If you feel that your home has grown a bit too small for your family, a home addition is a great way to open up your world.
Most homeowners will typically opt for one of the “big three” additions, either adding on to their family room, the master bedroom, or creating a sunroom addition on their ground floor.
As with anything in life, it helps to be prepared. Before you break ground, you need to have a solid plan in place, so here are a few tips to help you get thinking about your next step.
1. Do Your Research: Cracking the Code
As a resident of Northern Virginia, your property will be subject to specific building regulations. When it comes time to add onto your home, expect to jump through a few hoops to make sure that everything is up to code.
Fairfax County has its own list of zoning requirements that will apply to any part of the house you plan to build onto. Your addition must fall within the regulated property line, as dictated by local zoning ordinances. The number of yards of distance from the property line is unique to each zone and the land on which your property was built. If you’re not already familiar with your district, you can contact the Zoning Permit Review Branch, part of the state’s Department of Planning and Development.
Once you’ve dotted your i’s and crossed your t’s on the paperwork, it’s time to call in the professionals. However, if the thought of zoning restrictions makes your head spin, the design-build team at Foley can help you sort that out as well. Our team is well-versed in the legal aspects of renovation, as well design and construction. We’ll take care of every detail, so you don’t have to worry about it.
2. Making Room: What Kind of Addition Do You Want?
Once you have your team on board, you’ll want to think about what you want to add on to your home. Do you want to expand an existing space, or add a new one altogether?
If you’re not sure what kind of addition is right for you, we’re more than happy to assess your zoning type and property. Once we know the parameters we have to work with, we’ll sit down with you, talk through the options, and help you decide.
The last thing you’ll want when building a home addition is to end up with a space that looks markedly different from the original structure.
Your home addition should have a cohesive look and feel. We’ll consider the interior and exterior, and make sure that the new parts mesh well with what’s already there. Even if it’s not an identical match, it should still complement the existing structure and look like it belongs there.
Keep in mind that the biggest problems with a poorly-designed addition might not just be about the way it looks; it can also lower the resale value of your home. Regardless of how well the addition is actually built, a poorly-matched aesthetic communicates carelessness, or worse, a lack of design chops. Either way, it doesn’t perform well on the “curb appeal” end of things.
3. Thinking Outside “The Box”
Many older houses were built with smaller, enclosed rooms that you could section off for total privacy. Nowadays, our lifestyles tend to favor open-concept designs. Rooms are no longer purely for function. Almost every space has both a practical and social purpose.
So, if your home needs more space, keep in mind that it’s not exclusively about expanding the square footage. It’s essential to optimize the space that you already have. For example, if your family room or master bedroom is closed off or broken up by walls or doors, our design-build team can open up that space by rethinking the interior flow.
4. The Sunroom Experience
For true additions, like sunrooms, the idea is to give you a space that you can use as a retreat while incorporating it naturally into your home’s existing design. Most sunrooms are designed to bridge the gaps between your outdoor spaces and the interior. Lots of windows and a sunny, enclosed space helps you extend the warmer season on both ends.
When it’s time to upgrade your space, Foley Companies is ready to make it happen. With over 40 years of experience in the design-build industry, Foley is well-equipped to give you the home addition that you’ve been dreaming of. Reach out today, and let’s get started.