home addition seniors

Aging at home presents new challenges. Learn more about how to make your home senior-friendly.

Aging at home can present new challenges for seniors. In the past, many homes were not designed with seniors in mind, which can make even daily chores taxing and difficult. But everyone should have the choice to stay at home.

After all, a home is more than just a place to live–it’s a center of community and family life, a place infused with memories and adorned with years of loving care. It’s more than a building–it’s what keeps you connected to neighbors and friends. It’s no wonder that the prospect of downsizing or moving to a senior living community can seem daunting to seniors and their families.

Continue reading “Bring Your Loved Ones Home with a Senior-Friendly Home Addition” »

Mud Room Addition

Ideas for creating a space to corral the clutter and keep your home clean.

At first thought, a mud room addition might seem like a nonessential part of your home renovation project. However, if you incorporate the right function and design elements, a new mud room may just become your new favorite room in your home.

Mud Room AdditionIf you have children who drag their stinky, dirty athletic gear in and out of the house between practices and games, you might need a mud room.

If your home has a pool where kids in wet bathing suits with wet towels are trekking in and out for snacks and drinks, you might need a mud room.

If you have a family pet who likes to run and play outside, and drags dirt back into your house, you might need a mud room.

If you feel like you can never truly get a handle on your family’s laundry and are feeling swamped and in disarray, you might need a mud room.

If you’re tired of finding random shoes laying all around the house, and your kids are always asking you “Where’s my backpack? Where’s my coat? Where’s my other shoe?” you might need a mud room.

If stepping in a small puddle of melted snow in the middle of winter in a new pair of clean, warm socks is one of your pet peeves, you might need a mud room.

If you feel like you need more indoor storage and organization to keep your home neat and tidy and under control, you definitely need to add a mud room.

Building The Perfect Mud Room Addition

Before you build a mudroom addition, carefully consider all of the details you will incorporate into the design. In addition to general flooring, seating, and storage, and functioning as a transition area between the outdoors and indoors, our friends at This Old House have these suggestions for creative elements to include in the perfect mud room addition:

  • A Hose-Down Area – Get rid of the dirt on boots, feet or paws by spraying it down a small shower ground drain and sprayer mounted on the wall before it makes its way into the house. A boot tray for drying rinsed items can also come in handy.
  • Potting Sink – Larger and more attractive than a simple utility sink, a potting sink comes in handy for the homeowner who enjoys gardening. Especially when the weather is colder outside, pots and tools can be rinsed in the sink and storage can even be built in.
  • Sports Lockers – Families with multiple children can find the “sport locker” style storage extremely helpful. Each family member has their own designated cubby space for storing shoes, coats, hats, bags and equipment. This is a popular feature in many mud rooms; there are many options for both open and closed storage.
  • Laundry Area or Chute – Get a handle on the laundry by combining your laundry room and mud room into one. If that’s not an option, adding a laundry chute to the basement so dirty laundry doesn’t make it past the mud room entrance will be a game-changer.
  • Trash/Recycling Center – Especially helpful for families with a detached garage, a trash and recycling center can sort and store trash and recycling until trash pickup day rolls around.
  • Litter Box Hideaway – Keep unsightly litter boxes unseen by company by storing them in your mud room. While you’re at it, you can also incorporate storage for other pet-related gear such as food, leashes and toys.

Whatever your busy lifestyle entails, the addition of a mud room is one you will find practical and functional. You will wonder what you ever did before you had one in your home!

Contact How Building Services today for a free estimate and let us build you a mud room that will have you feeling more organized, with design solutions that will meet your family’s needs.


Related Tags: Mud Room Addition | Creative Ideas For Your Mudroom


Quantity does not equal quality.

Less is more. Quantity does not equal quality. These familiar adages operate on the same principle; a principle that seems to go out the window when we start talking about getting home addition estimates. Websites, like this homeguide for sfgate.com, often counsel that you get at least 3 bids before making your decision.

Home-Addition-EstimatesDon’t get me wrong; competition is a great motivator. However, if that competition happens to be centered around “give me a number I like and I’ll hire you,” it should come as no surprise that some contractors are more than willing to under-estimate home additions, just to get the job. Why do you think it’s so common for the final project to actually cost a whole lot more than the original bid would suggest? Once a contractor has a job he’s obtained by under-bidding, there’s no doubt he’ll have no qualms about over-charging. That’s the problem with having contractors compete against each other to produce the lowest home addition estimate.

Fortunately, there’s a better way.

How To Get Accurate Home Addition Estimates On The First Try

  • Be Prepared
    This piece of advice is fitting in any context, but especially in the context of getting home addition estimates. If you bring a builder and an architect onto a project that has not been thought through, you’re going to end up wasting time as you try to make your general vision come into focus with more people in the mix. 

    Sit down in the beginning and take your time to consider what you want, the budget you’d like to set, and then your non-negotiables. If you want a teak deck, find out how much those materials cost. If you want something that looks teak but you’re willing to settle for a composite, note that down. Once you have your non-negotiables nailed down, your builder can proceed confidently.

