professional contractor planning home addition

Building a House Addition: Everything You Need to Know

Home additions can be a hit or miss despite all the months of planning and preparation. There are a lot of things you may not have considered and just realized after the new addition is already complete. This leads to more cost and a bit more renovating just to repair what’s already done. But with the right information, you can save yourself a lot of stress and also a lot of money. So here’s a list of things to know before you embark on your addition project.

Location, Location, Location

Is the addition going to be a viable space, or will it be a wasted space? Before you even think about ordering up the drywall, you need to decide what you’re going to do with this addition. Is it going to be a bedroom, a guest room, or a playroom? It’s going to have to be close to a bathroom, or it won’t be a viable space. And before you think about putting a bathroom in addition, check local building codes. In some areas, you need to have one toilet for every bedroom, so depending on the size of the addition, you may need to plan for a bath.

Know Your Building Codes

You should check with your local building inspector to find out what the local building codes are regarding safety issues, such as fire escape, emergency lighting, and so forth. While you’re at it, find out any codes regarding additions. For example, in Birmingham, AL, an addition is defined as any space that is an addition to the finished living space. So a basement is an addition, but an enclosed sunroom is not.

Also, if you’re doing the addition yourself, local codes may require building inspections of the addition before you can move into it.

Cost of Building an Addition

In the past, it was often recommended to enlarge a house rather than build a new one as it was a less costly alternative. While this may be true in some cases, it’s also true that a poorly constructed addition can devalue a house, leading some to choose to begin house hunting with a larger structure in mind.

It’s difficult to give a firm cost for addition because the costs will vary by the contractor and the type of addition you’re adding to your house. That’s because the labor costs for addition will vary depending on the contractor and location. You need to make sure to ask friends, family, and other contacts who have had additions to find a contractor with a reputation for being fair and honest. You also want to make sure they have a good reputation for doing quality work.

Get a Great Contractor

The first thing you should do when you’re going to add on a room is to find a great contractor. Don’t just hire anyone that’s cheap, you need to make sure you get a great contractor that has lots of experience with additions. If you’re in a pinch or don’t have time to do the research, you can find a reputable contractor by asking your friends and family. There are also online services that will connect you with contractors in your area.


When you’re thinking about adding to your home, there are several things to think about and lots of information to gather. Additions can be tricky, but if you do your homework, you can avoid the pitfalls others have encountered when they’ve added to their home.

So, you’ve finally decided to add to your home, but how do you go about it? D.F. Hughes is here to help you make your plans into a reality. Our team of experts in kitchen and bath remodels in Birmingham, AL, understands the potential costs and problems brought on by any renovation project. That’s why we are more than happy to help you in any way we can from start to finish. We don’t just build, we create your dream kitchen and bath with your unique vision for a stress-free project. Reach out to us today to get started!