Design Tips for Pop Up Northern Virginia Additions

Filed Under: Additions    by: Steve Kayhill

Pop up additions provide more room than this trailer pop up!

Whether you live in a rambler, bungalow or split-level house, pop up Northern Virginia additions provide much needed, comfortable living space for small lots. What if you need an additional bedroom or family room, but can’t add out due to property limitations? Many Northern Virginia homeowners face this problem and contractors turn to pop up additions for the ideal solution.

Tip # 1 – Redesign the Entire House

You may be tempted to focus your design skills on the new area, and avoid spending money on your existing main floor. This approach results in choppy design and often leaves homeowners unsatisfied with their home addition investment.

Focus instead on the overall flow and feel of your new, larger floor plan. Think about paint colors, traffic areas, flooring and symmetry. Work hard on the design to create balance between the main floor and the pop up, from the larger scope of design to the smallest details. Although this approach increases the cost of your renovation project, it’s money well spent.

Tip # 2 – Decide Which Rooms to Relocate

A typical rambler or bungalow floor plan includes bedrooms on the main floor with limited space for the kitchen and living space. Many pop up Northern Virginia additions move the bedrooms to the new second floor, providing greater areas for the family room, dining and kitchen spaces. Other designs move only the master bedroom, allowing for a spacious master bedroom with an ensuite bath and walk-in closet.

Your home addition contractor will assess the options and ask about your priorities. Are you looking for a larger master bedroom, more bedrooms in total, an additional bathroom or a more spacious kitchen? The final design depends on which rooms are relocated to the new upper floor, and how much area is freed up on the main floor by those changes.

Tip # 3 – Consider Stairway Location

Building a new staircase from the main floor to the pop up requires a substantial amount of room. Be prepared to use an existing small room, hallway or closet space for the stairway, and remember that this vital aspect will also eat up some of the new area upstairs.

If your home currently includes a set of stairs to the basement, this area may be the best location. But renovations on the first floor may require those stairs to move, allowing for a completely new set up for both sets of stairs.

Think about traffic flow. Many two-storey home designs place stairs near the front entrance, but this may not be the optimum location for your family. An addition also allows homeowners to include a second staircase to the second floor, providing direct access from a rear entrance or kitchen. Use your imagination and plan to build the staircase in a prime location that suits your family’s lifestyle.

Tip # 4 – Remember the Exterior Finish

Exterior finishes on your new pop up home addition should either match or complement the existing finish. Siding presents the most economical option for exterior; be sure to choose a color and profile that matches your home’s styling and any existing stonework.

Some homeowners take this opportunity to replace the existing finish, allowing for a more uniform appearance. Upgrade to low maintenance siding and replace all existing trim to match. This work adds to the overall budget, but results in a new home from the inside out.

Pop up Northern Virginia additions provide much needed living space and allow for modern upgrades to suit your family. Consider all of these design tips and speak to your contractor about the best floor plan for your property.

Comparing the Cost of Virginia Additions Vs Selling Your Home

Filed Under: Additions    by: Steve Kayhill

As life changes and families expand, homeowners face an important decision about their living space—move or improve. Examining the cost of Virginia additions and comparing those figures to total moving expenses often helps to make the decision clear.

Are you looking at moving to a larger home? Have you considered the costs of building an addition and compared the potential finished product against available housing? Consider the options.

Option # 1 – Building Virginia Home Additions

Overall costs vary from contractor to contractor, and depend on your design. Here is a list of typical expenses associated with building Virginia additions:

  • Design Fees – preparation of detailed drawings outlining the structural, electrical, plumbing and mechanical elements
  • Demolition – labor, haulage and dumping charges
  • Materials – all of the building materials required to complete the project
  • Installation Labor – contractor and subcontractor wages for the installation of each element
  • Project Management Fee – applicable for those who hire a general contractor to oversee the project, typically a percentage of the total cost
  • Permit and Administration Fees – building departments typically charge registration fees for building permits, inspections and other administrative tasks associated with Virginia home renovations
  • Relocation Costs – renting another home for the interim or hotel costs for the odd nights away

All of these costs do add up, and a typical Virginia home addition runs anywhere from $50,000 to over $100,000 depending on the project scope. What you need to remember is the additional living space created. Compare overall costs of the addition to the total expenses incurred when moving to a larger home.

Option # 2 – Moving to a Larger Home

House prices fluctuate, but buyers in any market spend more to move up into a larger home. A typical two-bedroom detached home in Fairfax lists around $350,000, while a four-bedroom detached house in a similar neighborhood climbs to over $450,000. Talk to a realtor about specific properties and compare the purchase price to the expected selling price of your existing property. Look for homes that offer comparable features to those included in your home addition plans.

Homeowners incur additional expenses when buying a larger home, including these common costs:

  • Lender Fees – different institutions work on different fee structures, but typically include broker fees, processing charges, application fees, taxes and underwriting charges
  • Third-Party Fees – depending on the type of purchase, this includes appraisals, inspections, title searches, insurance, surveying costs, preparation of credit reports and attorney fees
  • Listing Costs – real estate agents charge to list your home and represent your interests in the selling process
  • Moving Costs – truck rentals, fuel, etc.

The web provides fairly accurate and up-to-date estimates on these typical costs of moving to a larger home.

Building Virginia additions makes more financial sense than moving in many cases. If your property allows for the space, home additions provide greater flexibility and customization without inflated closing costs and the frustration of moving. Assess the shape of your current home and consider how an experienced Virginia contractor can help you achieve your dream home without the need to move out.

