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Ask a Contractor: What to Expect During Renovations

March 21st, 2022 |

Before you begin a renovation project on your investment property, there are many factors to consider: cost, permits, hiring renovation contractors and more. Here is a guide to help you through the process.

Mandatory or Optional Upgrades

Your renovation project may include either mandatory or optional upgrades, or a combination of both. 

Mandatory Upgrades

Sometimes a building needs mandatory upgrades to comply with local safety codes. For example, you may need to upgrade the electrical or plumbing systems before you can rent out a home. 

Optional Upgrades  

Optional upgrades are a matter of personal preference and are not required for code compliance. Examples include installing solar panels, adding a new porch or replacing kitchen countertops. Optional upgrades can improve the design, func or curb appeal of your home. 

Licensed Contractor

A licensed general contractor has the experience and knowledge necessary for a successful and safe renovation project. In Massachusetts, for example, a general contractor must have a valid Construction Supervisor License (CSL). Specific licenses are required for plumbing, electrical and other specialized work. You can verify a Massachusetts contractor’s license with the Board of Building Regulations and Standards

Contract

A contract need not contain pages of legal jargon, but it should clearly state the essential points of the renovation project. Before you sign, make sure that the following details are written into the contract: 

Project description, including materials and their costs, labor costs, permit applications, debris disposal, liability insurance and workman’s compensation coverage. 

  • Payment installment schedule and payment method. 
  • Estimated project start and end date.
  • Lien waivers for each payment, stating that the funds were used to pay for materials and labor described in the invoice. 
  • Clear procedure for changes, including a description of new work, cost, and impact on the timeline. 
  • Escape hatch providing a specified time period to rescind the contract without penalty.
  • Signatures of both parties (general contractor and you)

A contract is essential if you want to avoid surprise charges, unnecessary delays, debris left at the construction site or other issues. 

Permits 

For a renovation project, the general contractor usually applies for permits through your local building department. A permit application ensures that the project will adhere to local building and fire codes. The required permits depend on the type of project. In Massachusetts, for example, permits are required for alterations to a building’s structure or major systems, such as 

  • Home additions
  • New garage
  • New deck
  • Interior wall removal 
  • Electrical rewiring 
  • Plumbing replacement

The permit must be prominently displayed at the project site. If construction has begun without the proper permits, the building department can order a shutdown or even a tear-down of the project. 

Inspections  

The local building department will send an inspector to check certain stages of the renovation. These inspections ensure that the project is meeting safety code requirements. If a violation is found, the inspector will tell the contractor what to do to bring the project up to code standards. 

The general contracting professionals at RH Blanchard have the skills and experience for your renovation project. Get in touch today for your free quote.

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How to Make Money on a Vacation Rental Property

March 7th, 2022 |

Buying a vacation rental property involves many decisions, from choosing a location to setting rates. With a projected 3.62 percent annual growth rate, many properties investors are entering the market. If you’re wondering how to make money on a vacation rental property, read the following guide for helpful tips.

Choose the Right Location

Before you buy a vacation rental property, research the location. An area that attracts tourists year-round is ideal. Does the property have a breathtaking view? Is it within walking distance of museums or quaint local shops? Whether it’s in Cape Cod or the White Mountains, your property will be easier to market if it’s in a popular location. 

Some locations, however, do not allow short-term rentals. Other areas limit the number of short-term rental guests per property, per year. You don’t want to end up paying a fine, so make sure you research regulations at the city, county, state and neighborhood levels.  

Buy the Right Type of Property

This is one of the most essential tips for how to make money on a vacation rental property. As an investment property owner, you’ll want to buy a vacation rental home that will generate income. A multi-family property will accommodate more guests than a single-family home. A spacious home with multiple bathrooms and bedrooms will allow you to charge more per night.  

