A home addition is one of the most expensive renovation projects a homeowner may undertake. Its also one of the most exciting projects because an addition is literally brand new space that didn’t exist before. The opportunity to design a new space with added features and finishes and expand the living area of your home is a very engaging process that will breathe new life into your daily routines.
Is the investment worth it?
We encourage our clients to consider property value – both current and post-addition. Enlisting the help of a real estate agent and a bank appraiser will provide valuable insight. Adding more square footage and greater street appeal will obviously increase the value of your home. However, this level of investment should be balanced with the valuations of other homes in the same area.
We also encourage our clients to consider their own lifestyle needs and desires. In our opinion, this is equally if not more important that resale value. ROI (return on investment) should always be a consideration for any major investment but this is not only measured financially. Functionality, capacity, style, leisure, pleasure and pure satisfaction are legitimate ROI for a remodeling project.
Variables that effect cost
While there are common material and labour costs for building an addition i.e., lumber, fasteners, framing labour, etc., there are many variables that will impact the overall cost of an addition. The design alone can impact the price given the shape of the layout, the roofline, the structural design – the more complex, the more expensive.
The type of rooms within the building envelope vary in cost also. A bedroom for example is far less expensive to build and finish than a bathroom or kitchen where plumbing and additional electrical requirements add substantially to the cost-per-square-foot.
Fixtures and finishes will also dramatically impact the cost of a home addition. For example, a simple kitchen faucet can be purchased at a big box store for as low as $99 or a brand name, touchless, stainless steel or black powder coated version can cost upwards to $1000 purchased at a high-end kitchen & bath showroom.
Home technology is an inspiring new aspect of space design. When remodeling, there are opportunities to include smart features like automated lighting controls, thermostats, security systems, smoke and CO detectors and even integrated sound systems.
Understanding the project process and cost breakdowns
Its important to understand that building an addition is a major project. The guidance, insight and efficiency that you will receive from a qualified design/build team is invaluable.
Although daunting at times, the process should be an enjoyable one. After all, you are embarking on an exciting transformational journey!
The following is a breakdown of some of the associated costs:
- Architectural design services – this professional discipline is critical to a successful addition. The design of both the layout and the exterior esthetic can make or break the functionality and the appeal of the finished project. With home additions there should be considerable thought given to the way in which the new building blends with the original – this is where your architect can really shine. The architect will also ensure that all codes and bylaws are adhered to and provide all the details for the building permits to be processed in a timely fashion. Cutting corners here or failing to provide the proper documents can delay the start date of your home addition project unnecessarily.
- Demolition and preparation – There is a lot of work to be done prior to the start date. Building out will require excavation which could include moving or removing trees and shrubs or existing structures like garages, sheds, gazebos, etc. Building up will require demolition of the roof and will require breaking through into the main floor at some point to build access to the upper floor (stairs) and to facilitate new plumbing, HVAC and electrical wiring. This means there is main floor preparation to clear the way and minimize the impact to the existing floors.
- Support structures must be built – this includes roof trussed and beams that connect the existing structure to the new one. Roof trusses can be built on site or pre-engineered. Building on site is more labour intensive but may be necessary depending on the roof design.
- Exterior finish options include, brick, stone, vinyl siding, stucco or any combination of these elements. There is a wide range of roofing options from clay to steel and the more traditional ashphalt shingles. Window sizes and styles also vary and should be chosen carefully to fit the overall design and scale of the structure.
- As mentioned earlier, the fixtures and finishes selected will impact both the design and the overall cost of the project. There are many choices for flooring, wall finishing, cabinetry, trim, hardware, etc.
- The addition of smart technology in your home addition should be considered as it is the perfect opportunity to hardwire different elements and enable you to expand the capacity for more devices in the future.
- Plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems will need to be evaluated to ensure that they are capable of the added ‘load’ that will be placed on them with the additional space.
- Landscaping may be necessary once the addition is completed. Ashphalt or paving tile, interlocking brick – even new sod and shrubs may need to be part of the overall plan.
The bottom line
Price isn’t everything and shouldn’t necessarily be the most important factor in the decision to build out or build up with your new home addition. However, a budget is necessary to ensure that you get good value and that you are prepared to see your home addition project through to completion. We recommend a contingency of at least 10% of the overall project cost for unforeseen expenses or for upgrades along the way.
On average, a home addition with Verve Studio will cost $225/sq.ft.
The range of addition prices will vary depending on the type of space that is designed. A basic room – bedroom, living room, etc. will be costed at $175 – $200/sq.ft. where a bathroom or kitchen will be in the range of $300 – $325/sq.ft.