Is your home too small? Do you want to add value by adding more living space? If so, the best place to start is to take inventory of your existing space. Are there specific rooms that you need expansion in? Expansion of a master bedroom, kitchen, or bathroom can make a home feel like brand new.
Once you have identified where you want to expand, take a look at what is beyond the walls you want to move to see where you can expand. It is a good idea to check the easements that your city or town allows, to see if you have enough room to expand between your existing home and the property line. If not, is there a closet you can live without that can be sacrificed?
If you DO have the room to move walls, the next step is to make a rough scale drawing of what you want. You can do it in pencil, but make sure that you mark closets, doors, windows, and stairwells clearly. Take your drawing to a design and build contractor, or an architect to be drawn into a permit worthy set of plans.
Your architect or designer will most likely have to create a floor plan and elevation drawings of your entire home for review by the building department, and this will be a process. If you are changing anything structurally, your prints will also have to be stamped by an engineer who will also have to create a beam and/or foundation plan.
Once this is complete and signed off, you are ready to begin!