Decorate and Update Amenities 

Your property should be so appealing that guests will want to post pictures of it on social media. The home should appeal to a variety of tastes, so start with a neutral color scheme. Add some décor that is relevant to the location. For example, include some nautical accents pieces in a coastal Rhode Island rental. Keep the house stocked with necessities, such as cooking supplies, shampoo, linens and paper products. 

This is not the time to skimp on expenses, so go ahead and invest in high-quality furnishings. An interior decorator who specializes in vacation rentals can give you valuable advice.   

Finally, you’ll want to include a few high-demand amenities. Guests particularly appreciate the following: 

  • Pet-friendly accommodations 
  • Hot tub, especially if the property has a scenic view
  • WiFi Internet access 

Set Rental Rates

Setting rental rates is a surprisingly complex task. Gone are the days of fixed rates for weekdays and weekends. Today, dynamic rental rates fluctuate with the seasons as well as short-term events such as bad weather.

Start by researching comparable vacation rentals in the same area. It’s also a good idea to consult with experts in the vacation rental market. Short-term rental property management companies can help you calculate your rates by using algorithms, local expertise and other tools.  

Market Your Vacation Rental Property 

You’ve found the ideal property in a charming location. You’ve decorated, added amenities and set your rates. Now it’s time to spread the word about your vacation rental home.  

You can choose from a variety of listing sites. Some sites specialize in certain types of properties, from city apartments to remote cabins. A short-term rental management company can use SEO, social media ads and other resources to help you market your property. 

You want your vacation rental to make a fantastic first impression. At RH Blanchard, our experienced general contracting team can get your property in shape for listing. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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5 Advantages of Basement Renovations

February 16th, 2022 |

A basement does not have to be a dark, forgotten space in your investment property. It can turn into a second bathroom, bedroom, or another source of income. Read on to learn about basement renovation costs and return on investment (ROI). 

#1 ROI vs. Basement Renovation Cost

Basement renovation costs can be pricey, but this type of renovation provides a 70 percent average ROI nationwide For houses in Massachusetts and other New England states, the ROI averages 52.8 percent. The cost of a basement remodel depends on the type of remodel and the planned use of the space. The nationwide average cost for a midrange basement remodel is $71,115, while in New England it’s $76, 429.  

Of course, the size of the basement helps determine the cost of a renovation. For a small 300- to 700-square foot basement, the price typically ranges from $9,000 to $52,000. Renovating a 1500- to 2,000-square foot basement, however, can cost from $45,000 to $150,000.  

#2 Increases Home Value

As a property investor, you’re keeping your eye on the bottom line — especially your property value. Basement renovations tend to increase the resale value of homes. You will likely be able to recoup a good chunk of your expenses when you sell your property.  

Let’s say you’re spending $50,000 on a Boston-area basement renovation. With the typical ROI of 52.8 percent for the region, your resale value could increase by $26,400. 

#3 Increase Living Space

With a basement renovation, you can increase the living space of the property without enlarging its footprint. This is an important advantage if zoning codes prevent you from expanding outward or upward. In some neighborhoods, an addition may not be possible because it will be too close to the neighboring house. Other locations have a two-story limit on homes. If your property has a basement, you can still add that extra room or apartment. 

#4 Increase Income

If zoning laws allow it, you can turn the basement into a rental unit and increase the income potential for the property. If you keep the property after the renovation, you will have increased cash flow from the additional unit. If you sell the property, the potential income from the renovated basement is a good selling point. A buyer may see the rental income as a chance to ease the burden of mortgage payments. 

#5 Additional Uses for a Renovated Basement

Bathroom 

An additional bathroom can be a deciding factor for a home buyer. The cost of hiring a plumber for this renovation can be worth it when it’s time to sell the property.

Bedroom 

Adding a bedroom increases the size of the home as well as potential rental income. A bedroom must have two forms of egress, such as windows, so the project will likely involve knocking down foundation walls to create openings. 

Recreation Room

Since it is below ground, noise from loud parties or kids playing will be muffled. A basement is an ideal location for a recreation room if you don’t want to disturb the neighbors. 

