Thinking about a room addition?

1.  Get several estimates, understanding that the lower estimate is not always the best! The devil is in the details, make sure you carefully understand what each contractor is providing, what might appear to be a lower price, could end up being substantially more.

2.   Consult a Realtor or Appraiser
Are you putting on the room addition purely for your own benefit? Or do you care about resale value when it comes time to sell? Even though you cannot do things just for the benefit of some nameless, faceless potential buyer sometime in the distant future, you do need to give some thought to resale value. Not all room additions give back adequate resale value. A Realtor will be able to tell you how this added square footage (and the type of square footage you’re thinking of) will benefit you in the long run.

3.  Realize that You’re Building a Mini-House
A room addition involves all of the same things that you find in new home construction: foundation, footers, framing, zoning, permitting, HVAC, flooring, plumbing, electrical, new windows, etc. The list goes on and on. Even if you are building a great room or living room (i.e., a room addition without services such as plumbing), you’ve still got other services that you cannot avoid (electrical, heating, cooling, and more).

4.   Learn to Think in Terms of Square Footage Cost
Room addition building is complex. The only way to make sure you are comparing contractor estimates on a level playing field is to compare on a dollar-per-square-foot basis. But you’ll want to make sure that all contractors are bidding on the same thing, or your square footage cost comparisons will be all wrong. So, make sure that all contractors give you an itemized estimate.

5.  Beware the Sunroom
Sunrooms are attractive. They cost less than full-scale room additions, and they appear to give you just as much square footage. But sun rooms, also, are just that: sun rooms. They do not have plumbing, showers, bathtubs, toilets, and other essential services. In fact, many sun rooms don’t even have basics like insulation and double-glazed windows

Good luck with your project!


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