Building a home addition can be the perfect way to expand your living space without the stress of purchasing a new home, packing and moving, or uprooting your family from a great neighborhood.
If you’re considering adding onto your home, here are four things to think through first.
1. Home Addition Cost
Of all the home improvements you can make, a room addition is the priciest by far. Once you calculate the remodeling cost, you might realize you could move into a bigger home for the same price. But if you’re sold on staying, an addition might be the way to go.
Just know that the home additions can cost anywhere from $40,000 for a bathroom addition to upward of $250,000 for an upscale master suite, depending on where you live and how much of the work you are willing and able to do yourself. You’ll likely recoup 50 to 65 percent of that when you sell your home. Also, remember to factor in how the home addition will increase your property taxes and utility costs.
It’s easy to get carried away watching HGTV or browsing Pinterest — after all, this is your chance to design your dream space from scratch. But an overabundance of trendy, high-end features will make the addition seem incongruous. You want it to complement your existing floor plan and feel like part of your original home, not a separate space.
A professional designer or architect can help you cast the right vision for the design, ensure things like elevations and rooflines are appropriate, and provide the drawings or blueprints your city will require before issuing you a building permit.
3. Heating and Cooling
The excitement of designing an addition can easily overshadow practical considerations, such as how you’ll heat and cool the new space. Can your existing furnace and AC handle the extra square footage with some added ductwork or a split HVAC system, or will you need to purchase new systems?
If you need to buy a larger AC unit, don’t overdo it. According to studies, at least one-third of all home AC units are oversized, which means they cost more to purchase and to operate. Look for a properly sized AC unit with a higher seasonal energy efficiency ratio, and have it professionally installed.
4. Your Tolerance for Chaos
Building an addition will be time-consuming and disruptive to your home life. Some homeowners choose to “DIY” as much as possible to keep things moving forward (and save money). Even if you don’t know the first thing about electricity or plumbing, you can probably handle basic demolition, painting, and clean up — or even flooring and grouting. In the meantime, be ready to embrace the noise, the mess, and the lack of privacy — or find somewhere else to stay until the end of the addition process.
With realistic expectations and a well-budgeted plan, a home addition can be a great way to maximize your enjoyment of your home and a chance to make your design dreams come true.