With more than 15 years of general contracting experience, RH Blanchard will give your Boston-area basement renovation the care it deserves. Get in touch for a free consultation.

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A Guide to Investing in Rental Property for Beginners

February 8th, 2022 |

Rental properties are an attractive option for many investors. If you are new at buying rental property, there are many considerations you should keep in mind. Before you take the plunge, read this guide to investing in rental property for beginners. 

Decide If You Want to Be a Landlord 

When you buy a rental property, you become the landlord of the property. You can hire a property manager for these tasks, but they typically charge between 8 and 12 percent of collected rent. If you are a novice rental property investor, you will likely have to deal with the following issues yourself:

  • Screening prospective tenants
  • Doing your own repairs on the property
  • Hiring contractors for repairs and maintenance  

Research Property Location

Location is key when it comes to investing in rental property. Look for mid-range properties in an economically healthy neighborhood. Do a market analysis to find out the following: 

  • Landlord-tenant laws
  • Rental population
  • Rental rates
  • Price to rent ratio
  • Property taxes
  • Crime rate
  • Quality school district 
  • Job market growth

Get in Shape Financially

Before you start shopping for rental properties, you’ll want to be in the best possible financial shape. Lenders have stricter standards for rental property mortgages than for traditional mortgages. Here are some typical requirements for a successful rental property mortgage application: 

Income vs Expenses

During your first year as a rental property owner, a 6 percent return on investment (ROI) is a reasonable goal, with the expectation that it will increase over time. The rent you charge must cover operating expenses, which can total 50 percent of the rental income you collect. Expenses can include  

  • Maintenance and repairs
  • Homeowners association fees
  • Homeowners insurance
  • Property taxes

On the other hand, rental property owners often qualify for tax breaks on mortgage interest, maintenance and other expenses. Rental properties also often increase in value over time, so you may be able to recoup expenses if you sell the property..

Advantages of Buying Investment Properties

Although there are exceptions, real estate values are generally more stable than other investments such as the stock market.

  • Rental property is a source of passive income, especially if you hire a property manager. 
  • As you collect rent income, you can devote time and energy to your full-time job.
  • You don’t have to pay Social Security taxes on rental income.

Disadvantages of Buying Investment Properties  

Rental property investment is not for everyone. Here are some potential drawbacks to consider: 

  • Interest rates are usually higher for rental property mortgages than for a traditional mortgage. 
  • As stated above, rental property mortgages are more difficult to obtain than traditional mortgages.
  • Dealing with tenants can be a hassle if you don’t hire a property manager. 

If you’re a Boston-area rental property owner, RH Blanchard can help with your general contracting needs. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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Understanding the Difference: General Contractor vs Construction Manager

January 21st, 2022 |

If you’re thinking about starting a construction project on your investment property, you may be wondering what is a general contractor vs construction manager. A construction manager represents you, the property owner, and is part of your team. A general contractor, on the other hand, wins the job by bidding on your project. Read on for more comparisons between general contracting and construction management.  

Pre-Construction Phase

A general contractor usually is not involved with pre-construction planning. Once the architect has completed the design, the general contractor enters the project and develops a bid package based on the design. Other pre-construction duties include hiring subcontractors and obtaining permits. 

A construction manager is involved from the beginning of the project and often has input into the design process. Like a general contractor, they handle hiring subcontractors for the project. 

Budget and Timeline

General contractors and subcontractors both keep the owner informed about the project budget, timeline, and delays. The general contractor and subcontractors must personally adhere to the schedule, while the construction manager monitors the contractors’ adherence to the schedule. 

A major difference between the professions is the way they are paid. A general contractor is paid based on their bid for the project. If the completed project costs less than the bid, the general contractor keeps the difference. If the project will take longer or cost more than the bid, they must either charge the client more money or change the project specifications. 

A construction manager is paid a flat fee that is usually a percentage of the total cost of the project.  They set and oversee the budget, but unlike a general contractor, they are paid the same amount whether the project goes over or under budget. 

