How to build a scalable home - start small and build addition years later

Started by christopherstewart, May 13, 2024, 04:42:10 AM

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I'm looking at a 2-acre lot that I'd like to build on. I do not need a big home on it now and can afford more house only in a few years. How can I design and construct a small home now and later add an extension that looks built-in versus bolted-on and doesn't reinvent the wheel or need rework costs?

For more context: the land cannot be subdivided. A large home would be comparable to the neighbors' and make the most of the lot. Its private location is unique and rare for the prestigious area. I'd love to live there even if it's in a small basic home for now that I can expand over time.

Usually with additions, homeowners have to work around the limitations of their existing building. Here, I'll have the luxury to build the original home in a way that is best to extend in the future.
All I need now are 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, a living area with a kitchenette and a driveway. In the future, I'd like to add more space - i.e. additional bedrooms and baths, large kitchen, decks, solar panels, water filtration system, home automation, a garage, gym, mudroom, pool, landscaping, master suite with sauna and steam shower.

Do I build a small 2-story home now and add to the sides and back of it later? Or is it better to build a single floor now and extend it up later?

I assume I'd have to design the entire large home now, get a permit just for the small home, and get another permit for the extensions later, when ready to add them.

Any other ideas and thoughts on how to approach it - for example, what must be done now and would be difficult to add later, how should I "phase" this, if this is even a good idea?

Appreciate any input you have, including examples of such scalable homes and what has or has not worked from what you've seen!