Why Building an Addition is Better than Buying New

This year, BLB is taking on several home additions – thus dubbing 2022 as the “Year of the Addition.” In our experience, we’ve found that our clients prefer to add to their existing homes rather than find a new one. As market prices continue to soar, more homeowners are opting for additions. Whether the new structure is built up or out, additions are considered the most cost- and the emotionally-effective way to add extra living space to your home.

Feb 22, 2022 | Featured | 0 comments

Benefits

Family Room Addition. Photographed by Freebird Photography.

Financial

Compared to buying a new home, building an addition, specifically small, single-room additions, could be a fraction of the cost. Although a larger addition can quickly add costs, buying a new home can be more expensive after the fees, agents, and lawyers are paid.

Building an addition will also help with resale costs in the future. According to RenoFi’s Return on Investment Report, additions that add functional space and square footage have the highest ROI and boast considerable long-term value. Long-term value assets include second-story, bedroom, and bathroom additions because their use will remain valuable for years to come and don’t rely on design trends. RenoFi reports bedroom and bathroom additions to recoup 47.7% to 52.8%, respectively, of the value at the time of sale.

However, increased value and ROI are not considered a “one size fits all” approach when remodeling and is dependent on the type of work scheduled. Therefore, when looking to add living space, consider what rooms would be most valuable and functional for your family in the present and those in the future.

The Joppa Flats Front Porch Addition allowed our clients to remain in the home during construction. Photographed by Freebird Photography.

Design

One of the greatest benefits of a home addition is the fact that it is completely custom and tailored to your wants and needs. While some new homes are turn-key, most will not meet all of your design expectations. Building an addition allows homeowners to have complete control over the design of their new space, and depending on the budget, the builder can accommodate whatever the desires are.

Emotional

Buying a new home can be exciting, but it can also be stressful and sad. Most families would prefer to stay in the same location due to school and work locations, walkability, and the neighborhood, or they simply love their current home. Opting towards an addition project allows families to remain in the same place while adding extra square footage.

Depending on the type of addition, families can also remain in the house during construction. While home improvement projects can be emotionally taxing, remaining in the home during construction is cheaper than renting a property for several months.

Build Up or Out?

If you’ve decided on building an addition rather than buying a new, the next step is to determine what type of addition works best for the existing space. Additions can either be vertical (i.e. “up”) or horizontal (i.e. “out”), both offering a variety of benefits when adding more living space. Local zoning and property laws should also be considered when deciding to go up or out.

Building Up

Building up is the standard when building a second-story addition onto an existing structure and proves to be the best way to add value to your home, such as the Second Story Addition. Building up is also commonly chosen when yard space is limited or restricted, meaning precious yard space remains intact and usable. Additionally, it is generally less expensive to build up rather than out because homeowners save on the cost of adding a new foundation.

When the original ranch was bought, our clients knew they would be building up in the future to add to their living space. Second Story Addition photographed by Freebird Photography.

However, zoning laws can still inhibit plans to build up. Depending on the locality, zoning authorities can prohibit second- or third-stories based on their overall height. Additionally, building up is more intrusive than building out. Homeowners generally do not stay in the house during vertical construction because the original roof will be removed.

Building Out

If the existing home is small, building up won’t add much more square footage because the builder is constrained to the original footprint. Therefore, building out is the best way to dramatically add square footage to your space. Depending on the location and scope, homeowners can continue living in the home throughout construction as the kitchen, bathroom, or bedrooms are not affected. With ample outdoor space, horizontal additions provide more leverage with the design and are without height restrictions. However, note that building out will certainly decrease valuable yard space. Although homeowners don’t need to worry about height restrictions, property setbacks – and the subsequent special permit process – can interfere with horizontal additions. Lastly, building out is generally more expensive because the new structure will need a new foundation.

Our clients chose to horizontally add square footage to their property to increase the amount of entertainment and living space. Photographed by Glenn Livermore Photography.

Recap

    • With market prices soaring and homes flying off the shelf, homeowners are choosing to build an addition.
    • Additions are financially beneficial because they are generally cheaper than buying a new home.
    • Building an addition can improve resale costs and increase your ROI.
    • Additions are completely custom and tailored to your wants and needs, so you won’t have to compromise your checklist.
    • Homeowners opt towards additions for emotional reasons, including staying in the same location and neighborhood.
    • Building up is one of the best ways to add value to your home; however, keep zoning laws and construction obstructions in mind.
    • Building out is the best way to add square footage; however, they will infringe on valuable yard space and sometimes require a special permit.
    • Building out is typically more expensive than building up.