Building a home addition is often a better option than moving if you feel you've outgrown your current space. Not only does building an add-on increase your square footage but also the value of your home.

Homeowners seek home additions for a range of reasons. For instance, they may need to add an in-law suite to care for aging parents or require additional bedrooms and bathrooms for growing families.

Boasting years of home remodeling experience, the expert home additions contractors at Big Dog Construction are here to provide tips on a few practical home additions that might help improve your property value as well as enhance your living experience. Read on to learn more!

Enlarging with Bump Outs

Bump-outs are small home additions that extend outward from an existing interior wall, making a room slightly larger or adding a new room. Despite their small size, bump-outs can significantly enhance living spaces without tacking on excessive home addition costs, as they don’t require foundation or roof work.

Some of the ways bump-outs can be used to add space include:

  • Adding a closet to a bedroom
  • Adjoining a pantry to a kitchen
  • Adding a small nook to a kitchen
  • Building a laundry room
  • Adding a bay window
  • Adding a fireplace
  • Expanding storage space

Building a Second Story

While adding a full second story is considered one of the more costly home addition projects, many homeowners find it worthwhile since it can nearly double the home's square footage and significantly increase its value in the real estate market.

Make sure to have a building inspector examine your home's current foundation and structure to ensure it can handle the added weight of a second floor. If it can’t support an additional floor, there may be ways to reinforce your structure. However, if the foundation can’t be reinforced, alternative options like a bump-out may need to be considered to attain the desired square footage.

Adding Kitchen Space

Homeowners are increasingly favoring larger kitchens, so adding one can considerably boost the value of your home. Even a small kitchen home addition can create a feeling of spaciousness. Removing an exterior wall and constructing a small dining area and a pantry is an option for those needing more kitchen space.

Kitchen home additions may be costly due to expenses such as plumbing, appliances, and new countertops. However, a skilled contractor can assist you in keeping your costs within a specific budget.

Building a Sunroom

Sunrooms are filled with windows and provide an excellent space for dining, socializing, and indoor gardening. While having a patio or porch is pleasant, a sunroom or screened porch can provide you and your family with more practicality.

The expenses of such home additions are generally lower since the foundation is usually in place. Your contractor might be able to use the current roof and fill in walls between existing studs.

To include a sunroom in your home's square footage, it needs to have heating during winter and an entry door into the house. Moreover, if you live in an area with heavy snowfall, you’ll need to ensure the structure can support the weight of the snow.

Finishing Your Basement

Utilizing and renovating a basement is more affordable than building a second floor or an external structure, as it requires simply redoing the existing space in your home. That means that finishing your basement is a simple yet effective home addition that can allow you to reap many rewards with few costs.

Finishing your basement can provide various additional rooms like:

  • A home gym
  • A home theater
  • A small apartment
  • Extra bedrooms
  • A rec room
  • A spare living room
  • …and more

Keep in mind that building codes may require a specific number of exits from the basement when being developed into a living space.

Expanding or Adding Bathrooms

Expanding a small bathroom can provide space for enhanced and improved fixtures, such as a soaking tub or a larger vanity with two sinks. However, if you have a small space available, such as under the stairs or an unused closet, you can also add a new half-bath or water closet. A half-bathroom is a convenient addition for entertaining guests or having overnight visitors.

Adding Bedrooms

When looking to add an extra bedroom to your home, various areas can be utilized. The basement, attic, or garage may all have the potential for bedroom home additions. A covered patio with an existing roof that is part of the main house structure can also serve as a wonderful main bedroom.

However, it's important to note that most cities and counties have building codes that mandate a bedroom must have at least one door opening to the inside of the house and one window that opens outdoors, providing two potential fire escape routes. If these requirements can’t be met in your chosen area, you may need to consider a different location for your bedroom home additions.

In-Law Suite

An in-law suite allows you to live closely with your parents and in-laws when necessary and gives them and you the option of privacy when they don’t require your assistance. This extra space can also increase property value as it’s a built-in passive income opportunity.

When planning an in-law suite home addition, it’s crucial to prioritize accessibility. Although your senior family members may currently be mobile and active, accidents or falls can occur at any time, making it essential to ensure the in-law suite is easily accessible. A first-floor or basement addition with few or no steps is ideal.

Additional Thoughts

There are many ways to add to your existing square footage, such as adding a larger closet or transforming an unfinished garage into a livable space. Some homeowners may also consider adding a garage to their home or converting an open carport into a closed garage.

Careful preparation, planning, and hiring the right professionals are critical to the success of a home addition project. If you’re looking to make the most of your home, please consult with Big Dog Construction’s experts on the dos and don’ts of such a project.

Our contractors have been remodeling and adding to homes for years, and we can provide valuable insight into your construction concerns. Call (732) 455-5004 to connect with us.