Should You Build Up or Out When Adding Rooms?
It happens more often than you might think – your ideal home has become too small for you and your family. Whether your family has gotten bigger, or you want to have more rooms for a business or a hobby, the house is just not big enough. So, what do you do?
There are two options presenting themselves to you. You can either sell your home, or add a room (or more) to your existing home. Selling your home can be a drag, especially if you can’t find a suitable replacement quickly. Furthermore, if you are looking to sell your home quickly, chances are that you will not get the best price.
So the other option – room addition, starts sounding a lot more appealing. In order to bring you more accurate information, we talked to home renovation experts at Nu Look Home Design and asked them what you should know about room additions before you take the plunge.
It’s All About What You Have to Work With
When it comes to room additions, the existing infrastructure, as well as the layout of your property, will dictate a lot of your decisions. For instance, if your home is already sprawling across most of your property, chances are that building out is not the best option. On the other hand, if there are some height restrictions for private homes in your local jurisdiction, you may not have the option of building a second level on your home.
Despite the most popular options being building up or building out, there is a third option which might not immediately be obvious to you, but is fairly popular as well. That’s building down – adapting your basement. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of each of these options.
Despite it being the least popular and discussed option when it comes to home expansion, adapting (or straight up digging out a basement to transform into a living space is not as uncommon as you might think.
The biggest advantage of adapting an existing basement is that it will be the cheapest option of the three, as it requires the least amount of work and the least amount of building.
That being said, it is still a basement, no matter how nicely you decorate it. This means that the usability of this area is somewhat limited. You can use it as a laundry room, or a game room, a home gym or a similar – it might be even better for a home cinema than an above-ground room. Still, if you are looking for a living space such as a bedroom or a kitchen, chances are that you will be looking for an alternative.
The most sought-after method of building a home addition is adding rooms on top of your existing home, especially if your home is just ground level. The biggest reason it is so popular and the biggest advantage it has over the outward expansion of your home is that you won’t take up more of your property with your house, leaving you with a nice lawn and the backyard just like you’re used to. Another huge reason why building up is preferable is because you will not have to build additional foundation for your home – thus reducing the cost over the alternative.
What you will need to do is add some support to your structural walls and create an indoor staircase (which will take up some space – so this needs to be accounted for in the design). If you have a skilled contractor, your roof can remain the same – it can be removed for the build, and then added back once the work is done. Just make sure your new home’s height complies with the zoning regulation in your area.
Finally, the most expensive option is, in most cases, expanding your home out. The main reason is because the contractors will need to lay additional foundation. And in order to lay foundation, they will need to dig, level and secure the land, lay additional pipes and electricity through the new areas of the house, and all of that combined isn’t exactly cheap.
However, this type of home additions is preferred, or even necessary in some situations. For instance, if you have young children, perhaps a multi-level home is not the safest idea. More importantly, in families where there are people with mobility issues, such as seniors or differently abled, a single-level home is certainly preferred.
If you are looking to expand your home, consider talking to a qualified home remodeling expert and tell them what you want and what you need. They should be able to give you some options. You can work from there in terms of size, materials, and cost.