Homeowner Amanda Caswell

Your Ultimate Guide to a Home Addition

A home addition can drastically increase the square footage and value of your home. Be it a second-story addition to the main house, room over the garage, dormer, or bump out, all possibilities should be explored. Regardless of the size of your home, one or more additions are invaluable investments. A home addition not only increases living space and storage space, but it is also extremely desirable to potential buyers when you decide to sell your home. Assess your needs and find inspiration around the neighborhood and by talking to your contractor. Keep reading to learn more about improving your home with a home addition.

Home Addition: Before You Start

Many homeowners know they want a home addition but are not aware of all that goes into the process. Their friends and neighbors may have had a positive home addition experience and they want the same. They simply do not know where to start or who to contact. The easy solution is to start by contacting a Fairmarket contractor. Consulting with a contract means you will have all of the necessary requirements before getting underway. Your contractor will take charge of checking local building codes and zoning ordinances. A county assessor can assess the blueprints of the design and the final work once the job is done.  

Home Addition: Opting For a Second Story

If you are hesitating to add a second story because ripping the roof off of your house sounds too drastic, you are not alone. Many people try to avoid this at all costs, especially if they have solar panels or roof flashing. Yet, often a total home makeover, makes sense. A second story addition may actually save you money. For example, if you’re looking for a bigger home but hope to stay in the neighborhood, adding an addition and avoiding the cost of moving, is priceless. This is particularly true if you’ve lived in your beloved home for many years and the rest of the home seems impossible to duplicate elsewhere.

Second Story Remodeling Options:

  1. Replace the Roof: Sever the current roof around the edges then temporarily lift it off. This may sound incredibly scary, put your contractors will put it back in place. This happens once the new level is framed in.
  2. Build from Scratch: Building from scratch is a popular option because homeowners can completely decide what they want. This option involves both tearing the roof off and also building a completely new upper level. For those with ranch-style houses, this is most likely what your Fairmarket contractor would recommend you would do.
  3. Expand: If the idea of ripping the roof off scares you, then expanding might be a good option for you. Expansion usually means creating an upper level from a one-story section that currently exists. A porch or flat-roof garage are just a few examples of this type of addition.
  4. Modular Designs: Adding a modular second story addition is fairly simple. The addition is designed and then built off-site. When fully built, it is brought to your existing home on a truck and then added. This is by far the most cost-effective and quickest option.

Home Addition: Adding a Room Above the Garage

Creating an apartment or bonus room over a flat roofed garage will easily add extra square footage without causing much upheaval to your home or life. The foundation is already done, all you need are walls and a new roof. A room above the garage is a perfect spot for a game room or guest room.

Transform the Front Porch into a Sunroom

For homeowners who love to spend time on their front porch, this one is a no brainer. Creating a sunroom creates more livable square footage to your home. It offers an alternative to the living room so be sure to add comfortable furniture, proper lighting, and even a coffee table. Be sure to consult your Fairmarket contractor before going with this option. You will want to be sure the walls and roof are sturdy enough to support heavy winds during storms.

Incorporating a mudroom is another option. An entry way is one thing, but an entire mudroom is another! A mudroom is especially good for families with young children. The entryway is a handy spot for keeping shoes, coats and backpacks out of sight before entering the house. Add cubbies, cabinets and hooks for storage and visual appeal.

Home Addition: Adding a Modular Piece

Sometimes the thought of a pre-fabricated addition is off putting to homeowners. But they are actually extremely popular for one story ranchers. As a bonus, these additions also run between 10 and 20 percent less expensive than traditional additions. They are made off site, which saves the homeowner from having their home as a constant construction zone.  

Expand Your Attic with a Dormer

Homeowners always think about remodeling their basement but hesitate when it comes to their attic. Attics are often off limits and simply used as storage space. But dormers change all that by expanding the attic and giving it much needed light. Dormers instantly make your house look bigger while also increasing the size of the room. Professional installation is pretty inexpensive and, in some cases, can be done for under $3,000.

Add To the Kitchen or Bathroom

Creating more space in the kitchen – the center of your home – is desirable for homeowners. It can expand the amount of space for cooking, dining, and entertaining. It also provides an excellent return on investment. Expand the square footage of your kitchen by transforming a bump-out or flex space into a breakfast nook or pantry. Similarly, expanding the bathroom, can also greatly increase the square footage and value of your home. Add dual sinks, a steam room, sauna, and/or soaking tub to the master bathroom. Or, add a half-bath elsewhere in the home in an underutilized space such as the basement, attic, or under the stairs.

Home Addition: Convert the Garage

The garage can be an easy and creative home addition idea. Keep in mind that an attached garage will only be considered as additional square footage if not used for cars. A garage is a great spot for an additional guest room, art space, or home gym. The average cost of converting a garage into a livable space is about $12,000 but the return on investment is upwards of 80%.

Home Addition: Why Do It?

There are obvious and not-so-obvious reasons why adding a home addition is a great option. A second story addition makes sense for those homeowners with smaller properties who want to make the most of their outdoor space. By adding an addition, you can still enjoy your full backyard for entertaining, gardening, and separating from the neighbors. It’s also a good idea to add a second story for extra room if you have beloved landscape features you don’t want to destroy. A tall hedge, an old grand shade tree, or a wisteria-draped pergola are just a few examples.

Adding an addition also makes sense for families that want extra space for their young children to play, extra space for their older children to have more privacy, or extra space for adult parents to move in.

Home Addition Dos & Don’ts

When families choose a home, location tops the list of deciding factors. Once you find the perfect neighborhood, it can be hard to leave it. Moving away from an irreplaceable neighborhood seems out of the question, even as a family grows and needs more space.  Staying put and adding a home addition is often the best solution.

The good news is that in highly desirable neighborhoods, the homes with the home additions often get double or even triple in value. This is particularly true if you add a second story to a rancher. Be aware of the following dos and don’ts when adding an addition:

  1. Know Your Height Restrictions. A Fairmarket contractor should know the codes or get the guideless from the township. Local building codes are created by the city officials to restrict the height of neighborhood houses.
  2. Avoid Awkward Massing. Adding on can often give your home a boxy effect. The house may appear awkwardly rectangular, so be sure to offset the addition with trim details, overhangs, and roof pitches. Your Fairmarket contractor can offer suggestions. 
  3. Make Everything Match. One way to avoid the house looking awkward is by adding matching windows to the new addition. The size, placement, and trim should coordinate with the existing part of the home. When everything matches the aesthetics will be much more pleasing. It will create a seamless look for the entire house.
  4. Maintain Adequate Structural Support. Use caution when adding on to your home. The original foundation may not support the extra weight of a new addition. Your Fairmarket contractor will check the foundation requirements before adding a second story. Keep in mind that rafters for one-story homes are not usually strong enough to take on the role of floor joists for an addition. Hiring a structural engineer from Fairmarket will insure your home’s foundation and framing is evaluated before proceeding.

Contact a Fairmarket Contractor

If you have been thinking about adding an addition, contact a Fairmarket contractor. Even if you aren’t planning to do the work for a few months, the sooner you connect with a contractor, the better. Your contractor can work on getting the proper paperwork, building codes, and more so everything is ready to go when you are ready to start construction. A home addition is a tremendous way to add extra room and value to your home. Call a Fairmarket contractor today!