Subcontractors and Site Supervision

Both general contractors and construction managers hire and coordinate subcontractors. One difference, however, is that a general contractor usually has a network of trusted electricians, plumbers, and other subcontractors. Over time, these subcontractors develop a sense of teamwork and cohesiveness. 

A construction manager hires subcontractors, but their immediate team usually consists of project managers, accountants, and other professionals who do not do construction work. The team works at every stage of the project, from design to completion.

General contractors and construction managers may hire supervisors to oversee a construction site. A general contractor implements and oversees job-site safety, while a construction manager oversees the constructors’ adherence to safety procedures and building codes. 

Credentials for General Contractor vs Construction Manager

Qualifications for both professions vary from state to state. In Massachusetts, general contractors and construction managers must obtain a construction supervisor license from the Massachusetts Office of Public Safety and Inspections. Both professions require three years of work experience in building construction and design. Enrollment in a relevant vocational school or college degree program can substitute for some of the job experience.

Although it is not required for a license, a bachelor’s degree in construction management can be an advantage when looking for a job as a construction manager.

At RH Blanchard, we’re the experts when it comes to Boston-area general contracting and project development. Get in touch today for a free consultation.

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6 Interior Design Trends for 2022

January 6th, 2022 |

When it comes to interior design trends, 2022 is chock full of bold ideas. This is the year to add fresh colors, textures and design to your investment property interior. Read on to find out what’s new in interior design. 

Windows, Windows and More Windows 

A wall of windows helps banish that cooped-up feeling we’ve all had during the past two years. It’s time to let sunshine and nature into the home with windows and more windows. For example, multiple casement windows over the kitchen sink and range let a family enjoy the outdoors while they cook or grab a snack.  

Light Floors and White Walls 

You’ll want to maximize the light that streams through all those windows. Light-colored floors and white walls will reflect that sunlight back into the room. This color scheme also helps a room look spacious and airy. Light-colored flooring is available in a variety of materials, including 

  • White oak 
  • European white oak 
  • Maple
  • Bamboo
  • Ash
  • Sandstone 
  • Travertine  

Black painted trim or colored, textured furnishings add contrast and warmth to rooms that have light floors and walls.

Patterned Flooring

Here’s an interior design trend that making a comeback in 2022: patterned flooring. You can choose from many geometric patterns for your wood floor. For example, the classic herringbone pattern adds elegant style to hardwood floors. To highlight the flooring, choose neutral colors and natural materials for your furnishings. 

Patterned tile is another flooring option that works well in a bathroom. Consider different patterns and colors for the shower floor and bathroom floor.  

Green Tones 

With the emphasis on neutral and subdued tones, you can still add a subtle pop of color with green. It’s no coincidence that many paint companies chose a green tone as their 2022 color of the year. Cool, green walls complement light wood flooring, while green trim subtly sets off white walls. From olive to evergreen, there’s a shade of green to suit every taste.  

Kitchen Islands 

In 2022, a kitchen island offers a lot more than extra counter space. Depending on its size, an island can be a multifunctional, efficient addition to a kitchen. It’s still a great place to prep vegetables or store pots and pans, but why not add seating and a prep sink? Install a small refrigerator and microwave oven at the end of the island so that people can heat up food without blocking traffic. With its central location, a large kitchen island can conveniently include a dishwasher and pullout trash container.  

Sustainable Materials 

Sustainability continues to be a hot trend in 2022, and interior design is no exception. Responsibly sourced woods, natural fabrics and other sustainably produced materials are available for the home interior. High-performance windows let you conserve energy and save money on heating and cooling bills. Wood, stone and other natural materials help create a serene, calming environment. You may even inspire others to adopt sustainable interior design practices.

Are you ready to update your Boston area investment property with the latest interior design trends 2022 has to offer? At RH Blanchard, our team has outstanding general contracting experience and skills. Contact us today for a free quote.

