Mooers Realty Maine Real Estate Blog
Putting On A New House Addition On A Maine Home. Hold Your Horses.
You bought a home that needs a house addition, but before you bring out the staging and nail gun, hold it a minute.
The addition to the house in Maine better have lots of thought put into the construction plans. Because the original home may not be designed for the addition you had in mind. The cost of the construction you dream about needs a solid quote before you go after the local building permits too.
As a Maine real estate broker, I have been in quite a few houses over the last 38 years.
And improving a home starts with careful thought if you ever hope to recover the costs of the expenditures in a small rural state. Where what works in an urban market that is more forgiving and with more zero places in the property prices does not play so well in the lower cost small rural real estate arena.
So first things first when the time comes to consider adding on the existing house in Maine to create something different.
The building addition on the house you own in Maine. Which direction for the expansion... and is developing unused space that is already here the smartest way to go?
Fill in and rearrange what you already have could be wise for the limited funds hiding in your wallet or purse. Or thinking of financing the construction when pretty close to being free and clear of a house mortgage could mean let's study this need for more, better use of space DIY project.
Maine is famous for bartering, folks pitching in to exchange skills and sheer labor to avoid the high cost of living facing a home owner planning construction projects.
Lots of homes out there on the five year construction plan that have table saws in the living room. Two by fours, plywood tables where the eventual kitchen cabinets will slide in. Unfinished but paid for and as you go for the extra materials. Slowly and carefully added into the housing creation to be a work in progress.
Tap into the past experiences and successes, set backs other home owners endured when adding on to the existing house. Their honesty could help shape the direction that guides your hammer and nails.
The addition to the house in Maine.
Where you plan to expand if a new wing or "L" to the existing home. How big is and how will the final footprint and elevation match what is already there? The septic system tank and leach field, is it in the way of the addition? What is the best orientation for sunshine and passive or active solar gain? Already taken or ideal and what the original home builder had in mind down the road?
Some homes were meant for the expansion but it still means easy does it on what is tacked on.
The foundation work to keep the addition from rising and falling after it is connected to the original house in Maine. Very important to consider ground water, roof line drainage, frost that better be dealt with or cracks in sheet rock, water coming in around the roof or cellar line will be a nasty nuisance.
If the addition is a garage with overhead rec room, extra sleeping areas, will the height of the addition make the roof line awkward?
Too high on one end, and out of balance or not centered? There is a correct way to add the addition to not look like a growth and out of place to the original house design. What about the other houses in the neighborhood if in town and not out of sight on lots of acreage in a rural country setting?
Out of proportion and attention getting in the wrong way that the home owner intended.
Create a castle that is out of place with the other capes or ranch style homes or looking too modern for the older housing stock is a big investment mistake. And tacking on the garage with the breezeway to the kitchen on the wrong side of the existing home means now your kitchen, the original layout of the home is going to be need expensive reworking.
Shore land zoning in Maine could mean no go to the addition on the camp that makes the place look and feel like a Frankenstein home.
Piece meal added onto and trying to make a camp into a real live home does not always come out successfully. You create something that would have been cheaper to tear down, build again the right way. I understand when you have a big nest of kids it is hard to just stack them like cord wood somewhere else while the building process grinds on. Building on shore land zoning protected areas 250' around a body of water could run into another snag. The part in the regulations fine print about how much of the wooded lot can be cleared for development.
Cut, say timber too many times on those tree removals and you will be tapped on the shoulder by the code enforcement folks from the municipality the building project is located.
And fines, or worse, told to rip it off. Remove the housing addition that can not go on the existing structure. Limits on the final square footage of whatever you build also restrict waterfront housing additions too.
More on the septic system soil test HHE 200 part of the adding on to what you got dog and pony. Because the existing septic system was not designed to handle the pressure of everything living. And you will need a conversion permit or a re-design so the sewer waste system will support the require 90 gallons of water per day per bedroom requirement. Which can lead to needing to buy more land to place the pump it up the hill expensive system that may stall your add on to the lake cottage plans to make it a home exercise completely.
Harmony means building something that goes together and looks natural.
Not like an addition that is out of place and causing visual sour notes.
Pleasing lines, appealing and attractive works best when the housing addition project is completed and you step back to frame the house in the viewfinder of the Brownie Hawkeye.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and to each his own. Until the time of gotta sell what was created. Albatrosses don't sell quickly or for as much.
The best test of whether the addition to the house in Maine was done correctly or not is when it is listed for sale on the open real estate market.
