Top Questions on Home Additions Virginia Residents Need to Ask

Filed Under: Additions    by: Steve Kayhill

Building a home addition creates extra space, improved comfort and enhanced lifestyle. But well built projects require planning and careful design. Check out these top questions on home additions Virginia residents need to ask to ensure quality construction and top-notch finish.

# 1 – Where Can You Build?

Several restrictions may limit the location of your home addition. Local bylaws present limitations to the setback and height of the structure. Setback restrictions state how much the addition can encroach on your property lines, while height restrictions dictate the overall height allowed, including all roof peaks and chimneys.

Talk to the officials at your local municipality. You’ll need to establish a good relationship with these folks, since all building permits and inspections will flow through the local municipality office. Using the information provided regarding setbacks and height restrictions, figure out where you can build the proposed addition.

# 2 – What Features Do You Want to Add to Your Current Living Space?

Experts advise Virginia residents to make a “wish list” containing a vision for their home once the addition is complete. This should include things like:

  • fourth bedroom
  • extra space for the kids to play
  • home office
  • larger kitchen
  • ensuite bathroom or additional bathroom
  • family room extension
  • sunroom

Write down the features you’re hoping to end up with, and make notes on how you want the space to feel. Looking for “bright and airy” rooms? Make sure the addition includes large windows and well-ventilated areas with high ceilings. Want the new space to feel cozy and quaint? Consider a fireplace, hardwood floors and built in bookshelves for storage.

# 3 – How Will You Contend With the Existing Grade?

Some Virginia properties include steep grades, and building a home addition on this area requires the proper support. You may be able to install retaining walls to change the grade or design stacking additions that take advantage of your existing foundation.
Think about how contrasting angles can create an attractive layout and avoid or lessen potential grading issues. Virginia home additions that jut out from the main façade can improve visual appeal, especially on traditional colonial homes popular in this region.

# 4 – Should You Match the Existing Exterior Finish?

Older homes present beautiful wood siding or stunning brickwork facades. These exterior finishes may be difficult to match exactly, while contrasting or complementing finishes often fit better into the budget and schedule. Think about installing stonework veneer on the addition to your sided home, or use low maintenance vinyl siding in the same tones as your brickwork for an affordable home addition.

# 5 – Should You Match the Existing Roofline?

Although installing contrasting exterior finishes works well, you need to match the existing roofline for continuity and visual appeal. Ask your contractor or architect to mimic the roofline, using angles, dormers and gables that fit into the existing structure. No matter what your addition includes, create a flowing roofline to ensure the overall design works well.

You’ll more than likely be faced with a long list of questions on home additions Virginia contractors need to ask for a successful project. But these questions help you to formulate the design well before signing any contracts. With this information on hand you can confidently move forward with your home additions dream.

Top Three Home Additions Virginia Residents Love to Live In

Filed Under: Additions    by: Steve Kayhill

Additions expand your living space and provide countless benefits. Although the design depends on your unique lifestyle and property, consider these projects that made the list of top three home additions Virginia residents love to live in.

Garage Additions

If your Virginia home needs storage space, a workshop or additional parking, garage additions provide the ideal solution. Consider whether an attached garage can be added to limit costs and provide convenient access. Detached garages are a better option for workshops and private areas to indulge in hobbies like auto mechanics or woodworking.

Concrete slabs support garage additions, which are framed and finished just like your home. Vinyl siding or cement fiberboard are often used to finish the exterior walls, while asphalt shingles cover the garage roof. When designing an attached garage, your Virginia contractor will consider the existing materials, as well as the condition of the framing, roof trusses and foundation. Any structural repairs or replacement are done before the new addition is built.

Attached garages generally cost less than detached designs, but the overall price depends on the size and finishing options. Think about whether you’ll need an insulated garage door, how many windows are required and how electricity and heating will be run into the space.

Kitchen Additions

Kitchen renovations create a more efficient workspace and allow for optimum traffic flow. But when your existing floor plan limits the space for a new kitchen, an addition provides the ideal opportunity to improve your lifestyle.

Kitchen additions are generally installed at ground level and built on a foundation extension. Your contractor will design a room that fits into the existing floor plan with matching exterior finishing and a seamless roofline. Large windows, sliding patio doors and skylights are popular inclusions, and premium kitchen cabinets, natural stone flooring and durable countertops are used to add value to the space.

