Home additions can be a great way to add space and value to your home. Whether you’re looking to add an extra bedroom, a new bathroom, or a larger living area, a home addition can transform your home and improve your quality of life. However, it is essential to avoid common structural mistakes that can lead to costly repairs, safety hazards, and even legal issues.
Here are the first half of the common structural mistakes to avoid when planning and building a home addition.
1. Failing to Obtain Permits
When homeowners add onto their homes, they often overlook the need to get the required permits. Local and state governments need these permits to ensure the construction meets safety and zoning regulations. If you don’t get the necessary approvals and licenses, you may face legal issues, fines, or even have to remove the addition.
Dealing with all the paperwork can become overwhelming quickly; this is why you’ll need licensed professionals that handle this sort of thing when you’re trying to build extensions or additions to your property.
Here are some standard regulations that apply to most areas in California.
- Building Permits: Before starting any home addition project, homeowners must obtain a building permit from the local building department. The permit process ensures that the addition meets all safety codes and regulations.
- Zoning Regulations: Specific zoning regulations may dictate the addition’s size, location, and design. Homeowners should consult with the local zoning department to ensure that their plans meet all zoning requirements.
- Property Line Setbacks: Homeowners must abide by minimum distance requirements between the house and property lines. These setbacks ensure that the addition does not encroach on adjacent properties.
- Height Limitations: There may be height limitations on home additions in certain areas, which restricts the height of the addition to a certain number of stories or a certain number of feet.
2. Ignoring Building Codes
Apart from getting the necessary permissions, complying with the building codes is crucial when expanding your house. These codes outline the minimum standards for safety, durability, and energy conservation. Disregarding these codes can lead to hazardous living conditions, structural issues, and increased energy expenses.
3. Not Hiring a Licensed Contractor
Due to the proliferation of DIYers and property flippers online, many homeowners assume that hiring a licensed contractor when adding home extensions is unnecessary. But, a licensed contractor is well-trained and knowledgeable about building codes and safety measures, ensuring the addition gets appropriately built. If you opt for an unlicensed contractor or do-it-yourself construction, you may make expensive errors and even create life-threatening structural risks.
4. Overlooking Foundation Issues
It is crucial to evaluate your home’s foundation before making any extensions. Harmful foundation problems like cracks, settling, and shifting can cause damage to the structure of the new addition and the entire house. Dealing with foundation issues beforehand can help avoid expensive repairs and potential risks to safety in the future. Fixing or adding foundation to your home should always be done with the help of professionals.
5. Not Considering HVAC Needs
Adding onto your home can affect the Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. Adding another room or a whole floor to your home will require higher loads for your HVAC. Ensure that you hire professionals to appropriately sort out the system to keep your home at a comfortable temperature with calibrated HVAC loads. Failure to do so can result in higher energy bills, poor indoor air quality, and HVAC system failure.
Expanding your home is a fantastic method to increase the area and worth of your home. But, it is crucial to steer clear of common errors that may result in expensive maintenance, safety risks, and legal complications.
In this first part of the blog, we discussed five structural mistakes to avoid, including not following building codes, not hiring a licensed contractor, not assessing the foundation, not considering HVAC, and more. There are still more structural mistakes to discuss in the second part of this blog.
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