Top Five Costly Mistakes Made on DIY Virginia Additions

Filed Under: Additions    by: Steve Kayhill

The substantial cost of Virginia additions often leads homeowners to consider DIY as a money-saving option. But many of the mistakes commonly made on DIY home additions can add to the final cost, pushing it well beyond the price of a reputable, experienced contractor. Think about how these mistakes make DIY an unwise option for home additions in Virginia.

Purchasing Cheap Materials

The temptation to purchase cheap materials looms large in DIY projects. A home addition involves many different components, and it may make sense initially to purchase products at bargain prices. Problems show up over time. When these poorly made materials wear out or fail, replacement materials cost even more money.

Weigh the initial cost savings against the future expense of replacement and repairs. Choosing to install cheap materials often costs more in the end.

Avoiding the Prep Work

As in many home renovation projects, prep work plays a vital role with home additions. DIY enthusiasts may not know about these requirements, or may simply be impatient to get to the fun stuff and skip over preparation entirely. This omission bumps up the cost of Virginia additions in several different ways, including:

  • Missed preparation often results in a poor finish, which may need to be redone or repaired for an additional cost
  • Missed preparation may mean that important structural or foundational elements were also missed, which must be corrected for safety and building code compliance
  • Missed preparation could result in damage to building materials and other areas of the home, again requiring costly repairs and/or replacement.

Ripping Out More Than Necessary

Home additions require a certain amount of tear down. Industry experts and experienced contractors understand how much to rip out and what components to leave as is in order to properly build the home addition. Many DIY fans find the tear down portion of the project easy and rewarding, and they may end up tearing down much more than anticipated and even required.

Ripping out walls, structure, electrical and/or mechanical components that could have stayed in obviously adds to the overall cost. Proper planning and a detailed design help to limit demolition, but there’s always a risk that inexperienced DIY workers will get overly enthusiastic with a crow bar, jack hammer or other demolition tool.

Misunderstanding the Scope of This Project

Virginia additions take a long period of time and require an immense amount of work. For those DIY fans that haven’t tackled a project of this size, building a home addition seems overwhelming. Misunderstanding the scope leads to unrealistic schedules, costly delays and poor decisions.

A Virginia family completing a DIY home addition may plan to hire out for the electrical and mechanical components. But when they get behind on framing and need to delay these contractors, they risk alienating the contractors and needing to hire another one. Getting a grip on the scope of the project helps to avoid these and many other potential added costs.

Focusing on the Latest Trend

Designing to the current trends makes homeowners happy for the moment. It may not cost anymore to install trend-setting flooring and fixtures, but those costs will sky rocket when you need to spend the money to renovate in a few years.

Choose neutral colors, shapes and forms for the main design elements, and bring those trends in with accessories. These are much easier to change out and cost less over time to adjust.

You may be considering DIY Virginia additions. Before you assume that DIY saves big money, consider these common mistakes and gather a few quotations from experts in the industry. What you come up will surprise you.

Examining the Pros and Cons of Northern Virginia Home Additions

Filed Under: Additions    by: Steve Kayhill

Northern Virginia home additions require a significant investment in time and money, but they also deliver massive paybacks in terms of space and interior design. Hiring the right home addition contractor plays a major role in the process. It helps to weigh the pros and cons of this home improvement project before taking those first steps, as you may discover that another type of home reno can fulfill your needs for less cash.

Pros of Home Additions

Building an addition comes with three major pros, including:

  • High Return on Investment in the Long Run – in most cases, homeowners make back the money invested in home additions. Many people realize a profit, depending on the type of addition and their local real estate market. Although several factors go into the risk versus return calculations you can safely assume that this home improvement investment will increase the value of your home significantly.
  • Interior Design and Decorating Opportunities – because you’re adding large amounts of living space to an existing home, building a home addition requires an interior design overhaul. This provides homeowners with the chance to completely redecorate their homes and achieve the look and feel they dream about. While redecorating on its own may cost less, the demolition and construction processes required in a home addition project provide the ideal opportunity to change flooring, architectural features and paint colors.
  • Less Expensive Than Moving – although this may not be the case in every neighborhood, Northern Virginia home additions often cost less than selling your existing home and buying a house with the additional floor space required. If your family plans to relocate across the country or move from an urban center to the rural areas, moving may seem a more viable option. But if space remains the major issue, building beats buying almost every time.

Cons of Home Additions

Just like any other major investment, home additions come with a list of three common cons, including:

  • Inconvenience and Mess – this home improvement project will inevitably disrupt your lifestyle. As most home additions require the demolition of an exterior wall, the construction mess spans from dirt to building materials and everything in between. Consider moving out during construction, but be sure to incorporate those costs into your budget and make arrangements for transportation and potential schedule disruptions.
  • Risk of Over-Improving – adding square footage onto your home or upgrading existing features could push your home beyond the value limits of the neighborhood. Think of it this way–property value incorporates location and features, but the lowest factor presents the greatest limitation. A large, custom built home in a less expensive subdivision will be difficult to sell in the long run. Be mindful of this balance when designing your home addition.
  • Utility Costs Increase – common sense tells us that larger homes cost more to heat and cool. Since home additions often increase the size of your home, the size of your utility bills also rises. Upgrades to windows and doors, as well as insulation and roofing may affect this trend, but remember to expect significant changes to your monthly heating and cooling bills.

Smart homeowners weigh the pros and cons of Northern Virginia home additions before signing the contract. Talk to your contractor about all of the options and take each factor above into consideration.