9 Steps to a Successful Home Addition


There may be a time where you’ll need, or want, a bigger home with more space. Though, you might love the neighbourhood you live in and won’t want to leave. When both those factors come into play, you’re better off considering a home addition.

There are so many ways one can go about extending their home, all depending on their needs. You can add a sunroom, an additional floor, add a garage, extend your home by adding a new room horizontally, or even add a garage with a room above it!

No matter the kind of home addition you’d like to get done, following these steps will ensure everything runs smoothly.

Step 1: Consider your municipality’s rules & regulations

Before undergoing this major renovation, you should ensure its feasibility. Every city has rules and regulations that must be followed, so it’s important to take a look at whether or not it’s possible to follow through with your home addition. The urban planning department of your municipality will have to approve the project. Meaning, you should definitely make sure you aren’t wasting your time and money by not validating the project’s feasibility. The best way to go about presenting your project is to go to the urban planning office in person. Although you can speak to them over the phone, showing up in person with your home’s deed in hand – along with some pictures – is ideal. They’ll get a general idea of what you’re looking to get done and provide you with insights in regards to the project’s attainability. They might even propose alternatives to what you’re planning.

Step 2: Your home addition plans

Once you know your home addition project is feasible, it’s time to move on to drawing up the plans – crucial to this kind of renovation.

The plans you get created will help in getting your project approved by your municipality and get the permits needed to get the renovation underway. Plus, the plans will help in getting contractors to bid on your project. Some contractors will offer to draw them up for you, but we believe you should think long and hard before letting them do so. If they draw up your plans, you’ll end up ‘stuck’ with them as they’ll be the only ones with copies of your plans. We highly recommend getting an independent architect or architectural technician to get your plans done. This way, once they’re done with them, the professional will leave the plans with you and you’re ready to find the right contractor for the job.

One of our Renovation Advisors will be able to refer you some of the best architects and technologists that specialize in creating home addition plans. Our advisors are also best informed to refer you the best-suited contractors for the work being done, all at no cost, no obligation to you. The assigned professionals will be able to properly analyze your home addition needs, your home’s environment, constraints you might be facing, and then, in turn, suggest materials and plan accordingly. Of course, they’ll take into consideration rules and regulations when doing so.

Step 3: Picking your contractor

It’s now time to find the right contractor to get the job done. A home addition is quite the investment, that’s why it’s essential to work with the best-qualified home addition contractors to ensure its success. For advice on how to choose the right contractor for your home addition, read our article: How to choose a contractor for your renovation project.

Step 4: Contractor visits

Meeting with qualified contractors will allow you to get a feel for whether they’re the right fit for your renovation project. After receiving their quotes, we’ll help you compare them and see which one gives offers you the best value. The quotes will most likely be fairly similar from one another. However, having met with contractors, you’ll already have an idea which one you should hire. The final quote comparison will simply nudge your decision in the right direction. Your home addition is a huge project that will require multiple interactions and a lot of time spent with your chosen general contractor. Getting along with them and believing in their capabilities is essential for the project to run smoothly.

Wondering what you can ask your contractor? Here are 13 questions to ask your contractor before settling on ‘the one’.

Step 5: Comparing quotes

Once you’ve met with contractors, they’ll be able to quote on your project. Keep in mind that your home addition quote can take a few days to be put together. The general contractor needs to get price estimates from all the specialized trades he plans on working with (i.e. electricians, plumbers, roofers, masons, etc.) and suppliers (for the windows, doors, flooring, etc.), calculate material costs, and see how much it’ll cost to protect the premises and properly dispose of debris. On top of all that, they’ll need to add labour costs. Putting together a quote is certainly not a simple feat for them.

Make sure you ask for detailed quotes in order to properly compare each one against the others. You’ll want to know where your money is going. The more detailed your quote, the better off you’ll be to contest any ‘extras’ billed to you that you’re sure were included in the price. Our Renovation Advisors will gladly look through the quotes you get for your home addition with you. They’ll be able to answer any question you may have and make sure nothing is forgotten.

Step 6: Choosing your contractor

Being presented with the right contractors in step 3, you should now have all you need to make an informed decision. Take your time when choosing the contractor that will be doing your home addition project. Once done, you’ll move on to signing the agreement.

Step 7: Signing the agreement

When it comes to such a big renovation project, the agreement and its terms are incredibly important. What’s written in the agreement can make or break your home addition plans. You wouldn’t want your renovations to turn into nightmares, so be sure to take note of everything mentioned in the agreement and request changes if need be. It’s what ties you and the contractor together throughout the entire project. The details regarding the work to be done, what’s included, what’s excluded, the beginning and end dates of the project, what happens in case of delays, and more should all be found in your agreement. The more details you’ll have, the better it’ll be for your home addition project. Grey zones are risky, so make sure everything you want to know is clearly stated.

Step 8: Carrying out the work

Now comes the time where the contractors will start carrying out the work. This step is often most difficult to deal with since you’ll need to wait until some work starts getting underway before assessing whether everything is running smoothly. Don’t shy away from asking your general contractor any questions. After all, this home addition is your home addition. Being there if something doesn’t go as planned is important. Make sure your agreement terms are respected throughout the entire process.

Step 9: Seeing the final product

The work is finally over! It’s time to sign the certificate of completion and provide final payment for your home addition. Of course, be sure that everything is in order and consistent with what was stated in the agreement.

9 steps infographic

Looking into extending your home?

To get an idea of what your home addition project can look like – or even how much it can cost – take a look at our Home Addition Ideas on our Reno-Inspiration page.

Ready to get started on your home addition?

Looking for inspiration and realistic pricing for your home addition project? Check out our completed projects! You can also check out our article on the most common reasons why homeowners opt to expand their homes.

Ready to take the plunge? Check out these tips to prepare for a major renovation. You can also Call us or fill out this form. One of our highly experienced Renovation Advisors will be able to assist you in planning out the project and finding the right contractor. They’ll also be there to help you assess each quote you receive. You’ll be able to make an informed decision and avoid any costly mistakes!