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.

Why DIY Isn’t the Only Way to Save Money on Virginia Additions

Filed Under: Additions    by: Steve Kayhill

Home additions come with a hefty price tag—perhaps the largest single home improvement investment you’ll make. Many homeowners assume that DIY is the best or only way to save money on Virginia additions, but you don’t need the skills of a handyman to trim down the cost of this project. Find out how you can save money on home additions in Virginia.

Spending Time on the Right Design Pays Off

You could take on certain elements of your home addition to save on overall costs, such as demolition or painting. These portions of the project require fewer skilled hands and could knock a couple of points off the final cost. But ensuring your home addition is designed well could mean major savings on every aspect of the project.

Location plays an important role. Research the ideal location for your addition or bump out, considering municipal requirements (such as setbacks) and foundation concerns. Certain spots incur more expenses than others, in terms of demolition and foundation extension. Talk to your contractor about potential locations and the requirements for each location.

Design for strength and stability, as well as optimum function. Choose durable building materials and include building processes suited for your climate and landscape. And above all, be sure to think about room layout and door and window location. Moving things midway through construction incurs major expense, so work hard to get the design right the first time.

Planning Well Helps to Avoid Expensive Delays and Mistakes

Despite a well designed project and detailed budget, scheduling delays and mistakes on the jobsite cost money. Plan prior to the project and update that plan as construction moves along.

A good plan for Virginia additions includes:

  • general breakdown of work
  • construction drawings with sufficient detail
  • detailed quotation with job specifics
  • building permit information, such as the application number, date applied and inspection dates
  • construction schedule
  • materials delivery schedule
  • contact information for the general contractor, as well as any subcontractor contact information

Go over the plan on a regular basis, and pay special attention to job progress, availability of materials and any extenuating circumstances. A good renovation plan allows for plenty of flexibility. When changes occur, take those alterations through the entire plan to get a feel for the overall effects.

Hiring the Best Contractor Results in Better Value for Every Dollar Spent

Hire an experienced, knowledgeable contractor to complete your home addition, and try not to focus on price. Quality, professional contractors may charge more than a smaller outfit or a new company. They also tend to deliver better service, provide more skilled labor and offer advanced solutions to the challenges that exist on your property.

While it may seem like a straightforward transaction, hiring a cheaper contractor does not always result in less overall cost. Those contractors with little experience quoting on larger jobs could present a long list of extra charges at the end of the project. Or worse, they may skimp on quality during the installation to make up any discrepancies. You’ll end up with an inferior addition and the need to pay another contractor to fix the mistakes.

DIY is not the only way to save money on Virginia additions. Ensure you have the right design, develop and stick to a renovation plan wherever possible and hire an experienced contractor. These steps will help your project run smoothly and on budget.

How to Calculate the Cost of Northern Virginia Additions

Filed Under: Additions    by: Steve Kayhill

Building a home addition in Northern Virginia increased your living space, enhances property value and allows you to customize or alter the existing floor plan. But many homeowners wonder how much to budget and need an accurate way to calculate the cost of Northern Virginia additionsNorthe. With a few general questions, some idea about design and sizes and a trusty calculator, we can guide you through the process to come up with a rough number.

Understanding the Additional Costs of Additions

New construction avoids several steps, including demolition and retrofitting. These steps drive the cost of home additions higher. Most contractors agree that the construction costs of house additions can be anywhere from 25 to 50 percent higher than new construction costs.

Architect fees should be included in any construction budget, and the services of this professional help to overcome many of the obstacles common to home additions. Blending rooflines, structural walls, landscaping and elevations requires skill and an eye for the overall design. Architects fit the bill perfectly. Expect their fees to reach between 5 to 15 percent of the total construction budget.

Although it is difficult to narrow down the cost of a typical home addition in Northern Virginia, expect to pay between $80 and $150 per square foot for basic construction. Remember that several key elements influence this price range.

