I live in a neighborhood filled with what real estate agents like to call “starter homes”. These are smaller houses that newlyweds and young couples typically purchase prior to having a family. The houses are old, cheap, and usually need some upgrade work done before the new folks move in. There used to be a lot of turnover in the area as most couples would go on to bigger and better things within five years or so, but these days with the market so bad, it seems like people are staying on longer. They’re simply adding on to their house to accommodate their expanding family and waiting for the tide to change. In fact, that’s what we did a decade ago and we’re still here too!
Back when we decided we needed extra space, we started out by consulting with a contractor and reviewing home addition plans. Adding on to a house is not as straightforward as you might think. There are a lot of variables involved, and you might be limited by the design of the original structure, how much vacant land you have left on your lot, or building codes set forth by your city or homeowners association. The contractor we worked with gave us a whole checklist to go over before prior to even looking at home addition plans just to make sure we knew what we were getting into. I had to make a lot of phone calls to confirm that we were within our rights to proceed with the new construction, but finally got the green light to move forward.
After that, we started looking at home addition plans. We weren’t completely taken with the ones provided by the builder, so we decided to find more on our own. Fortunately there were lots of free home addition plans online that we were able to sift through as we tried to envision what shape our bigger house should take. For instance, we saw some beautiful sunroom additions that would have worked well for our place, as well as some terrific bathroom additions that would have been nice to have. There were also a bunch of home addition plans that didn’t really fit our situation, such as garage additions, ranch additions, split-level additions, and things of that nature. In short, we had a lot of different options right at our fingertips.
In the end, we went with one of the bedroom additions that we liked. We repeated the process a couple years later, so now our two-bedroom house has been converted into a far more spacious four-bedroom abode that’s just right for our family. We’ve been able to save money by not having to sell our place for a loss because of the bad economy, and we’ve been able to establish our roots here.
If you find yourself in a similar dilemma with a growing family in a house that’s too small, it might be worth your while to look at home addition plans instead of selling your property for a loss.