Adding extra space to your home could be by way of building new additional space, or by re-purposing under-utilized space, such as an empty basement. Either way, such home improvements will not only provide more living space, they should increase the value of your home too. Converting a basement into additional living space is one home improvement project that promises a healthy return on investment, at least according to Remodeling Magazine.

Home Remodeling has Implications for Your HVAC

Planning an additional room to your home, or converting existing space means tapping into the existing HVAC system. This could lead to complications for a couple of reasons, one being you need to be sure that the system in place has the capacity to deliver to the extra space. The other important question is compatibility of modern-day plumbing and wiring to interface with what is in place already. Time to review what you need to consider when adding to your household utilities.

Heating and Cooling System

It is essential that your heating and air conditioning contractor / subcontractor does the math to check if your HVAC will cope with the additional load. They should consider factors like new window locations and the added cubic living space. This will determine whether the HVAC can handle the additional load. If not, you need to decide if an upgrade is preferable, over installing a separate HVAC unit for the new space.

Electric Panel Review

Have your electrician inspect the electrical service panel with a view to seeing if it can handle the additional circuits for your new space. Your electrician needs to establish if the overall power supply delivered to your home is adequate. Whereas 200 amps is standard in newer homes, older buildings may only receive 100 amps, or even less, which will necessitate upgrading your electric panel.

If it is a case of insufficient slots in the panel for the new wiring, you could consider adding a secondary board. It is important to ensure that the power available is sufficient to cope with the new demand.

Pipes and Wiring Issues

Modern power cabling, and water / waste piping comes in safe, robust plastic, unlike the finishes sold a couple of decades ago. Cross-linked polyethylene tubing – abbreviated to PEX – has become the industry standard in preference to copper hot water and cold supply pipes. The modern plastic materials supplied today can easily be adapted to older homes. The only decision you need make is just how much of the old installation needs replacing. Most of us would agree a full makeover is better than a partial one. This is especially true if you are a DIY type!

The Add-On vs Upgrade Debate

Which makes the wiser choice really depends on your situation and preferences. If your HVAC system is relatively new, you may decide against upgrading. Conversely, if you need frequent air-conditioner repairs or face adhoc furnace breakdowns, upgrading makes financial sense thanks to solved efficiency and performance issues. Whatever you decide, be sure to use a reputable heating and air conditioning contractor!


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