Electrical and Plumbing

The cost of simple Northern Virginia additions, living rooms and bedrooms for example, is significantly lower than the construction cost of a kitchen or bathroom addition. Electrical and plumbing drive up estimates, depending on your tastes and the work required to install these elements.

Choose the following items for your home addition, and add the cost of each to the estimated square footage price above:

  • Bath or Shower (or both)
  • Toilet
  • Sink
  • Faucets and Taps
  • Lighting
  • Exhaust Fans
  • Heating Lamps or Radiant Underfloor Heating

High end bathroom fixtures, taps, lighting and heating design add to the construction cost, which is often calculated based on standard fixtures.
Difficult or complicated circumstances require more labor for installation, increasing the project cost. Will your contractor need to rewire the existing electrical system to accommodate your home addition? Or will the plumbing design need to be reworked to maintain flow and proper drainage? An experienced builder can easily handle these situations, but the added time increases your cost.

The Value of a Written Estimate

Whatever the size of your home addition, and whichever electrical and plumbing fixtures chosen, be sure to obtain a written estimate before the project begins. This quote should outline the work in as much detail as possible, including:

  • Specifications of the project, such as size and location
  • Details of materials, including brand names and product numbers where applicable
  • Approximate scheduling
  • Labor included
  • Warranty
  • Payment details, such as deposit and draw details

It helps to discuss the project details with your contractor, but with some discussion and a few key decisions, you should be able to calculate the cost of Northern Virginia additions. Use this figure to create a rough budget and arrange for financing. The numbers may change as your project takes shape, but this basic calculation is a wise first step.

Smart Tips on Whether or Not to Build Northern Virginia Additions

Filed Under: Additions    by: Steve Kayhill

A cramped family home, a shift in living arrangements or dreams of an altered space bring Northern Virginia additions to the table. But how do you know whether or not to build an addition? Would it be easier or less expensive to move or build a new house? Several factors dictate your final decision, but these tips will help you to discover whether a home addition makes sense for your family.

Think About Why You Want More Space

Start with the need versus want debate–does your family require more space to live, due to a new birth or another family member moving in? Or perhaps the existing space needs to be revamped to take advantage of modern design and structure. Decide if you truly require or desire more space.

Once that distinction has been narrowed down, think about the whys:

  • Why do you need/want more space?
  • Why does now seem like the right time?
  • Why do you want to stay in your current home (as opposed to moving)? What benefits does your current home deliver?

Identifying why you need more space helps to define your goals and allows for a more detailed design, once that process begins.

Think About the Future

Timing is everything. Installing a home addition now will affect your property value, as well as your lifestyle and habits. Understanding your future plans allows you to decide whether or not a home addition adds value for the long term, something most homeowners look for with home improvement investments.

You’ve looked at the why’s, now think about the when’s:

  • When do you plan on moving from your existing home? Consider the empty-nest stage, career plans, retirement and any other lifestyle changes that triggers thoughts of moving.
  • When will you have the funds to finance a home addition? If you need to add to the mortgage, how much time will be added to your amortization?
  • When can you expect the project to be completed? And how does that schedule affect your vision of the future?

Northern Virginia additions take time to construct, and embarking on a project of this scale requires commitment. If you’re planning on selling your home in the next five years, the hassle and expense of a home addition are not worthwhile. Long term plans to stay in your home? Additions provide many advantages now and well into the future.

Think About the Budget

Now is the time to consider how much. Will the investment required to build a home addition pay you back in an enhanced lifestyle, increased comfort and improved property value? If not, why bother? Renovations or moving may make more sense.

Consider the how’s at this stage:

  • How much is your home currently worth? And how much will it be worth with the addition complete?
  • How much are houses selling for in your area? Are prices rising or falling?
  • How much work can you handle yourself? DIY can save money, but only when done correctly.

Decide whether or not your investment will deliver a return, both financially and emotionally. Take a look at current value, market conditions and ways to save money on the project without sacrificing on quality.

Bring all three of these factors together. The wisdom of Northern Virginia additions becomes clear when you consider the why’s, when’s and how’s with honesty and care.