For Architect, Homeowner, Contractor, Real Estate Developer/Investor
What Factors Go into Calculating Home Addition Costs?
Jan 12, 2020
How a house looks after architecture, engineering & permitting
How a house looks after architecture, engineering & permitting

When it comes to assessing the quality of life in a home, the comfort and conveniences within the building matter the most. Who doesn’t love ample space and smarter functionalities? A cramped home places restrictions on its residents and they are forced to make compromises accordingly. What this means is that they may not be living the life they aspired to live. One solution could be a new house in a new place. Better still, a bigger house in the same place.

What is a Home Addition?

A home addition refers to the construction of a new structure attached to the same residential building or space. Some people just decide to give their home a makeover and split an existing room into two. An addition always refers to an increase in the square footage of living space. An addition is usually made to meet the changing needs of its residents. An example is the expansion of a family due to the arrival of a bundle of joy or return of elderly family members. A family can outgrow its living space even with the purchase of a new car or pet. In some cases, the addition is made to augment the curb appeal of the existing structure. Nowadays, many homeowners consider a home addition as a smarter option, given the spiraling cost of real estate. Many homeowners may like to stay put thanks to their proximity to schools, hospitals, and shopping hotspots.

Most Common Additions

The addition of a dining room, bedroom, bathroom, and sunroom are some examples of additions. Garages, and attics can also be added to an already constructed house. It can also mean the expansion of the above rooms for more comfort. Aside from more space, it adds to the resale value of the house. It’s also not surprising to see people building extra bedrooms and bathrooms just before putting the house for sale. According to a survey of real-estate agents, the improvement of curb appeal is the No. 11 step homeowners can take to increase their home’s marketability.

Factors for Calculating Home Addition Cost

An addition is quite common, but the way it is done depends on multiple factors – needs of the homeowner, capabilities of the existing structure, and local zoning and building code provisions, to name a few. Although there are multiple factors in play while calculating the cost of a home addition project, it’s good to know the essential ones before considering the same. Listed below are five of the most common considerations every homeowner must keep in mind.

Space

The homeowner has the big picture in terms of how the completed structure looks, but an expert will know exactly how much square feet can be added. It could be more expensive to make an addition to some rooms because of the expensive elements required there. Kitchens and bathrooms are two examples. Adding a second floor also costs more, but there’s an advantage over the construction of a new house. The second floor does not require a foundation since it already exists. Bumping out a few feet to extend the space is cheaper than building a new room. What if the addition calls for a new basement or the alteration of an existing one? That would be an expensive proposition due to the complexities like lifting, foundation work, and finishing.

A 3rd floor has been added with bright light and additional space
A 3rd floor has been added with bright light and additional space
Permits

When making additions, permits would be required. This would depend on multiple factors like complexity, size, and location, among others. In some scenarios, special tests might be mandatory. This, in turn, would spike up the permit costs. If there are many complexities, permits can sometimes be a time-consuming affair. This expedites the process but adds to the cost. Some approvals happen online, while others have to be taken in person.

Materials

Any construction or addition implies the use of different materials. When it comes to materials, their quality, shape, and size obviously spike up the overall cost. Functionality and aesthetics are also key factors that determine the cost. Rooms that have better utility will have more value and the homeowner tends to spend more on them. High-traffic spaces like bathrooms and kitchens require multiple features like bath fixtures, cabinets, sinks, faucets, countertops, and more. The best way to optimize the money spent on materials is to strike the right balance between form and function.

Labor

Every major addition requires the use of multiple skill sets. Plans and architectural services obviously require the expertise of experienced and licensed professionals. Municipalities want plans to be attested by licensed experts. Complex additions require intricate work in terms of electrical, plumbing, and carpentry work. DIY tasks will undoubtedly help save tons of money, but the challenge is in getting it right the first time. Otherwise, the financial damage could be higher than expected. An addition can involve multiple tasks like site setup, construction, material handling, trash removal, and clean up, to name a few. The right mix of the best skill sets is required to maximize the productivity and cost efficiency of the project.

Budget

As the most important criteria, budget determines the urgency and nature of the addition. However, a few essential steps have to be taken to infuse more predictability into the project. It is imperative to get a ballpark estimate of the overall costs and then work backwards. Once the priorities are defined, it is easier to tailor the project to suit the allocated budget. Since top-notch expertise, innovative designs, and premium materials obviously cost more, budgeting has to be done accordingly. If value matters, then it is essential to figure out if the proposed addition has an impact on the overall resale value of the property.

A professional firm that designs and builds structures will provide the best advice and execute the project from start to finish. They are also aware of the cost implications, so they execute the projects in a frugal manner. Furthermore, their experience in executing similar projects gives them the edge to prepare for the unexpected by controlling the factors that are hard to control. Moreover, they have the knowhow to assess whether an addition is worth it or not.

Got questions related to home additions? Our team of experienced California-licensed engineers can help you with the right advice and services. Call us at (877) 704-5727 or email your requirements to info@designeverest.com for a no-obligation quote followed by a consultation.

Sources:
[1] https://www.bankrate.com/loans/home-improvement/cheap-fixes-to-boost-the-value-of-your-home/
[2] https://homeguides.sfgate.com/calculate-room-addition-cost-8771.html
[3] https://homeguide.com/costs/home-addition-cost

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