A home addition is a major change to your home, and it adds essential living space to your existing structure. In most cases, home owners desire an addition on their home at some point in time and sometimes, adding an addition is more cost effective or ideal than moving to a new home. Even if your home was big enough when you purchased it, it is possible that you may outgrow it over time. You never know what the future holds for you, and you may even want to expand on a room in your home such as the master bedroom and bathroom.
There are many different types of home additions and each one is designed to meet the different needs of homeowners. When you choose a home addition, you want to choose the one that makes the most sense for you when looking at your style, budget, and space. When thinking about affordability, some additions can be low cost such as a basement expansion or they can become costly such as a complete room addition build out which requires excavation services and more.
Below, we will discuss the most common types of home additions that you can choose from. Each one will provide you with space, but you need to determine if this space is best for your needs. As you consider the different home additions, remember to keep your budget in mind too.
Traditional Home Addition
A traditional home addition is best for those who are looking for major changes to the home or those who need a multi-room addition. A traditional home addition is built onto the side of a home, and it opens up to the main sections of the home. When looking at a traditional home addition, it naturally blends into the home, so most people cannot tell it is an addition unless they have been told so.
These types of additions can have multiple rooms that meet your different needs such as a game room, bedroom, dining room, or any room or rooms that you want. You will be hard-pressed to find an addition such as this to include a kitchen unless the addition is being added on as a suite.
One of the biggest downsides to a traditional home addition is that the addition is subject to regulation such as full house construction. You will need to have a permit and meet all building codes and undergo inspections throughout the process. These types of projects often require lots of work to be done including excavation, laying of new foundation, and wiring, plumbing, and HVAC services.
The average cost for this type of addition is about $75,000 but you can expect that cost to drive higher depending on the cost of material, availability, and your needs.
Basement or Attic Conversion
A basement or attic conversion is excellent for homeowners who want to add some living space to their home, but they do not want to alter the structure of the home itself. While these are not technically labeled an addition to the home in the sense that something is being added, they do make space livable in your home that you did not once have.
Converting an unfinished basement or attic is cost effective and one renovation that is often considered by homeowners. Fortunately, this type of a project will recoup most of its costs through resale too.
While the project does cost less than a traditional addition, you do still need to make sure that the attic or basement meets structural codes and qualifications. For example, the ceiling is required to be a certain height. In addition, basements must be dry and free from leaks, mold, or any other issues. Attics can only be converted if the attic is bare of roof trusses. Lastly, if the space will be used for sleeping, window exists must be present.
The average cost nationally to complete this type of project is about $45,000 but the cost can vary depending on your personal situation, budget, and preferences.
A room addition, also called a bump out, is excellent for someone who wants to add just a single room to their home. This type of addition is a single structure that is added onto the side of the house. Unlike the traditional home addition where multiple rooms can be added, a single purpose room is added here. Typically, homeowners use it as a bedroom or even a second living room.
A room addition is scaled way down compared to a home addition. For example, adding just 50 square feet to your kitchen is possible and qualifies as a room addition. Most room additions have a flat rood or shed style roof over them.
These additions do come with a cheaper price tag than the full size option, they are not considered to be cheap by any means. These types of additions do still require you to pull permits and meet building codes. The average cost for this type of addition is about $50,000.
This type of remodel is ideal when you are looking for something affordable or you want to transform space for someone else such as an apartment for your teen or even an in-law suite. A garage conversion is not considered to be a traditional room addition, but it does take a one or two car garage and convert it into livable space. To do this, the garage door is replaced with wall, a ceiling installed, and flooring laid down.
Most garage conversions are done to create extra space in the home. Unfortunately, these types of remodels do come with some downsides. For example, it can be very difficult to make the transformation to make the garage match the rest of the home. At a glance, most people can tell that you converted the garage because it just doesn’t blend well. In addition, if you do not already have HVAC or plumbing running to the garage, you will need to have it installed.
This is likely the most affordable way to add more space to your home. In fact, a garage conversion runs an average of about $17,000 but can go up to $30,000 or more depending on what needs to be done.
A sunroom addition is a good choice for anyone who wishes to add an area that connects them with nature or allows for recreational space. A sunroom is generally an addition to the side of a house and is used as a supplemental living space and not an essential living space. This means it is NOT used as a bedroom.
Some sunrooms can be sectioned off from the home by the way of doors. These rooms do not require any electrical wiring or HVAC systems in them. These additions come prefabricated, but you can have them custom made too. These rooms are not meant to be permanent living structures year round and are not protected by code.
Most sunrooms are built will ceiling to floor glass panels and if not, a majority of the sunroom is constructed of glass or windows. While they are not required to have HVAC or electrical, they are not the cheapest option, but they are quite affordable. The average cost of a sunroom is about $25,000. If you are a skilled do-it-yourself project junkie, you may be able to get a smaller sunroom kit for around $5,000 to $10,000.
Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit
This is an excellent option for singling out a new living space and keeping it separate from the house or creating an in-law suite or on-site apartment. Many people refer to this type of addition as a cottage, grandma’s cottage, tiny home, guest house, etc. You will find that these structures add to the property but not to the home itself.
Most communities will allow homeowners to build a detached accessory dwelling unit on as small as a quarter acre property. Detached units do include a bathroom, kitchen, and sleeping area. Depending on the size, some may have a living room too. You must have electrical, HVAC, and plumbing run to this unit. Unfortunately, you CANNOT piggyback off the home’s existing wiring or systems, which means new ones need to be installed.
This is the most expensive addition option and nationally, ranges about $100,000 for a fully constructed unit.
How to Choose the Right Home Addition
Now that you know the most common types of additions and now that you have decided you need the space, it is type to choose the best addition for you. Additions are a great way for you to add space to your home, especially if your budget allows it. Many homeowners find that an addition is an excellent alternative to packing up and selling their home and then purchasing a bigger one. In fact, it may save you some money when you start to see how much other homes may cost.
You never want to jump into a quick decision over an addition to your home, so do take time to think about it and weigh your options. Some things you want to consider include:
- What is your financial situation? Can you afford what you want?
- If you are on a budget, you may not be ready to afford an addition right now. But, what about in a couple of years when you advance in your career? You do not want to make the mistake of rushing the process and then regretting the money you spent on the project so wait until you can afford what you want
- Will your family size increase or decrease?
- Is the reason you need the change permanent? Will you have kids moving out soon? Planning to have more children? Planning to have your aging parents move in with you? These are things to think about. You do not want to run out of space, but you also do not want to add too much space and never use it
- What will it cost you in the long run if you need to take out a loan?
- If you need to take out a loan to complete the addition, how much extra will it cost you in fees and in interest rates? Can you obtain a low interest loan? Can you take out a line of credit on your home equity? These are things to consider
- Will the addition add value to your home?
- A well thought out and planned addition can recoup a large percentage of the money invested to create it. You want to make sure that when your home sells, the addition will add to the value and not take away from your home
An Addition Is a Great Way to Add Space to Your Home
An addition is an excellent way to add much needed space to your home, especially when you are lacking it. It is important to speak with several contractors BEFORE you start the project to ensure you have been presented with all options and price quotes for the job.
If you plan to have an addition built and you need some additional storage while the project is in motion, a self-storage unit is a good idea.