A home expansion or home editions might seem like an impossible, and expensive task. But moving house isn’t always a viable option. That is why many homeowners undertake additions to make a dream home just a little more perfect. Perhaps you need a little extra room for your family, or maybe you have always wanted a sunroom in the backyard.
Whatever your motivations, home additions are affordable ventures if they are well-thought-out and budgeted.
Making Use of Space
There are many ways to increase your house’s size without changing the square footage.
Excavation and building new foundations are both costly and intrusive to your yard. If you don’t have a large lot, there are still many affordable home expansion options to explore.
Attics and Basements
Instead of building a whole new section, using the space you already have can drastically reduce the cost of additions. Transforming an attic or basement into a fully functioning room can open up many possibilities for a bigger house without physically expanding across your lot.
If you aren’t using your attic or basement, converting it into additional living space is a relatively easy job. Basement conversions are particularly popular. This is because even small bungalows provide enough space for suites that can house another family member or that a homeowner can even rent out.
Efficiency when using existing space will also lower costs. If an attic or basement conversion has been chosen as your housing addition, consider the best ways to minimize the space available. If you can use only a portion of the available attic or basement, this will cut down on expenses.
Garage conversion, whether attached to your house or not, is another way to use available space without building additional structures. Depending on your garage’s size, it is possible to transform all or part of it into additional housing space. Oftentimes a garage attic can be converted into another suite or office space, which then allows for more room in the main house.
Furthermore, garages provide plenty of preliminary starting points that can cut down on costs. They already have the structure, foundation, and electricity. Often they also have windows already installed, and sometimes even heating. All these factors make it incredibly easy to transition into a suitable living area at a lower cost.
If you have limited attic space, adding a second story to your home is another option. It is generally easier to build upon what you already have than adding more foundation for another room or section, not to mention more affordable.
Adding to a house’s foundation and base structure is very expensive. By building up instead of out, you remove that cost. Extra support is usually still necessary for second stories, but this can be provided by pole footings which remain a cheaper option than increased foundation.
Small Home Additions
Mudrooms are a common way to add to a house without much expense. Usually, building a mudroom involves enclosing a house’s front porch. This kind of home addition is the simplest physical expansion and does not require heating systems or wiring.
Similarly, sunrooms do not need to contain heating or air conditioning systems. As they are not for permanent, year-round living, sunrooms do not need the same code standards as other additions. You can build them with scrap materials that have been used for the main house and are usually smaller than a full room add-on.
Bump-outs or room expansions involve adding to an existing room and usually only extend far enough to lend a little extra space. A room expansion could mean something as simple as adding a bay window with a bench seat to the living room or perhaps expanding the dining area for more guests.
The main difference between bump-outs and adding something like a sun or mudroom is the addition of code requirements and the entire structure’s expansion. Sunrooms, in particular, are generally glass-enclosed and do not use any extension of the house walls or roof. But bump-outs utilize both wall and roof extension and therefore have an increased cost and code requirements.
Materials for Home Additions
Choosing the right materials can limit costs and prevent unnecessary issues. Cheaper sidings for the exterior may not be your preferred choice. However, even if they don’t match the rest of your house, they will provide the extension with adequate protection.
If you previously had work done on your house, you can use leftover materials for extensions. Similarly, if you purchased an empty lot and had your house built, it may be cheaper to use scraps from that venture for future endeavors.
At a minimum, you’ll likely need to run power lines into the extension to power outlets and lighting. Of course, depending on your needs, that may not be all.
If you find the extension needs air-conditioning but you don’t want to run additional ductwork, you may consider installing a PTAC. Packaged terminal air conditioners (PTACs) are self-contained heating and cooling systems. PTACs provide convenient heating and cooling for additions so you can avoid expensive extensions of your house’s main systems. Installation of these self-contained systems generally takes place in window walls or masonry walls.
Utilizing a refurbished PTAC unit is an affordable way to heat and cool a home addition to meet coding requirements.
Understanding your electric panel is crucial when you’re planning to extend part of your home. If your current panel does not have enough open slots to accommodate new circuits to your new addition, you will have to install a larger or secondary panel.
A home addition can be an affordable venture with a little planning and preparation. Utilizing existing spaces, minimizing extensions, and using serviceable materials will reduce the costs and ensure a functioning structure. Together, all these things can bring a beautiful addition to your home with the least amount of stress and expense possible.