Many people wonder if a home addition is really worth it. Adding space to your home is usually a worthwhile investment. It can be a great way to refresh your living space or accommodate lifestyle changes without the hassle of moving. Adding on to your home can be a significant undertaking, however. Remodeling requires careful research and coordination with experts who can ensure your vision is fulfilled and your time and money well spent.
Types of Home Additions
Most home additions involve building onto the existing structure of your home. The means of achieving your addition will depend on the amount of space you want to create and where you want to build it. The type of addition you choose may also depend on local codes and building regulations.
When it comes to attached structures, you have a few options:
Side and Back Extensions
Side and back extensions are useful for expanding existing rooms or adding new ones. Extensions can add a good amount of square footage to the front, back, or either side of your house. If you are looking to add an ensuite bathroom, for example, or a nursery, side or back extensions are a good option.
Cantilevers, also called “bump outs,” are a good option if you need more space but want to avoid excavation or taking up too much of the surrounding property to build. Cantilevers are built on concrete footings and attach a new wooden frame to the original sill of the home. They have the appearance of a long box “bumping out” from the house with a small sloped roof on top.
Because they are often small, require no additional heating or plumbing, and have their own roof (in lieu of having to extend the existing one), bump outs tend to be much more budget-friendly than all-out extensions.
Cantilever additions are a popular choice for garage expansions and modern bedrooms. They can also be used to add smaller areas like reading or breakfast nooks.
This is one of the more expensive additions on a home, but it is a good option if you need a sizable increase in square footage or your lot size does not allow for side, front, or back extensions.
You may choose to add a top level or, perhaps, a basement to accommodate new family members or other life events. You will need to work with an experienced contractor and research local laws regarding the addition of new levels, especially basements.
“She-sheds,” detached garages, studios, covered patios, and other spaces are also considered home additions and can add space and value to the home. These are good options if your lot-size is big enough to accommodate new structures or you do not wish to change the existing layout of your home.
Questions to Ask Before Starting a Home Addition
Once you have determined the type of addition you need, the building method you will use, and your budget, you will need to consider a few other details.
Who Do I Need to Help Me Expand My House?
Unless you have significant experience with home design, it is unlikely you can complete your home addition by yourself. You will need a range of experts to make sure your job is done correctly and safely. Local laws may require you to hire an architect in addition to licensed contractors.
What Permits Do I Need for a Home Addition?
Before you invest your time and money in a big house project, you will want to secure the appropriate permits. The types of permits you need will depend on your specific project. Building permits as well as specialty permits for plumbing, HVAC, and electrical fixtures may be required.
How Long Will My Remodel Take?
How long is your project going to take? This is an important factor to consider for both practical and emotional reasons. The longer the project takes, the more expensive it can become.
Remodeling can also be stressful, and you need to be prepared for the amount of time you will need to be dealing with contractors, permits, emails, blue prints, and other minutiae during your project.
Keep in mind, too, that even simple projects may be delayed due to current supply chain issues within the construction industry. This will also likely impact price.
Where Will I Stay During Construction?
It is often not possible (or desirable) to live in your home while it is undergoing major renovations. You may need to arrange for a place to stay while construction is underway.
Have you successfully completed a home addition? I would love to hear how it went in the comments!