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Home Additions Brantford & Area


Adding onto your house can make better financial sense these days than buying a new larger house. Indeed it may be the only way for you to gain the space you need and want.

Additions cost real money – figure an average of $75 a square foot, or $12,600 for a 12’x14’ room without a foundation/basement. Before you embark on the remodeling, you need answers to some questions; Where will the extra space be added? What will the style be? What local building regulations are involved? Who should plan and carry out the work? What is the best way to finance it?


  1. If you need space, add it now. Building costs have been going up 10 percent a year, so the addition may cost you more a year from now.
  2. Don’t build too small. The few extra feet of space you need to make a really comfortable addition will be worth the extra dollars they cost.
  3. Plan your addition so it can be build from standard-size materials with a minimum amount of waste. Specify stock items whenever possible.
  4. Anything custom made will increase costs.
  5. Don’t insist on high or vaulted ceilings unless you are prepared to pay for them in added construction costs and increased heating and cooling costs.
  6. Install top quality windows that are easy to operate, have factory-applied weather stripping and come with either insulating glass or tight-fitting storm sash or panel.
  7. Make a furniture layout on the plan to be sure you have enough space for the furnishings you want to use, also to help in the proper location of windows, doors, electrical outlets, wall and floor registers etc.
  8. Don’t allow work to begin until you have actually seen a copy of the building permit signed by a local building official.
  9. If you must make a change in plans after the work has started, put the cost for the change in writing before the change is made.
  10. Check the job each day after the crew has gone. If you can find something that is not as specified, call the contractor at once.


The location and even the size of your addition may well be decided for you by local setback regulations that give the minimum for the distance of any building from property boundary lines. Your local building department can show you on a map of your property exactly how much space you have at the rear, sides and front of your house for an addition. They will also tell you whether your plans must be approved by the local zoning board before you can get a permit to build. Ask about any other local regulations you should be familiar with before you start to plan or have your addition built.


You can cut the cost of an addition by 30 per cent or so by doing some of the work yourself. A good approach is to have the “shell” of the addition put up while you do the finish work, if you are capable /qualified. A shell will include costs of the foundations (if applicable), rough floor and outside walls plus windows, door(s), roof, wiring and rough in plumbing if needed. You install the interior wallboard or wood paneling for walls and ceiling, interior trim, finish flooring, painting, decorating and so forth.


If you are going to have to borrow money to build your addition – and most people do – shop around for the best possible deal. Don’t sign up with a builder just because HE says he can arrange financing for you. It may cost you more than you can get on your own, and it locks you into using someone who may not be the best choice for the work. There are numerous ways to finance the job. Choose the one that makes the best sense for you.

Home improvement loans are popular, because they are relatively easy to get, especially if the lender can secure the loan with a second mortgage on your property. Some plans allow you to borrow $15,000 for 15 years with this type of loan. The trouble though may be the interest you pay. With a large loan the monthly payments could take a big chunk out of the family budget.

Increasing your present mortgage loan to cover an addition can be good if you are already paying somewhere around the current interest rates and the lender won’t make exorbitant charges to re-write. However, if you have an older mortgage and are paying less than in interest than the current rates, refinancing the mortgage does not make good sense.

If you can borrow on straight life insurance, assuming that it has accumulated a substantial cash value is good because you may pay a low rate of interest. But if you do not pay back the principal at regular intervals along with the interest on the loan, it will nibble away at the value of your policy

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