Questions to Ask Before Adding On
Zoning and cost are some issues to consider before beginning this major home renovation
You've perused showrooms, flipped through home magazines, studied friends' housesand perhaps even found design inspiration in your own dreams. You have a clear goal, a budget, and perhaps a scrapbook filled with clippings, brochures and back-of-an-envelope sketches. But you're not quite ready to start your addition projectuntil you ask yourself the following questions:
1) How would you design your house if you were building it new?
2) Will the addition add value to your home?
Because they're among the costliest home projects, addition jobs often return less than remodels. The Remodeling report pegs the following returns on additions: A two-story addition with a family room downstairs and master suite upstairs (65 percent); master-suite-only addition (63 percent); bathroom addition (53 percent); and sunroom addition (49 percent). To maximize your payback, add amenities that are highly sought after in your area. If your neighbors have master suites and you don't, then that's a good investment, says Omaha appraiser John Bredemeyer, past president of the Appraisal Institute, a standards setting organization. If nobody else on the block has one, your payback will be small.
3) Is there a lower-cost way to get what you want?
4) Are there any zoning restrictions to consider?
5) How will your addition tie into the house?
6) How much do you expect to spend on your addition?
Here are some average project costs for common addition jobs, from Remodeling magazine’s 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Report:
- Bathroom Addition: $40,710
- Upscale Bathroom Addition: $78,409
- Family Room Addition: $85,740
- Garage Addition: $60,608
- Upscale Garage Addition: $90,053
- Master Suite Addition: $108,090
- Upscale Master Suite Addition: $232,062
- Sunroom Addition: $75,224
- Two Story Addition (master suite over family room): $165,243
And there are long-term costs to adding on as well. Increasing the size of your home means increasing your energy bills, especially for heating and cooling. Plus, you can expect your property taxes to climb, since tax assessments are based on the home’s vital statistics, starting with its square footage. Add amenities that weren’t there before, like an additional bathroom, a hot tub, or a fireplace, and your assessment will jump even higher.
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