Dec 19, 2020

Building Up or Out With Room Additions



If your home has become too small for you, you basically have two broad options. You can either sell your home and buy a bigger one that suits your needs, or you can add a room or rooms that you are missing.

Seeing how buying and selling a house just because of its size is a bit inconvenient, we discussed room additions with professionals from about room additions. Specifically, what is the best way to build the extra rooms – whether to build an additional story to your home, or expanding the size of the ground floor.

You Can Also Go Down

One of the first things that we learned is that a surprising number of people choose neither of the typical options, and choose to adapt or even expand their basement into a living space that they lack.

Even though that might be a suitable idea for some, it is largely not the best idea. If you are looking for a room which will only be used periodically, like a personal gym or a home cinema, adapting the basement is a realistic option.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more permanent room, like a bedroom or living space, most contractors will tell you that it’s better to build above ground. In some cases, expanding the basement is not an option, usually due to the type of foundation or the high water table in your area.

Building Your Home Up

The most common and preferred direction to expand your home is certainly up. Seeing how it doesn’t require the expansion of the area that your house takes up on your property, it is ideal for those whose properties do not allow easy expansion to the sides.

There is another important advantage to building up – the cost. When you’re building a second story to your house, what you are basically doing is adding the wooden frames and the walls. The roof can remain the same if you have a skilled contractor, and the foundation doesn’t have to change.

There are some structural changes you need to make to your home, like adding indoor stairs and reinforcing the support walls, but those are minor issues. One thing you do need to be careful about is the zoning regulations, specifically about the maximum height of your home.

Partial Second Floor Additions

If your budget is constrained, or you don’t require a doubling of the square footage of your home, there is another option – building a partial second floor.

Typically, people build additional rooms over garages or just one wing of the house. This way, you can have the additional space, but still manage to live in the house during the building

Building Out

In most cases, building out is the most expensive option. However, this option is preferred by families with small children and those with mobility issues like seniors. It also tends to be a quieter option as there is nobody on the top floor walking (or more likely running if it’s children).

This type of home additions also enables you to play around with different ceiling heights, skylights, and even half-levels, making your home more your own.

Sadly, the disadvantage of building your home out is the cost, as mentioned before. If you’re building out, you are not only expanding the walls, you’re also adding more foundation (which in turn requires digging, fill rock, and a lot of concrete), as well as more roof to cover the new parts of your house.

All of these things add up and compound with the actual cost of the room addition.

If you’re considering a room addition, your best move would be to consult an expert and have them lay out your options with the rough cost estimates and then decide which option suits your needs the most.

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