homeowners are living with out-of-date
floor plans or just wanting to add style,
comfort or convenience to homes they
still love, a little extra space can
make a big difference.
boomers are putting master suites on
the main level. Families are reconfiguring
older floor plans with separate rooms
into spacious great rooms with open
kitchen areas. And sometimes that dream
bath needs just a little more square
spent $8.2 billion with professional
contractors for room additions in 2004,
according to statistics from the Remodelors
Council of the National Association
of Home Builders. But spending was
down one-third from 2003.
people are adding space "either
for comfort, a place to relax or entertainment,"
says John Gordon, director of professional
business for The Home Depot.
the most popular standard room additions
are bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, according
to 2003 statistics from the Joint Center
for Housing Studies at Harvard University.
a good room addition adds value, a bad
one can hurt you. "In terms of
curb appeal, it will turn people away
if you don't have a good addition,"
says Sal Alfano, editorial director
of Remodeling magazine. Inside and out,
it has to look like it fits with the
rest of the house.
want to tackle a room addition as a
DIY project. But if you're very skilled,
says Tom Silva, general contractor for
the TV show "This Old House,"
you can handle some of the smaller tasks
involved. Some good advice: "Make
sure that your contractor knows room
additions," says Silva.
an idea of prices, shop fixtures and
features, says Bob Garner, president-elect
of the National
Kitchen & Bath Association. Visit
showrooms and talk to designers before
going to a contractor to get an idea
of prices, he says.
pays to be realistic about the time
frame. Some homeowners think "projects
can be done quickly without any flaws,
or that in a week, you can knock down
a house," says Garner. "In
this business, that doesn't happen.
Consumers need to know what to expect."
be more difficult with a renovation
because contractors often encounter