The cost of kitchen additions depends on the overall design and features installed. Much like the costs of kitchen renovations, an affordable kitchen addition is possible with the right contractor and a design that takes advantage of your existing home features.

Sunrooms

For affordable home additions Virginia residents can easily budget, sunrooms provide exceptional living space. Enjoy the sunshine all year round with a four-season insulated sunroom, or spend time in the yard without worrying about pests with a screened in sunroom.

Consider how you’re planning to use this space. Four-season sunrooms work well as dining rooms or family rooms, designed with comfortable furniture and open to the kitchen for convenience. Screened in sunrooms can be used for dining in the warm months and a fantastic place to read, nap or simply relax and appreciate the weather. Screened in sunrooms can be installed in nearly part of the house, including on the front porch.

Remember that heating and insulation need to be installed in four-season sunrooms, while screened in sunrooms are often built with a simpler design. Costs vary, depending on the size and design of the sunroom. Manufactured sunrooms are used in standard installations, while custom-built sunrooms work for unique situations and circumstances.

Hire an experienced contractor to design and build any of these top three home additions Virginia residents love to live in. Their expertise will ensure the space is built with style and durability.

Preparing For Home Additions in Virginia

Filed Under: Additions    by: Steve Kayhill

home_addition-2So you have decided to go ahead with one or more home additions. In Virginia, there are plenty of architects and designers that can bring you closer to this goal. In anticipation of the work actually beginning, you may ask yourself what you can do to help the project begin as smoothly as possible, and just prepare in general for the arrival of a whole construction crew.

Staging the Yard

In all likelihood, your addition is going to invade some portion of your existing yard. Add to the space that the crew is going to need to set up their work and move supplies around, and you might as well clean up the whole yard, just to be safe.

  • Anything that can be moved off of the lawn should be. All toys, grills, outdoor furniture and other such debris must be kept indoors or in the garage.
  • If the area where the addition is going to go up has shrubs or other landscaping in front of it, consider removing all of it. A direct path to the work site is a necessity for the crew. It can be quite a bit of work, but if you are up to the challenge it can save you time and money.
  • Alert all of your utility companies that you need them to mark all of their lines on your property. This is a wise step to take even if you are not excavating the ground, as it will let the crew know which areas to avoid.

Interior Preparation

Most additions are constructed in one of two ways. Either the entire existing wall between the space that will become the addition is knocked out, or a smaller opening just for a door is made in the wall to allow entry into the new room. Whichever method is used, it is all but impossible to keep all of the dust and small debris from finding their way into the rest of the house. You can however take steps to severely reduce the amount of foreign matter that enters your home.

  • Invest in rolls of thick plastic sheeting and hang strips from the ceiling to the floor as a way to block dust. It is imperative that they not block the crew from the work, however.
  • Laying down carpet scraps that can be purchased fairly cheaply at carpet stores is a brilliant way to reduce damage to your existing floors. Lay them down wherever the contractors pass through to reduce the mud and dirt mess.
  • Empty as much of the furniture from the rooms nearby the construction as possible. Building an addition is a big job that can have unexpected occurrences. You will rest easier knowing that your things are safely out of a potential path of destruction.

Prepare Your Mind

A major home improvement project like a home addition isn’t going to go up overnight. If the schedule extends through holidays or inclement weather the remodel can take even longer than expected. This frustrating situation is normal, and you shouldn’t let it get to you. You might also find that the mess generated by a major renovation is a little more than you can take, but try to relax and let the work continue, it will be over before you know it, and all worth it in the end. Your general contractor should have experience with home additions in Virginia, which will also put you mind at ease.

Home Additions in Virginia – When Zoning Is An Issue

Filed Under: Additions    by: Steve Kayhill

home-additions-in-virginia2If you’re a seasoned home owner then you know how easy it is to outgrow your home and find that you’re quickly running out of space. It’s hard to admit that you’re accumulating too much stuff, or even too many family members (sometimes they won’t go away). Either way, you eventually need to acquire more space and home additions in Virginia are a great way to get more space out of your home.

Some people have a mind for internal renovation where they put down new carpet, remodel the kitchen to make new space or paint to open the rooms up but you might want to put those bandaids on hold while your tackle something that will truly benefit you - the home addition Read more…