I'm not trying to talk myself out of a job here but do you really need that? It's a question that you should ask yourself.
I know it's exciting to think about adding space to your home. Many have dreams of a breakfast room that projects into the backyard sanctuary that they love so much or a home office with a separate entry for clients. You should think twice though before committing to an addition to your home. Maybe it's the right thing to do. Or maybe there is a better way.
Maybe reconfiguring or changing the way that you use some of the existing spaces within your home is a better approach to your home improvement needs. Often times there are under-utilized rooms that can be re-assigned or opened up and combined with another space to create that new kitchen or office. Many times this approach can cost less than the addition that you had your heart set on. Working with a Design Professional is a smart investment here. Your favorite Architect can help you analyze the way that you live in your home and talk to you about the feasibility of reconfiguring versus adding on.
Although common wisdom says more square footage equals more resale value, consider the here and now. You are certainly aware of the struggling housing market and falling home prices. And, if you are truly dreaming of a beautiful addition, you obviously plan to stay in your home long enough to enjoy it. Sarah Susanka, author of the "Not So Big" series of books, teaches that a well designed and efficiently used home doesn't have to be "Big." As you work with your designer, remember that there are probably hidden spaces under the stairs, behind attic knee walls and in abandoned chases that can be creatively converted into any number uses.
Before you go to the bank for the home equity loan that you need to finance the new conservatory, try thinking "Not So Big." You may save yourself some money and end up with a more enjoyable home in the process.