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Townhouse Renovation Ideas for Your Next Investment Property

November 23rd, 2021 |

Does your newly purchased townhouse need renovations? Or maybe you’ve had your eye on a nineteenth-century property but wonder about renovating in a historic district. As an investment property owner, you’ll want to read the following townhouse renovation ideas. 

Before You Start 

Townhouses are often located in historic districts, and some are designated landmarks in their own right. Renovations to historic buildings must follow strict guidelines and be approved by a local authority. In Boston, for example, you must submit an application that includes an outline of the proposed renovations to the Landmarks Commission. If the property is in a historic district such as Beacon Hill or the North End, you must also apply to that district. Surrounding cities, such as Cambridge and Brookline, have their own approval processes.

Restrictions typically apply to exterior renovations that affect the building façade, such as 

  • Windows 
  • Porches
  • Awnings
  • Decks
  • Air conditioner units

Still, there are plenty of townhouse renovation ideas that can work with a city’s landmark requirements.  

Mix Vintage With Modern 

You can update your townhouse interior and keep its historic features at the same time. Do you love that ornate living room fireplace but not the garish wall color and dated flooring? A fresh coat of neutral-colored paint and new wood floors create a clean look while retaining the original fireplace. 

Mixing new and vintage materials is a great way to refresh a townhouse interior. Maybe you want to keep the old wooden features while creating a more modern style. Try adding brick and steel next to the original wood for an industrial vibe. 

Maximize Light 

One way to update the look of a historic townhouse is to maximize lighting. Sometimes this can be accomplished without installing windows. For example, does the original wood staircase block the light from already existing windows? Consider replacing the closed risers and wood spindles with a minimalist steel staircase and open risers. 

Still need more sunlight? You can probably add new or larger windows, as long as they are on the rear facade. Landmark requirements are often less stringent with renovations that can’t be seen from the street. You can even build an extension from back of the building. Add large windows or steel French doors that open to the back balcony, and your townhouse interior will .  

Change Colors and Textures 

Love the layout of your townhouse but don’t love the dated color scheme? Brand new colors and textures can make a world of difference without altering the historic features of the building. For example, you can give the kitchen a clean contemporary feel with an off-white color for the walls, cabinets and countertops.  

Along with a fresh coat of paint, textures play an important role in updating your townhouse interior. A tile floor or natural wood slat ceiling, for example, can add interest to a neutral color scheme. Wallpaper, plaster and decorative trim also provide color and texture.  

When you’re planning to renovate a historic property, you need to hire licensed professionals with extensive general contracting experience. At RH Blanchard, we’ll treat your townhouse project with care. Get in touch for a free quote.

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Why You Should Consider a Garage Remodel

November 18th, 2021 |

Whether it’s a home office or in-law suite, a garage remodel is a great way to add usable space to your investment property. A converted garage can increase the value of your property by 10 percent or more, with a return on investment (ROI) up to 80 percent. Read on to learn why you should consider remodeling your garage. 

Is a Garage Remodel Right for Your Property?

Before you get started, make sure a garage remodel is right for your property. Consider the following factors: 

  • Do homeowners in your area prefer garage space to outdoor parking? 
  • Can you compensate elsewhere in the home for lost storage space? 
  • How much will permits cost? 
  • Will you need to elevate the ceiling so that is rises 8 feet or more above the floor?
  • How will you address drainage if the garage is lower than the house?

If you decide to move forward, a garage remodel can be a worthwhile investment. 

Home Office

With so many people working at home these days, a home office can be an attractive feature. Requirements for this type of remodel usually include 

  • Insulation 
  • HVAC
  • Painted walls
  • Flooring
  • High-speed Internet access
  • Lighting 
  • Window

You may need to add electrical outlets, but you probably won’t have to install drywall or plumbing. The average cost to convert a garage into office space starts at about $5,000

Living Area

With a few brightly colored rugs, furniture and lighting, you can transform your garage into a cozy living area or family room. You may need to add a window or door as an emergency exit.  The majority of the cost includes  

  • HVAC
  • Flooring
  • Insulation

The average cost to convert a garage to a living area ranges from $5,000 to $22,000.

