Home Additions – Building Up or Building Out

Home Addition OptionsAdding onto a house is a big investment of time and money, so you understandably want to make the best choices and get the most out of your project. One of the first things you must decide is whether you’re going to expand horizontally or vertically.

The choice you make in this regard can be influenced by a variety of factors. First, what kind of room are you adding? If you’re expanding your kitchen, your addition will likely be to the ground floor. If you want to add bedrooms, creating a new living space above a garage or porch may be an option.

There are pros and cons to both expansion options, and if you’re not pigeonholed by the type of room you should seriously consider both.

When you build out horizontally, your daily life will likely be impacted less than if you were to build up. You can continue living in the unaffected areas of your home, which will continue to function as normal.

If all you want to do is expand out your kitchen or master bath a few feet you may even be able to have what’s referred to as a “bump out” installed. This is a small addition that can hang off the side of the existing structure without needing to expand the foundation. If you’re interested in a more substantial expansion, such as an entire room, then you will need to have significant foundation and roofing work performed to accommodate the addition. That also means you’ll be sacrificing a portion of your yard for your new room.

Also keep HOA and zoning regulations in mind. There may be rules or local codes forbidding the expansion you’re interested in adding on to your home.

Building up, or adding another floor to a portion or all of your home, doesn’t require you to give up part of your yard or expand your foundation’s footprint. If you choose this path, your contractor may suggest reinforcing the affected areas of your existing foundation to ensure it can handle the added weight, but it won’t require tearing up a lot of your yard.

There could still be zoning issues if you want to increase the height of your home. Some areas and HOAs may regulate maximum house height, and if your neighbors have a view you may draw their ire when you block it with your addition.

Your new floor will also need access, meaning you’ll have to fit a stairway into your existing home. These types of stairwells typically use up about 80 to 120 square feet of living space. The rooms below the addition will also be unusable during the construction process, as the contractor will need to tear out ceilings and walls to reinforce supports that will bear the new weight and feed in the necessary plumbing, electrical and HVAC infrastructure.

If you’re interested in getting an estimate on a home expansion or want to speak with an experienced local contractor about your options, contact the Design Management Group. As a reputable homebuilder with an array of certifications and memberships with several local and national homebuilder and remodeling associations, we are uniquely qualified to assist with any home additions you’re considering. Our experts will listen to your goals and vision, give knowledgeable guidance, offer assistance with conceptual design and development and provide transparency and exceptional communication throughout the process.