This question is asked with increasing frequency as people are reluctant to leave their more spacious backyard for a new house with next to no yard. Any renovation or addition to your home has to solve your space problems and suit your style but most of all also meet your budget. Before you can get an idea of the cost of your proposed project, you need a design that you can submit to contractors to obtain a cost estimate. You must consider if, financially, this amount will work with what you have already invested in your property, or if it is better to look at a different existing or new home to solve your space issues. It is important to know the current value of homes in your area and what the optimum value would be if you were to sell it in the future. You must also consider the implications of being out of your home for several months while the work is being carried out, re-instating landscaping and fencing, versus being in a locale you like and feel comfortable living in.
What are some of the critical points in planning a home renovation?
It is important to have a clear understanding of the current state of your home. With the assistance of a structural engineer, the architect or designer would visit your home to assess its current structure and relative issues to ensure that your initial investment is worthy of an upgrade and/or addition. It is also important to review any zoning aspects which would affect your plans including lot coverage, building setbacks, parking and floor area ratio. You may want to consider a secondary suite for additional income to help offset renovation and operating costs.
It is imperative to set a budget based on your maximum construction cost and do your best to stay within it. When planning projects such as this, we make every attempt to minimize the extent of demolition and renovation and to keep the structure of the addition as simple as possible to keep costs low. A successful renovation/addition project looks cohesive and attractive upon completion and should reflect your personal tastes and style.
How do I prioritize my wish list items?
Not all items on your list of improvements may be financially or spatially possible. Your list may have to be altered to suit some items which are “must-haves” versus “would-be-nice-to-haves”. First, list all the improvements you would like to see in the proposed project. After considering the benefits of each improvement, rank these in order of their importance to your family. Determine which tasks could be done later as finances permit and which might be tackled as a “sweat equity” project out of the scope of the contractor’s work.”