Inside the Innovation House

We pulled out all the stops to bring the latest home tech features to our Innovation Home. See the 16 coolest things from the home and be amazed by how smart one home can be.

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Bathroom Countertop Ideas

Good-looking countertops -- whether made of marble, limestone, or concrete -- create high-functioning bathrooms that spill over with style. These popular countertop materials are sure to inspire a bathroom remodel.

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Find Your Dream Backyard

Whether you dream of sunning by a state-of-the-art pool or strolling through a simple cottage garden, there's an outdoor oasis with your name written all over it. Take this quiz to find out where you really belong.

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DIY Patio Ideas

Want to boost the beauty and usefulness of your outdoor spaces? Put one of these inspiring DIY patio ideas to work in your landscape.

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Easy Fireplace Upgrades

Does your fireplace need a facelift? Check out these 20 ideas for updating your fireplace with easy-to-apply embellishments and simple-to-make constructions.

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8 Cutting-Edge Exterior Features

The wow-factor of the Innovation Home starts with great curb appeal. See the eight things that make the home's exterior stand out.

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Budget Curb Appeal

Be the best home on the block for less. These budget curb appeal updates will show you how.

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Popular in Home Improvement

Siting an Addition

Before building an addition to your home, take into account these fundamental considerations.

Careful planning is essential when adding onto your home. You are, after all, making fundamental changes to the building's structure and surroundings. To ensure that your new family room doesn't create more problems than it solves, consider these factors when choosing the location of an addition:

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  • Lot line and size. Check with your local building inspector's office for restrictions on how close you may build to your property line. Even if your planned addition falls within established guidelines, evaluate how much of your yard it will consume. Will you still have space for casual entertaining, gardening, children's play, or other outdoor activities? Though the addition will add value to your home, a postage-stamp lawn could undermine its resale potential.
  • Terrain features. Does your property slope? Lie perfectly flat? Cross a floodplain? An addition may affect water runoff and drainage, which could result in long-term foundation problems or basement flooding if not addressed properly. Will trees or a hill block the light you crave? Note that the removal of mature trees could deprive your home of cooling shade in the summer.
  • The compass. Think about the direction the room will face. If you envision a room flooded with sunlight, don't build it on the north side of your home. On the other hand, glare or heat from west-facing windows could chase you out of your beautiful new room on summer evenings.
  • Impact on existing rooms. Consider how the addition will affect traffic flow and available natural light in other parts of your house. Don't forget that a high roofline on the addition could impact the view from rooms on the second floor.
  • Proximity of neighboring homes. Obviously, you don't want a new picture window to look straight into your neighbor's living room. But other factors can influence where your addition goes and how large it can be. For example, an addition that blocks sunlight from reaching a neighbor's solar windows could land you in court.
  • Aesthetics. Other factors permitting, you can tack an addition onto any side of your home, but do you want to? Consider how the proposed addition will affect the overall appearance of your house from multiple angles.

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