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Wednesday, September 2,2015

Building additions

By Roger Zona  


We like our neighborhood and our neighbors but we need more space – for growing kids. Any suggestions?

Just this past year my company has been asked the same question, and we have designed and built additions – usually bedrooms, but family rooms are popular too.

One of the first considerations is to convert the garage to living space. Frankly I think that’s a bad decision. However, we get many requests to enclose a carport and create a garage. As a resale consideration, a garage is considered a must.

The best approach is to review your property to determine if you have adequate empty yard space that does not encroach upon your setback requirements. You can get a layout of your property from your county Property Appraiser’s website. Next, take the layout to the Building Department in your city or county. Sign in and request a meeting with a Plan Review Technician, they can tell you how much space you have in your setback area. You can’t impose on the front yard setback but you can make additions or expansions of your home within the building area.

For example, a typical subdivision home has a 25´ front yard, 10´ each side yard and 20’ of rear yard. If your lot is 75’ wide and 90´ deep, you have a buildable area of 2,610 square feet. If you have a 1610 sq. ft. home, you have 1,000 sq. ft. of buildable area that can be added to your home.

With that much available space, you could easily add a bedroom and bathroom or enlarge one or two rooms within the home.

Many, many two bedroom homes were built in the 60’s and 70’s. The 2 bedrooms home was okay for a snowbird – that is a winter-only resident. Many of these homes have been sold to families with school children and they need more space.

Remember when your kids were confined to a baby bed and a play pen?

When they start school they require more space.

Hire an architect to plan your addition or consult with a designer/ builder. They can be very helpful in planning the space, and help you determine a budget. Room additions can be costly when a bathroom is included.


Roger Zona is a Florida State Certified General Contractor with 40 years of experience in the industry. You may contact him by email at: contractortalk@live. com or mail to Happy Herald, P.O. Box 810548, Boca Raton, Fl 33481


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