Extra Bedroom

One of the most popular garage conversions is an extra bedroom or master bedroom suite. A simple bedroom costs about $15,000. The price for a master bedroom and bathroom suite can run as high as $25,000, due to specialized installation work:

  • Plumbing
  • Fixtures
  • Toilet
  • Shower or tub
  • Tile

The extra cost may be worth it, however. Turning your garage into a bedroom can increase your home value up to 20 percent.

Accessory Apartment

Also known as a granny flat or in-law suite, an accessory apartment is the most extensive and costly garage remodel. The project can cost an average of $32,700 to $63,000 and involves extensive work. In addition to the work required for a master bedroom suite, conversion to an accessory apartment includes 

  • Full bath 
  • Kitchenette 
  • Soundproofing for privacy
  • Separate entrance door

An accessory apartment is an attractive feature for many homebuyers, with 20 percent of people in the United States living in multigenerational dwellings. Research shows that more people would pay extra for a home with an accessory apartment than for any other feature.

When you’re ready to convert that garage, don’t leave anything to chance. At RH Blanchard, we have the general contracting experience you need for your Boston-area garage remodel. Contact us today and get a free quote.

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7 Types of Flooring to Consider for Your Investment Property

November 16th, 2021 |

The right flooring is essential for any rental property. As an investment property owner, you’ll need to consider some important factors when selecting flooring – you can choose from many types of flooring that will appeal to future renters. Some factors to consider include:

  • Durability 
  • Price
  • Installation requirements 
  • Ease of maintenance 
  • Appearance

Keep reading to learn our suggestions for the best investment property flooring!

1. Laminate 

Laminate is a synthetic alternative to genuine hardwood. Available in planks or squares, it is a good choice for bedrooms, dining rooms and living areas. 

Laminate pros:

  • Easily installed by clicking or gluing in place
  • Tough finish resists scratches and stains  
  • More affordable than genuine hardwood
  • Suitable for pet-friendly rentals

Laminate cons: 

  • Does not add the value of genuine hardwood flooring
  • Cannot refinish
  • Chips easily
  • Does not last as long as hardwood

2. Tile

Whether it’s porcelain, ceramic or stone, tile is a hard flooring installed over cement. The spaces between the tiles are filled with a mixture known as grout. Tile is a good choice for humid areas such as bathrooms and kitchens. 

Tile pros: 

  • Durable
  • Easy to wipe clean
  • Water-resistant 
  • Available in many styles and prices

Tile cons:

  • Can crack 
  • Does not insulate
  • Requires skilled installation 
  • Needs sealer or polish 
  • Grout requires periodic deep cleaning

3. Vinyl  

Vinyl is synthetic flooring that is manufactured in sheets, tiles or planks. It is usually seen in bathrooms and kitchens and is installed by gluing or clicking in place. 

Vinyl pros: 

  • Affordable 
  • Water-resistant 
  • Easy to clean with dry mop or vacuum 
  • Easily installed with little prep
  • Flexible  

Vinyl cons:

  • Moisture underneath flooring can form mildew 
  • Subject to tearing or ripping  

4. Hardwood

Suitable for high-end rentals, hardwood flooring is available in solid wood or engineered planks. It is installed by nailing the planks to sub-flooring and is ideal for bedrooms, dining rooms and living areas. 

Hardwood pros: 

  • Durable
  • Luxurious appearance
  • Easy to sweep clean
  • Can refinish solid wood

Hardwood cons:

  • Higher initial cost
  • Needs skilled installation 
  • Can be damaged by water or sun
  • Cannot refinish engineered wood
  • Easily dented or scratched

5. Linoleum 

Usually seen in kitchens and bathrooms, linoleum flooring is available in tiles or sheets. It is often installed over plywood underlayment.  

