Bidding from contractors can be tricky business. When a contractor gives you his bid you need to be sure of what that will pay for. “A lot of times people will go with the cheapest bid and not realize that they are getting low quality fixtures and such, explains Eric Norman of Norman Builders. “You have got to ask yourself what the value of the lowest bidders fixtures will be. The value of ten light fixtures bought on $1,000 lighting budget will not be very high. That is why it is so important to sit down with you contractor and get him to explain what he is doing for the price he has given you.”
During the design part are the renovation or addition it is important to highlight the architectural qualities of the existing home. “We did an addition a few years ago to a historic home where an addition had been added previously that did not fit with the style of the home. We ended up tearing off the original addition and replacing it with an addition that matched the style of the home and provided the homeowner with the type of living space they needed,” notes Lydia Haynie of Ingram Bay Contracting. “In the end the homeowner was very pleased because, while they still had an addition, they had an addition that fit with the architectural style of the home.”
Kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom additions are growing largely in popularity in this area. One of the reasons for this is that people are tending to make their second home their primary home, or are getting rid of their second homes and focusing their energy on their primary home. “Kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom renovations or additions are something we are seeing with an influx in the number of retirees who are coming to the area and would like additional space,” notes Williamson. “Maybe their small kitchen worked for their summer cottage, but for their primary residence they need something with more space.”
A lot of people will get into a home and realize that they need a larger master bedroom or they would really like to have a bathroom in their master suite. “This can be done through a renovation if there is enough square footage in the house, but most of the time you will need to add on to your home,” says Norman.
One problem homeowners face when trying to add on to their home is that in certain circumstances they can not build out with their addition. Reasons this may be a problem include small lots or waterfront lots where the Chesapeake Bay Act may come into play. “A lot of times with waterfront homes you can’t build additions on the grounds, so we do them as second stories,” explains Williamson. A second story is a great location for extra bedrooms or even family rooms or entertainment rooms. “When going up it is important to make sure that the original story can support the weight of the additional space,” warns Norman. “That is why it is so important to have an architect do the plans for this type of addition.”
Home renovations and additions are almost always a good idea. Not only do they add value to your home, but they can help make your life more comfortable. “It is such a great time right now to take out a home equity line of credit to enhance your home,” notes Haynie. “We see so many people sell their second homes because it gets too hard to take care of two homes. When they do this they often focus on making their primary home fit there needs more perfectly.” Haynie then continued to explain that “cost analyses have shown that if you put money into renovations you will increase the resale value of your home.”
Everyone wants their dream house, there is always something that can be done to improve upon even the best of homes. It is amazing to think that your home’s equity could pay for these renovations and additions and that it will likely increase the value of your home. Imagine, your dream home could be the one you are currently residing in.