and to reduce anxiety around the cost of the construction.

It is also good to understand what the return on your investment might be. You want to make sure you can recoup the cost of the addition when it is time to sell your home. Fortunately, most extensions and additions add value to your home, as long as they are built properly and with an expectation of long use.


How long is it all going to take? Additions often take more time to construct than new construction. You are dealing with existing conditions, protection of personal property, and the safety of you and your family.

It is advisable to consult with local contractors to get a realistic idea of how much time you need to allow for. At the same time, consider whether the project will go faster if you relocate temporarily while the construction is in progress.

Try not to push the project unrealistically. It is wise to plan on several months for completion of the addition or extension. With adequate time, ta general contractor will not cut corners just to meet an unattainable schedule. Make sure to communicate with the designer and constructers to come up with a realistic timeline.


Before you have a construction equipment delivered to your property, do some project planning. Seek advice from those who understand the process. Know your local code restrictions. Get a clear handle on the budget. And finally, be realistic about the timing. There will always be problems that upset your carefully laid plans and unusual changes to your initial budget and schedule, but the more you prepare in advance, the less upsetting and unexpected these changes will be.

Keeping these tips in mind will make the project go more smoothly and with less stress, so you will be able to enjoy your refurbished deck, enlarged porch or even extra rooms and garden areas as soon as possible. You don’t need to buy a new house to enjoy a transformed living space!

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

image credit: Pixabay

About the Author

View all posts by

Comments are closed.