Cost Breakdown: Building Up and Building Out with a Home Addition

Before building up or out with a home addition, make sure the new meets the old with the help of a local contractor.

Have a home that lacks living space? There is no better strategy for adding square footage and value than a well-planned home addition. No matter if it's a spacious sunroom, a new bathroom, or a master suite, a new room opens your home up to exciting possibilities. Here's what you need to know to pull off a successful home addition.

Home Addition Plans

Adding a brand-new room, or an entirely new level to your home, is no quick or inexpensive project. To maximize square footage, you'll want to have a home addition plan in place. Many homeowners choose to kick off home addition planning by coming up with a list of goals they want to achieve and problems they want to solve. Once this home improvement list is in place, you can then consult with local contractors to determine realistic plans for your home, budget, and timeline.

Remember, a great addition starts with proper planning. The last thing any homeowner wants is a poorly planned addition that maxes out the budget and doesn't integrate with the rest of the home. To avoid home addition projects gone wrong, it's recommended that you work with a general contractor who can help plan and manage your addition process. This way, you can get the most out of the new space while also making sure the new and old areas of your home flow seamlessly in both design and function.

Planning and Zoning for a Home Addition

Don't forget! When planning a home addition project, you need to check out planning and zoning permits as well as any neighborhood association requirements. It's important to address these areas during the planning process so you don't find yourself in a fix by building too close to the property line or violating building height restrictions.

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How Much Does a Home Addition Cost?

From start to finish, most homeowners spend between $21,035 and $64,665 on average for a new home addition. Rather than finding yourself in over your head mid-addition, you'll want to carefully examine costs and set a realistic budget.

There are plenty of elements that affect the final price of a home addition, but the size and type of addition are two big players when it comes to cost. If price per square foot is an area you're concerned about, remember that while overall costs increase the more you build, the price per square foot tends to decrease.

Home Addition Cost Breakdown

When looking at the list of home addition expenses, it's easy to get overwhelmed. You'll need to consider: demolition, site preparation, foundation, drywall, roofing, exterior treatments, flooring, lighting, plumbing, electricity, labor, and the list goes on. Keep in mind that new home additions are expansive projects that are best left in the hands of general contractors.

If this list seems overwhelming, or if adding on to your home is out of your budget, you're not completely out of luck. Finishing off basement and attic space is a cost-effective alternative to a home addition. These remodeling projects can help increase your livable square footage without the hassle of having to add a new structure.

Plumbing, Electrical, and HVAC Costs

Not only is it important for your addition to look like part of your home, but it should also feel like part of your home. This means you need to think about how temperature control, plumbing, and electricity will work with the rest of the house.

The most cost-effective way to handle plumbing, electrical, and HVAC for additions is often to run new lines from the ones that already exist in your home. Your general contractor can supervise this process. From finding qualified electricians and plumbers to managing permits, contractors can take the stress out of making sure your addition functions like the rest of your home.

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Build Out With Ground-Level Home Additions

For homeowners who have the property space, building out is a popular choice. Since ground-level additions offer minimal disruption to the rest of the home, this can be a good option for the overall project cost. Don't forget that with ground-level additions you will likely have to pour and pay for a new foundation, which can add up. Furthermore, this new structure will affect your yard space and landscaping. So, if you are looking at a ground-level addition, you may also have to figure in landscaping costs.

Single-Room Additions

Looking for some home addition ideas? Ideal for a little extra space or to expand an existing room, single-room additions can add a lot of value to your home. The nice thing about single-room additions is that they don't require you to change the entire layout of your house.  No matter if you are looking for more living space, an additional bedroom, bigger kitchen, or a new bathroom, ground-floor additions can make your dream home a reality.

Better Homes & Gardens Tip: Before finalizing the layout of a single-room addition, make sure your contractor mocks up a design of your space including furniture and fixtures. This can save you from having an oddly sized room that doesn't fit your favorite couch.

Sunroom Additions

With their ability to bring the outdoors in, sunrooms have become a popular home improvement project. This ground-level addition creates an indoor room that feels like an outdoor space. It's the perfect place to sit back and read a good book or enjoy the company of friends and family.

Cost wise, depending on the extent of the space, sunroom projects tend to be more budget friendly than other single-room additions.

Better Homes & Gardens Tip: Step up your sunspace by incorporating skylights and French doors into the room's design.

Start Your Ground Level Addition

Build Up With a Second-Floor Home Addition

Sometimes, building out with a ground-floor home addition just doesn't make sense. Maybe there simply isn't enough yard space or the design plans have you looking up. While adding a second floor to your home can be a disruptive and costly project, two-story additions that are done right tend to have a larger return on investment than other additions.

Ripping the roof off your house and adding a whole new level may seem drastic, but there are circumstances when it's beneficial — like allowing you to stay in your current neighborhood and home while also expanding your space.

Master Suite Additions

Dreaming of a second-floor master suite addition? You're in luck! Not only do second-floor home additions tend to have a good return on investment, but so do master suite additions. Adding space to your home can lead to blissful master bedrooms, spa-like master bathrooms, and closets that are a professional organizer's dream.

Detached Home Additions

Not as common as attached additions, detached additions are still a popular option for spaces like the garage. A detached garage addition can give all of your garden tools and yard equipment a place to rest along with sheltering your car from the elements.

Additional Tips for Your Addition

It's important to build an addition that looks like part of the house, not just something that's tacked on. For this reason, we recommend working with a home addition contractor who can help make the old and new design elements feel cohesive. Here are some tips that will make your new addition look like home, both indoors and out:

Interior Design

When it comes to interior design, you'll want to think about how new elements will integrate with your existing space. This means paying special attention to: flooring, molding, doors, windows, paint, and lighting. If your home has been around for a while, you may not be able to find materials for the new addition that match exactly, but that's okay. Contractors can help you locate specialized and unique materials that will make your addition feel like it was part of the original house.

Exterior Design

No matter what type of home addition you choose, exterior design can pose a challenge. You'll need to consider elements like how the addition will match the roofline, your home's exterior facade, and how the new addition will affect your landscaping. With all of these significant details, we recommend working with general contractors for home additions. Contractors can design plans to mimic the style of your home's exterior, all while ensuring your house remains structurally sound.

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