The buyer for homes in Maine is careful to pick a place that they are proud of, that successfully matches a housing need. That does not need further cash outlay to correct an addition project gone bad. There are enough other homes for sale for very affordable prices in Maine to pick from so it is not a captive audience for misfit housing. Where the home owner that put on the addition openly admits the costly mistake he made. Because of no forethought, no real experience with house additions.
A bigger square footage home may be a smarter way to go in the final analysis.
Because you can buy from existing housing stock that better serves a change in real estate needs than go whole hog into a new construction expensive building from scratch what you lack now. To modify what you now own into something more.
The new house that already has the second bath, another half a one in the rec room and the attached double garage means less money spent to make a smaller list of changes.
Than what stares at the home owner of a place not designed for the added features the family suddenly wants and needs.The existing home that has the features already, that is bigger, sits on more land or borders waterfront, whatever could be way way cheaper in the long run.
Adding on to the house can be a big expensive time consuming operation that disrupts the life of those inside the too small place. Expect delays, take the advise of the carpenters when they tell you the plans you have in your head need slight modifications. To avoid building nightmares that could have been avoided if you listened to the professionals.
The heating system, the electrical panels of the original home were not designed for the expansion. The existing roof was just shingled just long enough ago to still look good. But not to allow getting the matching color and style of shingles or whatever roof covering. So the addition can stand out like a sore thumb because everything does not match from the curb view.
Oh sure, you can just re-shingle the perfectly good old home section of roofing to make a uniform look but that is part of the extra ching ching you may not have considered in the original plans to add on to the house with the addition that would solve the busting at the seams situation.
The original builder, if you could talk with him about the addition plans to the house that was not intended for one. That talking with someone that may be long gone might launch into a discussion about where is the snow from the high addition going to go with that deep valley in the roof line to collect and stop it from shedding.
The water back up and extra snow load on the roof and decks below when it does loosen up could be a source of regular aggravation. Or the lighting of the living room that used to be sunny not is not because there goes the southern exposure as one by one a window suddenly becomes a doorway.
If you have to modify the original home too much, that is long a two front war where resources have to go in two, not one direction.
Don't plan to get back the cost of the investment. And don't just assume the house addition you planned will go down smoothly when the home buyers are summons to wander through and tell you what they think as a home seller ready to move on. But stuck with something that put a nail in the coffin of your chances of changing up your housing. Which for most people means selling what you have to purchase new housing to replace it. Dominoes in real estate is a real world situation for most.
The crowded look where no space surrounds what is covering your lot for housing. Right up against the lines on all sides on a too small for what you put on it lot signals a need to stop and think hard.
One of these things is not like the other was a game for pre-schoolers on Sesame Street. Where Bert and Ernie and the cast would ask for your help to point out which one does not belong in the group. Birds of a feather better be flocking together and the McMansion in a sea of simple housing stock stands out like a sore thumb to home buyers.
Fitting in is important in social settings, at work and with the house you create to live in that blends in with the pack or stands out the wrong way.
That just does not blend in as meant to be here.
The style of housing in a neighborhood is often dated.
Maine is a pretty conservative state. Housing reflects it. Back to the Future adjustments to your existing home can make what you build look like something not meant to be here or to get the kind of attention not in the way you intended. Which will hurt eventual home sales days on market and ultimate bottom line size of the check written by the buyer for your sticks and bricks.
Will the cost of the home improvement even get off the ground with the bank appraisal results if you borrow from a mortgage home lender? Too lofty plans in poor planning for the addition on the house, the guy or gal with metal clip will make it thumbs down and tell the bank don't make the loan on this investment.
Burning through a lot of of the green stuff. The total cost of a house addition on a Maine home can be staggering because of the unknowns that crop up and the additional items tacked on to the project. But there is another problem. The new home addition may be fit as a fiddle, new and shiny. But the rest of the home that was not just constructed has loose ends.
Regular maintenance items like an old roof, mismatch siding material and colors is a situation that does not fix itself. The existing house can feel old because it is compared to the new home addition. Adding siding, roofing, updates to the windows, heating and on the list expands when the new addition to the home does not match the period of time the existing house was built or the time frame of renovations to that original structure.
The addition to the house should not look like one.
It should come off as being built that way from day one or the two parts don't go together successfully. You don't want the floor levels to be off as you wander from what feels old and dated into the fresh and new transition to haunt you.
Like one brown eye, another one that is blue, it can look distinctive is someone is a rock star like David Bowie or actress dubbed Medicine Woman. But homes need to be in harmony, balanced, pretty much up to speed in all areas for the quickest resale, highest price and most real estate market attraction.
MOOERS REALTY 69 North Street Houlton Maine 04730 USA