So you’ve made all your plans and crunched the numbers and are finally ready for a room addition. That’s great news! But are you sure you know what to expect for the next couple months?
Most homeowners think they know exactly what is coming. The truth is that most people have not done a room addition and overlook some of the details that are involved. To that end, here is a list of daily activities and truths involved with any room addition you need to be aware of.
Prepare For Dust
If you or members of your family have OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) or are used to very clean environments, prepare for the worst. As with any construction project, things will most definitely get dirty. The moment you commit to a room addition you are acknowledging there will be walls removed, electricity re-routed, grading and excavation among other activities that cause a lot of dust and dirt.
Reputable contractors will ensure that each day their crew cleans up after themselves. However, there is a certain amount of dirt that is just inevitable. You’ll have to learn to deal with it.
Technicians In Your Home
Expect to have multiple trades, workers and vendors in your home throughout the process of your addition. Even if you are working with a small contractor crew, they will typically subcontract out electrical and plumbing.
To enjoy the process and motivate your general contractors crew go out of your way to treat them as an extension of your family. Filling up ice chests with cold beverages, offering coffee in the morning and just striking a quick conversation can go a long way with tradesmen. Typically, they are very honest people that take pride in their work. So having homeowners that notice their work and treat them nice will keep the job clean and you will get much more craftsmanship than distancing yourself.
City Inspections & Milestones
Any room addition will have a process that involves steps from pre-construction to final add-on. Pre-construction will consist of meeting with your contractor or architect/draftsman and the creation of plans that will eventually be approved by the local city governing bodies Once the blueprints are finalized by the architect expect weeks to months to get the city to issue permits to build.
Depending on how busy or how complex the proposed room addition is will help define the timeline to get permitted. Once the official permits are ready you then will see your contractor and the crew start work.
Throughout the process the city has checklists to ensure various stages of construction are up to the quality of their specifications. Your contractor will take care of the inspections but you will see a city official to come check-off on work such as foundation, plumbing, insulation, roofing, electrical and more. Each phase of construction will be looked at as moving that much closer towards adding value and physical space to your home.
Most contractors use these milestones for progress payments. Get ready for many milestones to make up the end product of your new room addition.
Room Addition Inconveniences
Just like with the dust, you will also need to prepare for life to be a bit less convenient. With new construction some points to be aware of are:
Noise – Each phase in your room addition will vary in noise. For example, demolition will be very noisy whereas paint can be relatively quiet. For those who work from home, realize conference calls may be better away from home during more loud construction activities. Crews often listen to radios and music onsite as well. It’s best to allow the noise to happen and just prepare yourself for the temporary inconvenience.
Temporary Areas Not Accessible – With room additions typically you will have to get used to certain areas such as your side yard, driveway and close proximity areas to be closed off, temporarily blocked or just less accessible. The construction crew will not take all of their tools back and forth everyday as it is inefficient. They may ask to keep a job box on the side yard or areas you typically use.
From time to time with materials being dropped off on the job the crew will also need access to the driveway for easier unloading. Electricity or water may be temporarily turned off as well for the safety of workers re-routing or working. You may be asked to use a different bathroom or office if work is not complete in one day. Just expect to be cooperative with various areas of the house until the room addition is complete.
Overall, a room addition can be a fun process that you can enjoy throughout. The end result will give your family more space and add more value to your home’s resale value. It is always best to go into construction projects with honest expectations and an open mind about what to expect.
Questions for Discussion: Have you ever been through a room addition? What was it like? Did it end up being beneficial to your home in the long run? What did are some items you didn’t realize you had to prepare for if you’ve already had a room addition?
About the Author: Cody Bollerman is an officer at SJB Construction Inc, a leading home remodeling company based in San Diego, CA, providing various construction services like second story additions, room addition, kitchen remodeling and more. He is actively involved in construction, blogging for various publications & serving as an adviser to a ODOO based construction project management suite. Feel free to connect with him on Instagram.