Linoleum pros

  • Simply sweep, dust or vacuum clean
  • Lasts up to 40 years
  • Water-resistant 
  • Available in a variety of patterns
  • Color runs deep, minimizing scuffs 
  • Springy and comfortable underfoot

Linoleum cons: 

  • Can expand or contract if water seeps underneath
  • Needs sealer and regular refinishing  

6. Cork 

Made from oak bark, cork tiles are glued to the sub-flooring or to each other. Cork flooring is a good choice for kitchens. 

Cork pros:

  • Affordable
  • Reduces noise 
  • Needs only occasional sweeping and mopping
  • Renewable resource
  • Biodegradable 
  • Easy to install

Cork cons: 

  • Can warp in humidity
  • Easily dented
  • Does not tolerate high traffic
  • Needs sealer  

7. Carpet 

Carpet is one of the most common types of flooring you’ll see on the market. It can be cut to fit a floor space and stapled to a carpet pad and works best in bedrooms and second-floor rental units. 

Carpet pros: 

  • Reduces noise
  • Insulates and reduces energy bills

Carpet cons:

  • Stains easily
  • Holds odors and pet hairs
  • Needs labor-intensive cleaning

At RH Blanchard, we’ll bring our general contracting expertise to help you determine the best types of flooring for your Boston-area project. When you’re ready to move forward, contact us for a free quote. 

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Home Addition Plans Guide: Where to Start?

November 9th, 2021 |

Are you thinking about a home addition for your investment property? Home addition plans involve many decisions and considerations. Read on to learn some helpful tips for your project. 

Start with a Budget 

The first step in building a home addition is to set a budget. It’s easy to become caught up in the excitement of a new addition, but costs can get out of control. Figure out how much you can realistically afford to spend and how you will finance the project. Several finance options are available, including  

  • Mortgage refinance
  • Home equity loan
  • Savings
  • Line of credit

Don’t forget to include non-construction costs, such as  

  • Higher property taxes
  • Increased homeowners’ insurance premiums
  • Increased utility bills

Most importantly, stick with your budget when you discuss your plans with a general contractor. 

Consider Alternatives to an Addition 

Before you commit to an addition, consider less costly alternatives that do not require a new foundation or roof. A remodel can cost 25 to 50 percent less than an addition. For example, a kitchen remodel may meet your needs. Maybe the attic or basement could be converted into additional living space. Tearing down walls or removing a closet or staircase can improve traffic flow throughout the house. If you decide that an addition is the best route, a general contractor can help you plan the next steps. 

Decide the Purpose and Type of Addition  

The best type of addition will depend on the purpose of the addition. Do you want to add more room for kids to play? Does the kitchen seem cramped and crowded? 

Once you’ve decided on the purpose, you can choose the right type of addition for your needs. Sometimes, less is more when it comes to adding space. A bump-out, for example, is a cost-effective way to add a narrow space without the need for a new foundation or roofing. Consider a bump-out if you want to add an eating area to a kitchen or extra storage room in a closet. 

Another important consideration is the effect of the addition on property value and return on investment (ROI). For example, Home Advisor notes that master bedroom suites produce an average 63 percent ROI, while second-story additions typically bring in a 65 percent ROI. You should also compare your planned addition with other homes in the neighborhood. If your property becomes overvalued in a moderately priced area, you won’t be able to recoup your investment.

Choose Materials that Blend with Existing Home

You’ll want the addition to look like it’s part of the original home. If the home has double-hung windows and vinyl siding, then the addition should have similar features. If you can’t find an exact match, look for comparable alternatives. A general contractor can help you choose materials, such as siding, roofing, trim, windows and flooring, that will integrate with the existing structure.  

Hire an Experienced General Contractor  

A licensed general contractor can assemble and oversee the work team and get the required permits for your home addition plans. With more than a decade of general contracting and project development experience, RH Blanchard will guide you through every step of your project. Get in touch today for a free quote.

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