4 Reasons to Conduct a House Inspection Before Building Additions

When planning home additions, it is important to conduct a home inspection before the project starts. Here are four reasons why.

To ensure that an addition would follow local building standards

Homeowners sometimes think that they can build anything anywhere within their property lines. The reality is building and zoning standards dictate that structures in a lot should only rise or extend within a certain area, effectively putting a cap on the size of the addition.

Certified inspectors can confirm whether homeowners indeed have space to build extensions and if their planned addition and their current residence are up to code.

To identify and resolve potential structural problems

Typically, additions entail “building out” from the house – that is, building a new area out from an existing wall. Other additions entail “building up”, or constructing a new room on top of an existing one.

Are the walls, ceilings, and foundation strong enough to bolster an addition built “up”? Would breaking down one wall to accommodate an addition weaken the rest of the walls? Can the overall home structure support an addition? Questions like these are answered through an inspection.

To ensure HVAC and electrical systems are up to date

Some homeowners envision additions to be media, entertainment, or music rooms. Whenever a project entails increasing a household’s power use, an inspection of electricals is necessary to ensure safety on the property.

An inspection of the HVAC system will also be important, especially if the new room would be linked to it.

To identify materials and fixtures needed for the addition

Inspecting a home allows for an inventory of the materials and fixtures used to build it. Knowing these would enable homeowners to determine which compatible materials they need for their new project.

Note that compatibility goes beyond appearance. If one type of wood was used for the original, that might mean that wood was best suited for the local climate – and would be the reasonable option for any additions.


Home Inspection Checklist. Home Inspector’s Directory.

Building Regulations for Home Additions. Better Homes and Gardens.


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About valleyhomeimprv

Steve Silverman is Cape Cod native with a BA in psychology from Bates College. He moved to the Pioneer Valley in 2004 and became a VP with VHI a year later, then bought the 20 employee company in 2013. He and his wife and two teenagers have a farm in Southampton where he spends time growing food and learning new ways to live in harmony with the land.

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