Home additions can be a great way to increase the usability and value of your house. Many do-it-yourself types have successfully converted garages, added rooms and even second stories, but doing so requires a certain level of skill. Television and online videos have made additions look easy, but when things go wrong, you need experience to know how to handle it. Here are 3 popular additions, and what you’ll need if you plan on tackling them yourself.
Repurpose the Garage
This has been the “gateway drug” for many DIY home improvers; it can be considerably easier than any other addition, with the added benefit of usually avoiding major problems if you get in over your head. Converting the garage to an office, rec-room or man-cave is an excellent way to introduce yourself to serious home improvement projects. Plus, it directly increases your square footage for a higher home value. But be warned: if it goes well, you may get addicted to building add-ons!
Room Additions and Bump-Outs
The most common rooms to add to a home includea bedroom, bathroom or multi-purpose room.If you have experience with construction, a good range of home improvement tools, lots of time and the ability to work through frustration, you might attempt an add-on yourself. Before starting, make a solid plan and do your research. Take measurements and draw up a blueprint for what you want to accomplish.
Add a Second Story
This sort of addition is definitely complex; you generally have to rip out the roof before beginning the construction. Once you’ve gone above ground level, you really need experience and technical know-how to have a high chance of success. If you’ve successfully completed other additions, a second-story add-on is an excellent way for homes with limited land availabilityto enlarge their living space. If this is your first DIY addition, it’s best to let a professional contractor handle this job.
Above all, don’t panic. If you are methodical in your research and not overconfident of your abilities, you can make good decisions about what home additions you really need, and which ones you should do yourself. There’s no shame in calling a contractor; indeed, you should at least inquire about rates for every project, since you might find the cost more reasonable than the time it will take you to do it yourself.