House Additions

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Pros and cons


  • High value to cost ratio
Studies have shown that many people who have a home addition done are able to recover the full cost at the time of sale.
  • Cheaper than buying a new home
It is usually cheaper in the long run to add on to the house you already have than to purchase a new house that is already the size you wish to have
  • You made it
Sometimes it just feels good to say that you made this.
  • Best option for more space in your home
Things like sun rooms are terrible investments, and renovating a basement can be a much bigger job than expected


  • Return on investment is not guaranteed
You can still lose money. An addition to your house only has potential to be a strong investment depending on when you sell and how the market is doing.
  • It's a tough time to go through
It may seem exciting at first, but after a few weeks of constantly hearing power tools, being woken up early, and having half of your house exposed to nature, it can get tiring real quick.
  • Increased peripheral costs
Your heating and/or cooling bill will increase, you have more windows to wash, more gutters to clean, more taxes, and more carpet to vacuum!
  • Loss of yard space
Most of the time, you will lose yard space due to the addition.


Cost will obviously vary from addition to addition because everyone's home addition is different. Here is a basic guide to give you an idea of what to expect:

  • Determine square footage of the room you will be adding to your home. Home additions tend to run $80-$130 per square foot before the addition of fixtures, wiring, plumbing, and more.
  • Determine the total cost of all fixtures and appliances. Include plumbing work such as sinks and bath tubs. Tally the total cost of these items up.
  • Decide on the rest of the construction needs such as windows, carpet, paint, lumber, etc. Figure out how much you will need of each and tally the total cost of these items up.
  • Speak with a contractor. Contractors will give you an estimate and can be a big help during this step in pointing out things you may have overlooked.
  • Don't forget about miscellaneous charges such as a dumpster to clean up or removal or old materials. Remember that things like insurance and utilities will increase.

Addition ROI

Renovations that bring the greatest percentage return on investment:

  • Entry door replacement: 96.6 percent
  • Deck addition (wood): 87.4 percent
  • Attic bedroom: 84.3 percent
  • Garage door replacement: 83.7 percent
  • Minor kitchen remodel: 82.7 percent

Renovations that yield the smallest return:

  • Home office remodel: 48.9 percent
  • Sunroom addition: 51.7 percent
  • Bathroom addition: 60.1 percent
  • Backup power generation: 67.5 percent
  • Master suite addition: 67.5 percent

Make a house plan

Before you can make an addition, you must file a house plan with the building inspectors office. This is because communities have building standards that must be met in order for the house to pass inspection.

Hire an Architect

An Architect is a professional at designing house plans. They will guide you through the process of designing your addition and will be able to answer any questions you may have. They will also create a blue print of our addition and in some cases, be able to show you a 3D model of what your home will look like once the addition is complete.

Approve Changes to House Plan

Look at the amended drawings provided by the architect. Approve the changes if they meet your idea or concept for the change that you wanted made to the house plan. This approval is important for the architect to submit the house plans to the building inspector’s office for approval.

File Amended House Plan

The architect will file the amended house plans with your local building inspector’s office for approval. This step in the process should be fairly straightforward and simple to accomplish and only involves you being notified that the changes have been adopted. Many communities will not permit construction of a new home or an addition to an existing home be made until approval is given on an amended house plan.