Adding On To Add Value

Adding On To Add Value

Room additions. They're really tricky. If you've got the land and could use some extra space, it makes a lot more sense to add-on to the house you're already inhabiting than it does to find a new house altogether. But they're also really easy to mess up. Room additions are quite a bit more expensive than your regular, run-of-the-mill renovations. You're not just tweaking an existing structure, you're creating an entirely new one; it's quite the production and too easy to end up losing money on, instead of gaining any. Here are a few rules to guide you along the way to a successful room addition.

Add Where It Makes The Most Sense

You know your house better than anybody, so you what will benefit it and you the most. If yours is an expanding family and you simply need more bedrooms, instead of just tacking on a few extra walls and floors, consider an upgrade to and Master Bedroom Suite that includes its own bathroom and walk-in closet (provided you don't already have one).

Adding space to the kitchen is always a plus. The kitchen's a busy space with lots of moving parts. You would have to work really hard to have too much space in the kitchen. But with a kitchen add-on, you could make room for that island you've always wanted.

Adding a bathroom to whatever new space you create is another great addition that will help sell your house in the future. Much like the kitchen, you'd have to work really hard to have too many bathrooms.

Zoning, Permits, Land Regulations

Just like with any renovation, you need to look at the business end of things before proceeding any further than deciding you want to add-on. Before you go off into Visions of Grandeur, you need to know exactly how much space you actually have to work with. You can only build so close to your neighbors. Get these affairs in order before interviewing contractors so you can give them all the info and they can give you their best bid.

Cohesive Creations Work Best

The worst thing you can do with a room addition is make it so new that it doesn't fit with the rest of the house. It shouldn't be like stepping into a completely different world, the transition should be seamless. You'll want to match materials on both the inside and outside of your house. In some cases, the outside of your addition will always look new compared to the rest of the house. Materials like brick or stone have endured the elements. While you may be able to get the same materials, it will still look like a new penny in comparison. In this case, choosing a material that's different, but still compliments – or matches – the established look and feel of your home is best. You can opt to update the rest of the house, or make every effort to “match” in terms of style.

Too Custom

While this may be your forever home, it will go on the market some day. If you get too custom to fit your family's specific needs and design tastes it could make selling your home difficult. Say, for instance, you feel like adding a home gym to the mix. That's great. But does the equipment stay with you or the house? How easy will it be to turn that room into an extra bedroom or office?


Touching back on this point: it's expensive. The variables that will affect your total cost the most are your neighborhood, land (if you have to account for sloping/leveling), and overall plans. If this room addition is going to suddenly price you out of your immediate market, then the investment isn't going to pay off in quite the same way. But consider all these finer points when and you'll be sure to get the most out of your new addition.