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Build an Addition to Your Old House
1880 Michigan Home

This 1880 home in Michigan has been remodeled many times. Can you tell which parts of the house are original?

Photo © Forum Member "OilPull"
When adding new construction to your older home, leave the original house intact. If future owners want to remove the addition, they should be able to do so without damaging the older portion of the house.

Always make sure that your new addition is compatible with the architecture of the existing house. Look closely at plans and elevation drawings of the addition. Use this checklist as your guide:

Check the Plans for Your Old-house Addition

  • Is the new addition too large? Does it seem to overwhelm the original house?
  • Is the new addition too small? Does it appear to be tacked on to the house like an afterthought?
  • Does the new addition harmonize with the original house? Does it use the same materials and styling?
  • Is the new addition in keeping with the size and character of other homes in the neighborhood?
  • Does the new addition make your home seem awkward or lopsided? Listen to your gut... and consider asking an architect for advice.
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