It may seem daunting to add on a room to your house.
You may think that you will have to break apart concrete, haul away debris and make lots of noise.
But there are many ways to add an addition without having it look like one was added later at all!
Let’s take a closer look at how you can easily increase the size of your home while staying on a budget.
Whether it’s a new baby on the way or you’re in-laws are moving in (good luck with that LOL), you’ve realized you need some more space at home.
And while it’s well worth it for your sanity and can help add resale value in the future, the costs of adding a room to your home can add up quickly.
Fortunately, it’s not necessary to break the bank to build your addition.
To help save you some cash…
Here are Money-Saving Tips on How to Add a Room to Your House for Less.
1. Finish the Unfinished
Does your dog whimper nervously whenever you open the door to the basement?
Do you have to talk yourself into going into the attic reassuring yourself you won’t end up in a horror movie-like scenario?
Well, this could be a great opportunity to finish the basement or attic, converting the room into a livable and enjoyable space that doesn’t actually creep you out.
Finishing a basement, attic, or garage is one of the more inexpensive ways to add a room to your home as you won’t need to add a foundation, roof, or structural elements.
You’ll most likely need to cover costs pertaining to insulation, flooring, heating, cooling, ventilation, and any added electrical or plumbing systems.
While this is an ideal way to add a room, you can’t always finish the space as it may be too far gone and/or beyond repair.
So before you start making plans, make sure that your foundation can handle the additional load of finishing the space.
2. Size Does Matter
While it may seem intuitive that a larger addition will cost more than a smaller addition, it’s not always the case.
Master Tip Alert
With a small addition that’s only 100 or 200 square feet, some contractors will give you a high estimate of doubling costs to make it worth their while — they don’t want to waste labor and people on a small job when they could make more on a big project.
This doesn’t mean you can’t have a small addition, rather, simply shop around contractors for multiple estimates to ensure you’re getting the best price and working with someone who’s reliable and honest.
Contractor inflation aside, to keep costs low, create a simple room design for your addition.
Odd sizes, uneven lengths, elaborate designs, and multiple sharp corners will increase your costs for both materials and labor.
For instance, standard two-by-fours are eight feet long.
But, if you want a room to be 10 feet long, the contractor will have to order special sizes or create the length you want costing you extra.
3. Try a Bump Out Addition
Before you take a sledgehammer to your walls (as cathartic as it may be), first consider how much additional space you need and what you’ll be using the additional room for.
Are you looking to add an office or to create a dining room space?
For some additions, you may not need as much room as you think.
A bump-out is extra space added to an existing room that can create as little as 2 or 3 square feet extra or up to 10 or 15 square feet extra.
Traditionally, a bump out is smaller than a standard room and is much cheaper as you use less material and don’t have to add HVAC systems.
So, instead of adding an entirely new room for your office, you could create a bump-out from your living room to give you the extra space you need for a desk and shelves.
Or, if you want a dining room, create a bump-out from your kitchen that allows enough room for a dining table and chairs.
4. Go with a Sunroom
One of the least expensive room additions you can make is a sunroom as typically the walls are entirely made of windows or sliding glass doors cutting down on costs that come with constructing a room with solid walls or insulation.
Plus, companies offer DIY pre-made sunroom and gazebo kits that give you step-by-step directions to construct a sunroom yourself allowing you to skip hiring a contractor and save money.
5. Add a Room Above the Garage
Instead of adding space horizontally, consider adding space vertically above your home.
This can be a great option not only if you’re tight on space with any outward additions encroaching on your neighbor’s property, but also because you’ll save costs on adding a foundation.
Adding a room above your garage can be a great option especially if you need extra privacy for an office, a room for when your college kid comes home during the summer, an in-law suite, or if you’re interested in renting out the space as an Airbnb.
6. Get Familiar with How-To Videos
The internet is a magical thing. Well, for the most part — tho ….the internet can get weird.
But, if you stick to the how-to videos and learn how to place flooring, put in tile, add insulation, or even learn to install windows or door frames, you can save yourself a bundle.
You can certainly still hire out to put in the foundation and framing and complete major parts of the project.
But if you can finish the rest or bribe your more handy friends with some pizza to help out, you’ll cut down on labor costs.
Again, you’ll still want to budget for an electrician or plumber to do the specialty work.
7. Expand your living space
The sudden drop in housing values over the last few years has left millions of homeowners surrounded on all sides by a massive flood of negative equity.
If that drop in underwater mortgages seems odd with home prices still falling, that’s where the really bad news comes in.
The number of underwater homes has diminished mainly because so many homes have gone into foreclosure.
That negative equity maroons homeowners who are unable to pay off their previous mortgage through a sale.
Despite having outgrown their living space due to a growing family or changing lifestyle, they’ve lost the freedom to hunt for a new home.
Those homeowners face a choice.
Either they make the most out of their current living space or put their talent, muscle, and money to work expanding it.
While following these tips isn’t likely to make castles out of condos, you’ll be surprised at the amount of extra square footage available in your home.
8. Work with an Agent
While adding a room to your home can increase the resale value and help attract more buyer offers, the room alone won’t create that coveted bidding war.
You’ll want to work with an experienced real estate agent who will help market your home so it sells at the best price possible.
When you partner with a local licensed agent, they will be your advocate guiding you throughout the entire selling process and helping you price your home competitively.
Plus, you’ll save even more with agents who work for a flat fee.
How Much Does An Addition To Your Home Cost?
How much money an additional cost depends on the variables of your home and what you want.
The bigger the project, the more money it will cost.
If you’re hiring a contractor, you may see a wide range among different contractor estimates.
You may be able to DIY the project, but you must be confident in your skill and willing to sacrifice your time.
When it comes to adding on, you need to set some limits for yourself.
