Many homeowners decide to alter the structure of their houses with upgrades such as a new room or an enclosed patio. When you are planning home extensions, however, you have to make sure that you are following all the guidelines of your homeowners association and your city’s building codes. Here are six steps you need to take to make sure the construction of your home additions goes off without a hitch.

1. Consider Your Needs
Before you make any plans, you should think about what you want to get out of your addition. If it is an extra room, why are you building it? You may need to take into consideration extra space and specific features.

2. Design the Addition
Once you know what you need, consult the professionals. Architects who specialize in home extensions can make sure that your plan includes not only the elements you need but the style that matches your existing home.

3. Consult Your Neighbors
What happens on your property can have a direct effect on your neighbors’ standard of living. Talk to them about your plans to make sure it doesn’t create any problems for them.

4. Choose a Contractor
Another great reason to talk to your neighbors is finding a trustworthy builder. They may be able to recommend someone who built home additions for them and is already familiar with the neighborhood and the specific regulations that govern it.

5. Know Your Responsibilities
Your contractor should serve as a liaison between you and the entities that enforce community standards. Local builders work within municipal codes all the time, so they should be able to make sure your project falls within the guidelines.

6. Sign a Contract
Draw up a legal agreement between yourself and the professionals you hire. No work on home extensions should begin until everything is in writing.

There are several people you need to consult any time you need home additions. Being a responsible homeowner means keeping everything above board and within code.