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Home Addition Basics

By on Nov 17, 2014
Home Addition Basics

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Sometimes, no matter how organized we are, there just isn’t enough space in the home. Fortunately enough, most homeowners have enough space, either in back or above, for a home addition. Home additions let you build out, up, down, or any other direction from the existing home structure.

Be that as it may, home additions are not cheap. The price will vary depending on the type of room you’re adding. Nonetheless, whether you’re adding a master bathroom or a new bedroom for the new baby, I have put together the home addition basics all homeowners must know before they write that first check.

Home Addition Costs

Home Addition Costs

According to our home additions cost estimator, the average price to build a home addition is $36,238. As I said before, the price can greatly vary.

If you’re adding a kitchen or bathroom to your home, you’ll need to hire a plumber to add those extra pipes behind the scenes. Beware that an addition drives up plumbing costs dramatically since there is rarely any type of existing plumbing to use.

In addition to plumbing costs for a kitchen or bathroom, there are also costs associated with an electrician. Regardless of the addition, you will 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. As is the case with plumbing, electrical work is subject to a very high level of scrutiny by building and fire inspectors. Hiring a professional electrician will ensure quality and reputable work.

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.

These are just a few of the common costs that come with the most prominent home additions. See more at 6 Hidden Costs You Must Know Before Building A Home Addition.

Home Additions

How to Lower Home Addition Costs

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As you can see, there are many factors at play and the overall cost is greatly affected by the addition of choice. However, there are ways to decrease the overall price.

Request multiple quotes from various contractors. Don’t immediately sign the cheapest pro. There is a reason they don’t charge as much. The contractor with the average quote is most likely your best choice. To ensure they are the right guys for the job, see How to Find the Right Contractor with these 5 Essential Questions.

Furthermore, we always recommend doing your own research as far as materials. Whether you go with hardwood, tile, carpet, crown molding or a rainfall shower head, all will affect the bottom line.

Home Addition Benefits

Do You Need A Home Addition?

With all the costs out of the way, it’s time to determine if a home addition is right for you.

More often than not, homeowners build an addition for more space. Most are expecting another child or having their parents move in. Some want to create the master bathroom they always dreamed of and others are just looking for a place to house their new car.

No matter the reason, the ROI must be there. Most projects will not return 100% of your investment, so the benefit of the addition must be worth that loss in value. For more exact pricing, please refer to a local real estate agent who better understands your market. 

The Benefits of A Home Addition

Some of the benefits are obvious, such as adding more space or housing more family members. However, there are other benefits a home addition brings:

  • Can rent it for additional income
  • Can increase value to home
  • It’s cheaper than moving
  • Can add luxury
  • Can bring natural sunlight with a sunroom

See how you can take advantage of each benefit at 7 Benefits Of A Home Addition.

Small Home Addition

Other Home Addition Considerations

With any home remodeling project, there are small intricacies one must know before embarking on this expensive project.

If you’re debating whether to build out or up, build out. Always expand on the first floor if possible. While we don’t want to think about it, as we age, we will have a harder time moving around. Therefore, you should add your luxurious addition on the ground level.

If you build out, know that it will eat into your yard. Note that most home additions are toward the back of the house. If you’re someone that enjoys gardening or landscaping, a big home addition may not be for you.

Second story additions are usually tougher to build depending on the locale. With nothing above, the weather really needs to cooperate. However, according to our friends at HomeAdvisor, building up can sometimes be less expensive per square foot because there won't be any need for foundation building. This is not always the case, so be sure to consult builders or architects early in the process.


Home additions are one of the most expensive home remodeling projects out there. As you might expect, they also provide some of the biggest advantages one can add to a home. But, before taking such a big jump into the home addition arena, be sure to contact your local builders, contractors and architects.

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