Additions are the most difficult projects in the construction and remodeling industry. They are actually more difficult and require more skill than building a new home. Connection details to the existing home are critical to make sure the floor, ductwork and roofline matches your existing home. For a time, you will be living in a home with finished surfaces and furniture that will be under construction. This requires special care to keep dust and dirt out of the existing living space and keep utility interruptions to a minimum. It also means you need a contractor you can trust. You need to be able to keep your life schedule and maintain your sanity while all of the changes are being made around you.

There are so many things to consider with an addition:

  • Matching your lifestyle changes to the key elements in the addition;
  • Understanding the value creation an addition will give your home;
  • Getting floor heights to match existing floor;
  • Matching or complimenting the old exterior with the new;
  • Matching roof lines, overhang size, gutters and soffits;
  • Existing & new window spacing as they appear on the home exterior;
  • Sizing existing electrical, heating and air conditioning systems to handle the new loads from the addition;
  • Tying the new addition into the existing home with a secure footer to lock the addition to the existing structure.


There are so many things to consider when looking at an addition that it’s hard to know where start. It can be an overwhelming and painful process for many homeowners who know they need something but need help defining and articulating their dream.

Montclair Construction Design/Build Services are designed to make this a painless and effective process with focused and fact-based decision making. We will help you look at the following areas:

  • Your Lifestyle – What Does the Addition Do For You?
  • Affordability and Trade offs
  • Building Permits and Zoning Limitations
  • Structural Requirements

Our unique Design/Build Services result in a painless decision-making process with informed and focused decisions based on concrete information. Read on to understand some of the details we’ll consider for your addition.

Your Lifestyle – What Does the Addition Do For You?

  • Why are you looking at an addition? Are you simply looking for more space? Are you planning on converting another part your home once you move into the new space? Is the purpose to create a separate area of the home to entertain in? Is this a private space for you and your spouse? Do you want your home to be the place where all the kids come to play?
  • Answers to these kinds of questions will drive what your addition will become. An experienced and reputable design/build firm like Montclair Construction can help you develop a 3, 5, or 10 year plan where the addition enables other changes to your home to anticipate a larger family, a new master suite or other amenities as your family changes.
  • What will your family look like five or ten years from now? Are you just starting out with the first baby or are all of your children in High School? Will you need to care for an aging or infirm parent in the near future?
  • Thinking about what your family will look like several years from now will give you ideas about what you want in your addition. It will also help a design/build firm like Montclair Construction anticipate needs in other areas of your home. We may even be able to restructure existing space within your home to give you what you want without an addition.

Affordability and Trade-off’s

Ultimately, you determine what you can afford for an addition. You may need to make trade-offs between features, the quality level of installed components and total cost. Montclair Construction typically uses a number of questions to help you make this decision.

First, are you doing this to enhance your life or simply improve the property for future sale? – As a rule of thumb, if you plan on living in the property for 10 or more years, it makes sense to move forward with an addition. You get to enjoy the life improvements an addition offers immediately. Property value growth will cover the cost of the improvement in that period.

Building Permits & Zoning Limitations

Regardless of your dreams, desire and ability to add on to your home, local governing agencies will make the final decision on your addition.

Some developments have a limitation on how high you can build. Zoning requirements have a right-of-way or easement limitation on how close you can build to your property line. Some cities have designated historical areas where property changes must be reviewed to ensure proposed changes are in keeping with existing historical look and feel for the property.

You will need to have concept drawings and survey plans showing the existing and proposed property changes in order to get a building permit. Even with these in place, your local government agency, historical society or development organization may deny approval for a building permit. You’ll need a Design/Build firm like Montclair Construction to anticipate and help defuse objections before they occur.

Even when there is an objection, you can file for an appeal or zoning variance if you can prove practical difficulty or hardship. Montclair Construction specializes in working with local zoning, development and historical groups to achieve a remodel that meets your needs while conforming with local laws and ordinances.

Structural Requirements

This is an area where you don’t have to worry with Montclair Construction Design/Build Services. Where required, we use certified, professional engineers and architects to ensure your addition is designed appropriately to fit with your existing home.

We make sure that:

  • New floor heights match the existing the floor;
  • An existing structure can handle a second story addition;
  • The access points to the addition merge with and improve traffic flow in your home;
  • The new exterior matches or compliments the existing exterior with new materials;
  • Roof lines, overhang size, gutters and soffits fit with the existing structure;
  • Existing & new windows appear like they belong on the home exterior;
  • Existing electrical, heating and air conditioning systems will be able to handle the new loads from the addition;
  • An engineered footer locks the addition to the existing structure, avoiding structural problems in the future.

In short, we take your dreams and desires and build concrete models, drawings and project plans to deliver an addition with fixed costs, time schedule and unmatched quality.
Call (510) 547-2457 or just schedule a free consultation.
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