Considering a home addition or remodeling project? Naturally, the average costs of home remodeling and additions differ from region to region. www.remodeling.hw.net offers a good breakdown of data for nine different parts of the country, covering 81 cities. The 2014 Cost vs. Value report accounts for regional cost differences affected by climate, weather, labor and materials costs as well as building codes generally common to each region. The overall cost of living for the different regions is also accounted for. It’s interesting to see how New England, including the Manchester, NH market compares with the rest of the country.
Four US Quadrants and 9 Regions with Cost/Value Differentials
East Coast: New England and Middle Atlantic States; New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
South: South Atlantic States; Delaware southward to Florida, East South Central and West South
Central: Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and Oklahoma.
Midwest: East North Central; Illinois and Wisconsin to border of Pennsylvania, and West North Central.
The West: Rocky Mountain and Pacific states; California, Oregon and Washington.
Educate Yourself on the Costs of Home Additions
Adding an addition to your home is usually a big investment but can be a good one. The key is not to spend too much for the area you live in if you want to get maximum value out of the addition. The Cost vs. Value report will provide informative cost/value data in your region for the kinds of projects it includes.
As an example, let’s say the average home in your area sells for $350,000. Rather than a high-end or upscale type addition, you’d want to plan something in the mid-range. This strategy will give you the best return for your money when you sell the home because comparable home prices in your neighborhood have a big impact on your home’s market value.
Taking Control Over Remodeling – Addition Costs
There are many factors over which you have control in how much your home addition will ultimately cost. Such factors as materials, finishes and size are just a few that have impacts on the expense. You can get significantly more value from your home addition by adhering to some of the following guidelines.
- Avoid additional excavation and foundation costs by building up. Finishing or expanding an attic or basement can add plenty of living space instead of a 2-floor addition.
- Reduce your cost per sq. ft. by avoiding additions with new plumbing. This is pretty obvious. Running new pipes into existing systems can be costly. If your addition needs a bathroom, place it above or below the existing plumbing system. That’s why you usually find second bathrooms stacked over the other one, or over the kitchen where pipes are already present.
- Add space but be prudent with how much. Children’s bedrooms, for example, are big enough at 10 x 14 sq. feet so why make a new one 12 x 16 sq. feet which is a full 37% larger? While the cost per square foot decreases with size increases, you may also need to increase your heating and air conditioning needs for the added space.
Proper Planning is Required for Successful Home Additions
Making changes to plans is a lot cheaper than redoing construction! Take all the time necessary to carefully plan your home remodeling project. You’ll be able to foresee budget busting expenses and make the right compromises so your addition or upgrade will be satisfying and affordable. It’s a good idea to add in 10% – 20% as a contingency buffer because unforeseen issues sometimes come up and can be unavoidable. For example, what if we uncover a leaky bathroom window problem, which requires the bathtub wall be replaced? Issues like this are somewhat common and can’t always be foreseen.
Always Document Your Plans and Designs
Put it all in writing and avoid miscommunications with your builder. Architects and home/interior designers are usually good at documentation. The best builders and remodelers are good at “design-build” construction methods which offer well documented plans. Conventional wisdom has traditionally been to compare costs by getting 3 or more bids but you can’t use money alone as a guide for getting work done in the privacy of your home. It’s a better idea to interview 2 or 3 builders for a comfort level of how they understand your project goals and see your vision. Set your budget and then work with the company of your choice to achieve your end goal – a successful project that meets your needs within a comfortable budget range.
3W design offers complete home addition and remodeling services. We help clients carefully plan budgets to achieve maximum value. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions.