Do I Need an Architect for My New Home Addition?

Woman talking to an architect.

Do I Need an Architect for My New Home Addition?

If you are thinking of building an addition to your New Jersey home, you might know precisely how you want it to look and question whether you need an architect. Hiring an architect to design your new home addition can save you time, money, building costs, and the headache of mistakes during the building process. Architectural drawings are also necessary for the permitting process in most of New Jersey. 

Stonewater Architecture, in Summit, NJ, can design the home addition of your dreams. At Stonewater, skilled architects will look at your existing home, the size of your lot, roof slopes, and existing entrances and exits to create a custom design to flatter your home while providing the extra space you need. 

Adding on to your home can be a complicated process, and structural design knowledge is crucial. Load-bearing walls, electrical wiring, water pipes, roofing, and so much more must be considered before undertaking the building of an addition. A professional architect can render a design for the addition that does not negatively impact the structural integrity of your home. 

Do I need an Architect?

Jersey architects are familiar with the zoning laws and permitting processes in the state. When finding an architect to give form and structure to your plans for the new space, there are some specific things you should look for:

  • The architect should be clear about fees and what is included for the price you are quoted. 
  • Do you want the architect to manage the entire project? Some architects will solicit bids, choose the contractor, and oversee the work. The full service can cost between five to ten percent of the costs of the project. 
  • Architects have a broad range of education in design theory, project management, and engineering. Asks to see samples of home additions they have done. 
  • Check the reviews and references of any architect you are contemplating. 
  • Meet with any potential architects in person. Do you get the sense that they are committed to designing the addition you envision? The best architects can take your vision and combine it with their design skills to make it come to life. 

The experienced architects at Stonewater are experts at solving complex design problems. Adding on to your house is often more complicated than a new structure from a design standpoint. You want the addition to complement the original structure, and you need a skilled architect to design an addition that does not detract from the overall style of your home. 

Understand the style of your home

Is your house an older home with multiple roof lines, or is it a modern architectural design? You want your new addition to blend in with the current style of your home, so work with an architect that has experience with the specific design style of your home. The most common architectural designs in New Jersey, especially along the Jersey shore, include:

  • Cape Cod—Cape Cod homes come in a variety of sizes, but they typically feature wood siding, a steep roofline, dormer windows, and wood flooring. 
  • Colonial—Colonial style homes usually feature two or three stories, brick or wood façade, fireplaces and the living space, and kitchen on the ground floor. 
  • Victorian—The Victorian-style needs little explanation as most people are familiar with the ornate exterior scrollwork, cutaway bay windows, steep roofs with patterned shingles, and colorful details. 
  • Tudor style homes—prominent cross gables, a steeply pitched roof, tall and narrow windows, and the distinctive decorative half-timbering give Tudor-style homes a unique look.
  • Craftsman—the low pitched roof with wide eave overhangs, a deep front porch framed by square columns, and the decorative beams make Craftsman-style homes an easily recognized favorite design.
  • Traditional ranch style homes—ranch style homes are usually single-story homes with an attached garage. Simple floor plans with efficiently designed living spaces make this design an American favorite, and you will see homes built like this from coast to coast. 
  • Modern—Modern architecture was the answer to the ornate style of the Victorian era. Today’s modern homes feature open floor plans with plenty of glass that seems to let the outdoors flow inside. These homes are known more for what they don’t have, which is unnecessary detail or ornamentation. Exteriors often use a mix of contrasting materials and textures, and these homes often feature flat or low pitched roofs. 

Whatever the design of your home, Stonewater architects can design an addition that gives you the extra space you crave, without compromising the overall function, appeal, and style of your home. An architect or architectural firm is necessary whether you are planning to add a simple sunroom or an extensive addition that will change the entire footprint of your home.