Should You Blend Your Addition Into the Existing Home?

Do you want to build a home addition that will add space and functionality to your house? If so, one element that all homeowners should give thought to is how to make the addition harmonious with the rest of the existing house. Why is this important? And how can you do it? Here’s what you need to know.

Why Is a Good Match Important?

A well-planned and well-executed home addition can provide a significant return on your investment by adding to the home’s value. You may see a return on your expenses of 40 percent, 50 percent, or more.

But an ill-advised addition can actually be detrimental to the home’s value. An unattractive added section or one that interferes with the look of the home may bring down the sale price and turn away buyers.

As the homeowner, you are making this investment to turn your home into something that pleases you more. But if the final product ends up sticking out like a sore thumb — or has an illogical transition or bad internal traffic flow — you could even end up with a home you like less than before.

How Can You Ensure a Good Fit?

Fortunately, you and your home design contractor can take steps to craft an addition that will fit the house from all angles.

Consider Your Options

While you’re probably eager to see the renovations done and are focusing on interior improvements, finding the right design is an important investment. This might mean altering your plans in general or it could just mean choosing small details to camouflage the new sections. Either way, the best time to do this is before you start buying materials or swinging hammers.

Study the Architecture of the Home

You want the addition to match the architecture, inside and out. A Victorian home, for instance, may look unusual with a large, flat ranch home addition tacked on to the side. Instead, a slim, two-story addition with Victorian exterior features like cornices and molding could add square footage while maintaining the architectural style.

A unified look also involves complementing both in scale and proportions. If your Victorian home has narrow, tall windows, you may not want to build an addition with wide, squat ones. And a home on a small lot might benefit from a second story addition that doesn’t overwhelm the property the way a sprawling first floor addition would.

Use Similar Materials as the Main Body of the House

A Cape Cod home covered in wood shingles may have seen its shingles weather and fade over time. In addition to choosing similar types of shingles as the existing ones, you may want to purchase those new shingles in a lighter shade than the originals so they match the current state.

Minimize the Visual Impact of the Addition

If a large single addition will overpower the home, consider breaking up the addition into smaller and less visible units. To enlarge the kitchen, for instance, you might opt to do a smaller kitchen bump out and then reorganize the floor plan to add dining room space to the interior. If needed, you can add more space elsewhere in the public areas too.

Where to Start

The best place to begin planning your new addition’s appearance is with an experienced contractor. They will work with you to match your goals for the addition with the best interests of the house in the long term and your budget.

DESIGNfirst Builders has assisted Chicago area homeowners for nearly 15 years in designing the right renovations, including additions. Call today to speak with a home design professional and make an appointment to get started.

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