The addition is adding structure to your existing home. It can be a garage, a patio, a guest room, a second story, but the most common is the expansion of an existing room like a kitchen, a master bedroom or a garage. The addition has two critical areas: one being the interior footprint and how it flows with the existing and second the exterior tie-in and how it conforms to the existing.  A simple floor plan and a little research is all that is needed to develop an estimate. I am amazed at the number of people who pay for a full set of construction plans without a solid budget and end up redesigning the project to fit their budget or get discouraged and abandon the idea completely.   A competent contractor can bid an addition with a little research and simple floor plan. Here are some helpful tips.

1. Never pay for a full set of construction plans without an accurate estimate.  A little research and a simple floor plan is all that’s needed to develop an accurate estimate.

2. A building permit is always needed when adding on to your home.

3. Take note of existing sewer line and water main.

4. Take note of underground and aboveground electric main line, electric meter, gas meter and gas line. 

5. Septic tanks can turn up in the most unusual places. There are many undocumented septic tanks, cesspools and buried swimming pools in our valley.

6. The addition must fit within zoning setbacks.  A front setback may be 30 feet.   This means the dwelling must start at a minimum of 30 feet from the front property line. Each side of the property has a setback.

7. The addition must fit within the percent of lot coverage.  If the percent of lot coverage is 50% this means half of the lot can be covered by roof. This includes overhangs, patios and outbuildings like a storage shed. 

8. Utility upgrades may be needed if major plumbing and electric are involved.





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