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Cost To Build An Addition

When having an addition constructed in your home, there are many costs to take into account. Adding a kitchen, bathroom or garage can have varying material and labor costs associated with the individual project. Before any work is done, it is important to first assess your project ahead of time to have a realistic budget.

National Build an Addition Costs

Cost data is based on actual project costs as reported by ImproveNet members.

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Average reported cost

based on 2829 cost profiles


Minimum cost


Maximum cost

Most homeowners spent between:




National Build an Addition Costs
Average reported cost $38,114
Number of Cost Profiles 2829 cost profiles
Minimum reported cost $200
Maximum reported cost $100,000
Most homeowners spent between: $25,116 to $41,952

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Finding the right contractor is one of the most important things you can do as a homeowner in order to ensure the best possible result. If you are adding a kitchen or bathroom to your home, your choice of a plumber can be critical to your project. An addition drives up plumbing costs dramatically since there is rarely any type of existing plumbing to use. Adding plumbing is a very labor-intensive job that must be done by a professional. Specific building codes must be adhered to, and a fully licensed and reputable plumber can provide ease of mind. You can lower your budget with the use of the cheaper ABS piping instead of PVC. Check with your plumber to see if this is a viable option because it can cut costs dramatically.

In addition to plumbing costs for a kitchen or bathroom, there are also costs associated with an electrician. Regardless of the addition, you are going to need electricity. Often, a new breaker must be run from the main panel in addition to the various boxes needed to deliver power to fans, outlets and light fixtures. Just as in the case of plumbing, electrical work is subject to a very high level of scrutiny by building and fire inspectors. Hiring a professional electrician will ensure quality, up-to-code work for your safety.

Your project will probably have a general contractor that does the bulk of the labor. They will be in charge of planning the addition, putting up walls and laying floors as well as any finishing work. Although some materials are necessary, the use of lighter, aluminum studs instead of traditional wood is not only cost-effective but less labor-intensive. Floating floors, which include tile and wood laminate, can now be installed for much less than any other option and deliver a brilliant final result.

If your addition is a garage, expect to not only pay a contractor and electrician but also an experienced mason. A concrete slab must be poured completely level and with extreme expertise to prevent future pitting and cracking. In addition, an epoxy or polyurethane coat will be needed to properly seal the floor and protect it from tarnishing, staining and flaking. A mason may be required if your foundation needs to be extended for other addition jobs.

When budgeting either a bathroom, kitchen or garage addition to your home, it is imperative to get professional quotes for the cost of labor and to research where you can save money on materials wherever possible. Your home is a property investment, and to build an addition can add significant value when properly planned, budgeted and executed by experienced professionals.

How To Determine If A Home Addition Is Right For Your Next Home

Home additions are not only intended for current homes, but for future homes as well. We all want bigger houses, but many homeowners should know that moving into a smaller home and putting in an addition could save you a ton of money. It all comes down to price, time and a willingness to live through the renovation. After reviewing all three factors, you will know when it’s right to move into a bigger home and when it’s right to move into a smaller home and take on a renovation.


The most important factor in deciding whether to buy a big home or smaller one and renovating is the price. As hard as it is, all homeowners must determine the price of the smaller home, accounting for all the addition costs (including moving out during construction if need be) and then comparing it to the cost of the bigger home.

How to Determine the Price of Smaller Home

After talking with a contracting professional, you must add up all the costs of the renovation. Always remember to include the cost of materials, a contractor, loan interest charges, time off work and hotel fees if you plan to move out during the process. Remember, there are always some hidden costs when it comes to home additions.

Then, after talking with a real estate professional, subtract that number from the likely market value after the renovation. If you don’t want to talk to a broker, you could also research comparable prices in the new neighborhood. In essence, the difference in value should not exceed the asking price.

Need to Determine Price Per Square Foot of Both Homes

When comparing the prices of the two homes, you should also factor in the price per square foot for each home. In simple terms, the price per square foot for the smaller home, after the renovation, should be less than the price per square for the larger home. Remember, you must take into account all the renovation costs, including the aggravation of living through a remodel. Simple math, illustrated in the example below, should help clear your mind.

Let’s say your bigger home is 3,000 square feet and the asking price is $600,000. Therefore, the price per square foot is $200. A smaller home may be 2,000 square feet and the asking price is $400,000. In this case, you would have the same price per square foot before the renovations take place. After renovations, you have the 3,000 square foot home you always wanted. Assuming you put in $100,000, taking into account all those hidden costs discussed above, your new price per square foot would be $166.66. Less is always good, but homeowners must decide if that $34 per square foot (difference) is worth the hassle of living through a home remodeling project. 

How to Pay for the Renovations

If you're renovating your home, you can borrow against the value of your house through a home equity line of credit (HELOC) or a home equity loan (HEL). Both are essentially a second mortgage.

A HELOC is a form of revolving credit similar to a credit card. It allows you to draw funds, up to a predetermined limit, whenever you need money. There is generally a minimum payment due each month, with the option to pay off as much of the line as you want. With a HEL, you receive a lump sum of money and have a fixed monthly payment that you pay off over a predetermined time period. In each case, the amount you can borrow is based on factors such as your income, debts, the value of your home, how much you still owe on your mortgage and your credit history. For more information on financing a home remodeling project, be sure to read our home financing project guide.

Quick Tip on Buying Smaller House: Make sure you don’t remodel it to the extent that you have the most expensive home on the block. Chances are, it won’t be worth the same value in five years.


Needless to say, all homeowners would love to move into their dream home all ready and good to go. However, certain financial limitations can sometimes alter our plans. As is the case with any remodeling project, time will play a key factor.

Some families need to move into a finished home. Whether big projects are coming up at work or you are just fed up with remodels, many homeowners refuse to think about home additions. Finances are most likely not an issue, so why not move into your dream home as soon as possible?

However, there are other families who may not mind living in a home during construction or have financial restraints. A great reason to buy a smaller home and put in a home addition later is to delay additional expenses. If you buy the larger home, you are putting all the money on the table right away (or each month with a mortgage). If you buy the smaller home, you are putting down less money and can choose when to spend the extra for the addition. This is a great option if you can’t afford an addition or bigger home right away. 

Patience is a virtue and that is just as evident in the home remodeling industry as it is in any.

Willingness to Live Through Renovation

As I noted above, some families refuse to go through a renovation. If that is the case, then buying the smaller home is out of the question. On the other hand, if you and your family are willing to get to work and live through the remodeling process, than buying the smaller home is well within your reach.

We will be the first ones to admit that living inside the home during the renovation process can get dirty, cramped and aggravating. Many homeowners decide to live with friends, family or in a hotel during this time. Remember, if you do decide to get a hotel, be sure to incorporate those costs into the new price per square foot. Needless to say, if you are able to tough it out inside the home, you can save a lot of money.

Another way to save is by doing some of the work yourself. It’s very simple. The less work you contract out, the less money you spend. Many families enjoy getting their hands dirty. Others like creating their dream home. The possibilities can go on and on, but if you are planning on buying the smaller home and renovating, we highly encourage you to get involved.

Last updated on May 10, 2016

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