It’s easy to say you want to double the square footage of your home, but is it something you can afford?
Are you able to add a sunroom and maintain your home’s value?
“How much” is a broad question that covers a lot of ground.
It can cover a very elementary question like “How much do we want to spend?” or “How much room do we want?”
“How much” can also cause an answer you might not want to hear.
Questions like “How much do we need this space?” or “How much are we willing to put up with the dust, noise, and strangers working on our house?” or “How much time will it take?”
When you’re honest with yourself about the answers to the question of “how much,” you’ll have a better idea of your needs and expectations, and you’ll lay out the groundwork for the project ahead.
Popular Room Additions
Interested in adding square feet to your home, but not sure where to start?
Or maybe you know the addition you want to make but aren’t sure what it entails.
According to a home advisor, the average cost of building an additional room onto your house runs $80 – $200 per square foot.
The discrepancy depends on the layout, your home’s style, and the materials used.
Look at some of the most popular extra rooms and get some home addition ideas.
A mudroom can add many benefits to your home. They’re a great place to store shoes, coats, and backpacks.
They function well as an informal entry to the home. They’re easy to clean, making it a good place to bring in dogs with dirty paws or kids with dirty boots.
Mudrooms benefit from benches with drawers, built-in shelving, and lockers or cubbies.
Depending on how you’re using the room, you may want a utility sink to make cleanup quick.
Mudroom additions range in cost based on size and materials used.
For a small 6×6 room, costs are going to average around $4,000. A large room can cost as much as $12,000.
Keep in mind this is just for the room. Any benches and storage will cost extra.
The kitchen can make or break a home. Many homes have a kitchen that’s too small or one that’s poorly designed. If you like to cook and entertain, having a big, well-thought-out kitchen is a dream.
Gather ideas of what you would like your kitchen addition to look like.
You can search kitchen blueprints online and try to mock up one of your own. If it’s in the budget, you can hire an architect to put your dreams on paper.
When considering a kitchen addition, determine whether you want to replace your appliances and cabinetry. These are two costly factors.
But if you forgo them with your new addition, your kitchen may not flow and may feel segmented or incomplete.
Home Office Addition
With more people working from home, the value of a functional home office is increasing.
Yes, you could convert a spare bedroom or a section of the basement. But if you don’t have either of those to work with, adding on an office is something to think about.
If you need a space with limited distractions where you can work, you need a home office.
For small business owners working out their home, a home office may be a cheaper alternative than renting or buying a commercial space.
To add a home office to your house, your cost will go up depending on the size of the room and the cost of any fixtures.
If the office you build could also be a bedroom, you could list it as such if you sell your house. This will increase your resale value.
A major area to increase the value of your home is by adding on a bathroom.
You could convert a closet or the area under the stairs into a water closet, or you could dive in and add a whole room entirely. Obviously, the more you add on, the more it will cost.
Before you go planning your new bathroom, you need to look at your piping. Do you have existing water and waste piping near where you want to put the addition?
If you’re putting the bathroom in an unfinished basement, the piping is right there.
But if you’re looking at putting in a bathroom in an addition on the back of the house, you’ll probably have to pay more to run pipe.
Costs like these can accumulate quickly, especially when you start adding the cost of fixtures.
The good news is that, even if a bathroom addition is costly, if done right, it can greatly increase your home value.
Just think how much more appealing a 2-bathroom home is than a 1-bathroom home.
If you’ve got growing kids or frequent houseguests, you understand the reason another bathroom is valuable.
There are a couple of smaller additions you can make to increase the charm and value of your home. These small additions cost much less than adding on a whole new room.
They can open your space, making it feel larger than it is.
Adding a dormer onto your second floor is a great way to bring in light and expand your usable space.
Depending on the size, smaller window dormers run about $4,000.
Costs vary depending on your type of house, total square footage, and the pitch of the roof.
For dormers, hire a contractor experienced with roofing.
If you’re looking to really expand your home, you could put in a huge addition.
These additions will cost a lot more and could be riskier if not done right. But if they work, they will add significant value to your home.
Adding a second story to your current home is a huge step.
If it works, it could nearly double your home’s square footage, turning your one-story into a two-story home.
You could add on a bathroom and an extra bedroom in the new space or build out your dream master bedroom.
A second-floor addition is expensive, costing $100 – $300 per square foot. A second-floor addition is a perfect way to build up, not out. This could help if your property lines are tight.
Since a second-story addition is a complex process with a high margin for error, make sure you hire an experienced contractor.
Check their references on similar projects, fully vetting them before hiring them.
If your current home is garage-less or is in desperate need of more storage and workspace, adding a garage to your home can greatly increase its value.
You must consider where your current driveway is and how the addition will sit.
A freestanding garage is more expensive than an attached one but can present fewer construction challenges.
A freestanding garage keeps dust and smells away from the home, but the convenience of an attached garage makes going to the garage from the home easy.
This transition is even more of a plus with bad weather.
As with other additions, make sure the garage addition blends in with the architecture of the current home.
On The Previous Post: 5×7 Bathroom Remodel Cost & Price Breakdown
How much does it cost to build a 20×20 room?
Depending on the size, smaller window dormers run about $4,000. Costs vary depending on your type of house, total square footage, and the pitch of the roof. For dormers, hire a contractor experienced with roofing.
Is it easy to add a room to a house?
A second-story addition is expensive, costing $100 – $300 per square foot. A second-story addition is a perfect way to build up, not out. This could help if your property lines are tight.
What are the advantages of adding a room to my house?
Adding a second story to your current home is a huge step. If it works, it could nearly double your home’s square footage, turning your one-story into a two-story home. You could add on a bathroom and an extra bedroom in the new space or build out your dream master bedroom.