You’re about to remodel, renovate, fix up, DIY or call a pro, and you’ve got questions! Get answers from design-build expert Mason Hearn, owner of Central Virginia’s HomeMasons.
Category >> additions

Apr 15

Roofing Your Addition (and Songs to Enjoy Your Roof)

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: value, roofing, remodeling, design, additions


I have a house with a slate roof.  I am thinking about putting on an addition but fear that continuing the slate would be very expensive.  Is there a less-costly alternative that would not look too disjointed?  I was thinking of a metal roof of some kind.  What do you think?

DM,  Richmond, VA


Dear DM:

OK; first... determine your favorite roof song of all time:

When this old world starts getting me down, and people are just to much for me to take (up on the roooofffff....)

Tear the roof off the sucka, tear the roof off the sucka; gotta tear the roof off the sucka

Who let the dogs out

May 19

Gardeners and Addition Contractors - Unite!

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: landscaping, additions

Is it possible to build an addition and not seriously damage the landscaping? I have a lot of well-established foundation plantings and trees that I don't want damaged, or worse, by heavy equipment crossing over my property. This has been a major deterrent to moving forward with an addition.

- J.L. Powhatan, VA



I understand your concern very well.  Gardening is a great passion around the Hearn home.  My wife protects her azaleas and dogwoods like family members.  We had a very bad Saturday recently, when I (the lesser-skilled garden hand) cut the grass unevenly.

I fear to inform that,

Apr 21

House Lust

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: value, renovation, remodeling, additions

Highly recommend this book for anyone involved, interested or intrigued by the housing industry.  House Lust: America's Obsession with our Homes by Daniel McGinn is an entertaining and easy read (those aspects of any book being important to me).  The premise of McGinn's study is the evolution of the American mindset wherein those things previously considered luxuries are becoming necessities - particularly regarding real estate and housing.

The book covers the growth of the average new American home - in square footage as well as features.  Case studies from across the country range to the

Nov 19

Cutting-edge Country

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: renovation, additions

I just had to show y’all this recently-completed project in Manakin-Sabot. It is a 1400 SF master suite addition - the second major remodel designed and built by HomeMasons at this property.

The first, a den extension with a sunroom, screened porch and exterior improvements, won a “Best of the South” Award in 2004. The Homeowner declares these new enhancements to be “HomeMasons’ best work ever”.


The addition echos the earlier improvements, completing a rear pergola with a similar colonnaded, sun-filled gallery. Other traditional design elements include a standing seam metal roof, oversized

Jul 02

Build Up? Build Out?

Posted by C. Mason Hearn | Tags: remodeling, additions
Dear Mason,

Seriously ready and eager to put a large addition onto our late 1970’s rancher…. Should we build up or build out? Is a second story addition far more expensive to engineer and build than a first floor expansion? Does building up add more value in the long run or is every house different?

Tracy B, Ashland, VA


When it comes to the expected magnitude of investment for remodeling and additions, it most often holds true that simpler = less costly. In that regard, you should know that the conditions of an existing house, and how those might work with the requirements of a particular

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