  • Build in a 30% Cushion
    While home additions have an ROI of 60%-70%, experienced builders can tell you to build in a 30% budget cushion. That means if your budget is $30,000, then you want to actually aim for an estimate around $21,000. There’s just no way to foresee structural problems or underground foundational issues, but building your budget in this way ensures that you’ll never exceed your target number.
  • Ask Questions
    When you think of a question to ask your builder, write it down and keep it in one place. Most luxury home addition builders are more than happy to answer all of your questions. This is the crucial step to avoiding warring bidding/under-bidding. When you find a builder and present them with your visions, your budget, and your questions, it becomes easy to eliminate a poor fit and recognize a great one.

In the end, you’re not just looking for some contractor. You’re looking for a builder who cares about your home addition ideas and will apply themselves 100% to making those dreams a reality.

Home Addition Estimates | Home Addition Estimate

home addition builders

From foundation frustrations to hidden hazards, a home addition is no picnic!

If you’re looking into home addition builders, you’ve probably already looked at a home addition cost estimator. There’s a familiar progression: the cost seems absurdly high until you look at the break-down and realize that it makes sense, with all the different elements that go into it. That’s just step one, however. Step two is hiring a home addition contractor, and step 3 is realizing the automated budget is not the same as the estimate in front of you. Why not? Because there is almost always an underlying structural issue that needs addressed…issues like the following:

5 Common Obstacles Home Addition Builders Face

  1. Foundation frustrations

home addition buildersIf you want home addition builders to do a bump-out, upper story, or replacement of a garage or porch, you might run into a very specific set of problems. The foundation is all of a sudden taking on a great deal more weight, and that can cause cracking or heaving. Reinforcements are often necessary in these situations.

  1. Upper-level uh-ohs

In the same way that the foundation might be overloaded, just building up is not going to make the problem go away. If you don’t want sagging joists, Better Homes and Gardens suggests sistering joists into the existing system in your home addition floor plans, which will ensure structural soundness.

  1. Circuit Overload

Unless you’ve recently updated your electrical equipment, you’re going to need to do so now. Bringing everything up to code, however, can be more time-consuming and invasive than originally planned for in your home addition cost estimator. If you need to upgrade the lighting and appliances, you could even consider doing that before hiring a home addition builder.

  1. Hidden Hazards

Great home addition builders will be able to tell you that there could be hidden hazards in your home, and will do the legwork necessary to determine whether or not there are such hazards. If your home was built 25 years ago or more, a home addition builder is going to have to be very careful about any demolition, as there is frequently lead paint or asbestos–both of which, if inhaled, can cause permanent brain/lung damage.

  1. Temperamental Temperatures

In a room addition cost calculator, you probably won’t see extra costs for heating and cooling, since your current heating and cooling systems are sufficient for one or two extra rooms. However, any addition larger than that is probably going to mean a total upgrade to your current system, or a new, separate one.

You should be aware that some builders give estimates that exclude the five preceding scenarios. So you might hire them, only to find out later that they are taken aback by these sudden developments: sudden developments that are, in fact, easily predictable.

Yes, a home addition is much more complicated than a ground-up build, which is all the more reason to partner with experienced home addition builders: builders who know the complications and can help you to not be blindsided by them.

Are you looking to add an addition to your house to finally make your dream home a reality? Then you won’t want just anyone working on your home–you will want to choose an addition contractor Main Line, PA homeowners trust. Finding the right contractor for your project is one of the first steps in making your dream home possible.
Check out the video below to hear why How Building Services is an addition contractor Main Line, PA homeowners can trust. Continue reading “(Video) How to Choose an Addition Contractor Main Line, PA Homeowners Trust” »

Consider the costs associated with planning for and building your upcoming custom home addition.

HOW the Benefits of Building Will Outweigh Home Addition Costs

If you have been considering building a custom home addition, you have probably also been thinking about the project in terms of home addition costs. The costs may seem daunting at first. You’ve likely thought about not only the financial costs, but also the commitment to investing your time, mental involvement that comes with decision making and emotional attachment to taking on such a large home improvement project while balancing family, work and life, too.

Continue reading “Home Addition Benefits vs. Home Addition Costs” »

Live the clean life, even in winter!

It’s winter, and the only thing worse for your floors than a snowy cold winter is a cold rainy winter. Snow and ice melt, leaving nasty puddles that can seriously damage wood floors or carpets. While that can be a potential nightmare, add into the equation mud from the ever-mucky ground, and you’ve got a real hassle. A mud room addition might be sounding like a really good idea right about now. Consider the following scenarios: Continue reading “3 Reasons Not to Delay on A Mud Room Addition” »

Learn about the different types of home additions and why they might be the design solution you are looking for to customize your home instead of moving.

Rather than moving to another home, think outside of the box and create a custom space with home building additions by HOW Building Services! There is a wide range of possibilities for extending your home’s floor plan and square footage with a home renovation project that centers around building additions to your home rather than moving to a new one.

Continue reading “Don’t Move! You Have Options with Home Building Additions” »