Putting a new addition onto your home can be an excellent way to increase your square footage without having to sacrifice all the things you love about your neighborhood and your existing house.
If your community’s zoning laws allow it, it is possible to change the whole look and feel of your home exterior with a simple addition.
What if you don’t want to or can’t afford to change the entire look of your house?
We have all seen those houses with awkward boxes attached; the added room with no visual relation to the original structure.
The owners were focusing on adding interior space without thinking through how it would make the outside of their houses look.
What is the right way to build a new addition?
How can you add needed square footage without ruining the exterior of your house?
New Addition Factors to Consider
If you have a historic home, you likely have zoning laws that will dictate how your addition must look on its exterior.
However, for most neighborhoods, you will only be limited by building codes.
One of the best ways to keep the integrity of your home is to make sure the addition mimics the roofline of your existing house.
If your house is a two-story Victorian, even a single story along the back can look integrated if the rooflines are the same. The same goes for the horizontal lines of a prairie style ranch house.
If you want to change the look and style of your house, the opposite is true. Often, the best way to make everything look new is to create a unique roofline that changes the original and integrates the addition.
Without talking about materials, the second most crucial element to consider when building an addition is the proportions in the existing structure.
As much as you can while obeying building codes, creating new windows, doors, ceiling heights, and room sizes to match the original will make an addition feel less jarring.
Window companies are increasingly selling units in historical proportions and muntin patterns that can match windows in old houses.
In addition, it is best to choose an addition in proportion to the rest of the house. If you’re adding 2,000 square feet to a 1,200 square foot house, it’s very likely to dwarf the original structure.
Where you put your addition can make a big difference between a sore thumb and a seamless match.
If you live in a neighborhood full of houses of a similar style, study what has been done to them over the years.
Architectural services come in handy during this stage, as a professional will see possibilities where you may not.
Often, the way to get extra space may be more elegant than the one-room addition off the back you had planned.
The different materials other than the original materials are where most of us notice awkward additions.
Sometimes it is not possible to match materials. For example, old brick and mortar is impossible to match. In those cases, you can choose another period-correct material.
Wood siding can be matched and re-painted. However, new cedar shakes won’t have the weathered hue of old shakes.
If you can incorporate stone or brick into the new design, it often elevates the look of your house overall.
Vinyl siding tends to fade after a few years. Even if your vinyl siding is still in production, you may need to replace all of it at once to prevent the apparent line between old and new.
Bringing it Home
There are several considerations when you are planning to put an addition onto your home: roofline, proportions, placement, and materials.
If you are not sure where to start, but you know you need square footage and that your finished product needs to look seamless, contact a professional today.
As always, we would be happy to help with any questions about a new addition on your home that you may have.