What To Consider Before Building Your Home Addition

 As the housing market slowly recovers, the newest trend is owners adding additions to their homes instead of buying or building. It’s possible to add not only room and functional space but also increase your current market value with the right addition.

If you already love your home but wish that you could make a few changes, an addition may be just the project you’re looking for. By adding a new bedroom, bathroom or sunroom, your home can go from drab to the fabulous house of your dreams.

Putting an addition on your home is not a small project. It takes planning and a strong budget. The average home addition will cost you between $20,000 and $30,000 before it’s all done. It’s a good idea to take your time while making your plan and consult your designers, architects, a real estate law expert and your general contractors.

These are some of the things that you should be considering when you start to plan your new home addition.


The first step when planning a new home addition is to work out your budget. To calculate proper cost per square foot you will have to gather all of your estimates and work out your totals. Ask for estimates from your general contractor, excavation and foundation specialists, electricians and plumbing contractors. Then you need to calculate the cost of materials.

You can save some money by doing some of the work yourself. Even if you aren’t a specially skilled worker, you can likely handle some of the work including demolition, framing and landscaping.

Return On Investment

When you are considering a home addition you will want to ensure that you are getting your money’s worth. The return on your investment needs to be worth the work and the expense. These are the average ROI values for the most popular home additions.

  • 2nd Storey Addition      =  65% ROI
  • Master Suite Addition =  60% ROI
  • 2nd Bathroom Addition =  55% ROI
  • Sunroom Addition      =  50% ROI

Permits & Bylaws

The building codes and property bylaws vary depending on where you live. Before you start construction on your addition project, you should check with your local municipal officers to make sure that your building plans are in compliance with all building codes and regulations.

If you live in a private community, your Homeowners Association may need to be consulted about your building plans and petitioned for approval. In many communities, there may be very strict limitations on what you can build on to your home.

It’s important to consider the aesthetic changes that you will be making. Your planned addition may affect your neighbors’ view or impede on their privacy. If you are concerned about backlash from your neighbors, it may be wise to consult a real estate law attorney to make sure there will be no issues in the future.

DIY vs. Contractor

With thousands of available instructional videos and tutorials online, there may be some parts of your addition build that you can tackle yourself. If you are taking out an exterior wall to begin your addition you could start the demo work yourself. With some skill, you can even start to frame in your new addition. Take on the interior decorating and finishing to save a bit of money on your reno.

When it comes to the more technical side of your build, it’s always better to leave it to the pros. Your addition will have to meet certain building codes including electrical and plumbing regulations. Unless you are a certified technician, it’s in your best interest to let the professionals handle these parts of the project.


Photo by Mark McCammon from Pexels

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