Architectural Digest | August 2023

6 Important Things to Consider Before Building a House Extension

Architects listed on the AD PRO Directory share tips to smooth your house extension process—from aspiration to reality
Along with construction schedules, which are an obvious—if notoriously tricky—aspect of overall project time frame, Bay Area architect Christie Tyreus highlights decision-making as an important variable. “So many people say, ‘I just love picking things out. We don’t need much help with that,’” she notes, and then they quickly find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer number and magnitude of decisions in the queue. “Clients always start by wanting to move as quickly as possible. But the real question is, how fast can you make decisions and feel comfortable with them?” Her counsel: “Lean on your architect or designer” for their ability to triage and organize.

Site restrictions and permitting are a second zone of concern when it comes to schedule uncertainty. The review time for a project can vary greatly in different parts of the country. “It could take one and a half years of planning and negotiating before you can even begin construction, or it could take four weeks,” Tyreus says. “So call your local building department. They can tell you the process.”