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Your Mental To Do List Before Starting a Room Addition

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?

room additionMost homeowners think they know exactly what is coming. The truth is that most people have not done a room addition.  Consequently, they 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

You need to prepare for the worst if you or members of your family have OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) or are used to very clean environments. Things will most definitely get dirty. Walls will be 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:


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

Close proximity areas such are your side yard and driveway will be blocked or temporarily closed off when you do a room addition. 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?

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.

Image courtesy of Sherwood CC at Flickr Creative Commons

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  1. Emmerey Rose says

    DUST will be everywhere and the whole house is gonna be a mess for sure. Great tips Brian!

  2. My husband has decided that we are going to add some rooms onto our house to make it bigger. It’s good to know that with additions, there will be certain areas that will be closed off or temporarily blocked off since the construction crews will be working. Once we’re done and have a bigger house, I bet it will be worth all the inevitable dust and noise.

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