Expanding horizontally can be less expensive than building up, says Dan Bawden at Legal Eagle Contractors based in Houston. On average, it costs between $150 to $200 per square foot to expand your home’s footprint outward, according to Bawden.
Just consider your yard and the way you use it before charging ahead. You may be losing valuable outdoor space. Or the ability to install a pool or a deck someday. What you can and can’t do depends on your lot size and buildable area. So crunch the numbers before you start an addition.
Cost breakdown: A 400-square-foot family room built as an expansion on your ground floor will cost about $60,000 to $80,000, according to Bawden.
And remember when it comes to extending your home, include an extra $1,500 to $5,000 for excavation of the ground and a new foundation.
Prices can start as high as $300 and can jump to $500 per square foot when you build an entire second or third floor onto your home. Or you may decide to simply add one cantilevered room—an addition that hangs over the first floor. This costs less than building an entire floor, running between $15,000 and $25,000. (Labor and supply expenses can vary significantly by region and affect your contractor’s estimate.)
The main reasons for the out versus up price discrepancy? When you build out, you have to pour a foundation. Yet that’s usually less costly than removing the roof, reinforcing the existing foundation to support more weight, and adding stairs. Still, vertical additions are a good (and possibly only) option if you have a smaller lot.
One important associated cost to consider when adding a vertical addition? The price of a rental property or a hotel room since you usually can’t occupy your home.
Either up or out, the key to any addition is overall uniformity.
“You want a seamless transformation,” says Dino Provenzano, founder of Pro Construction in New York’s Hudson Valley. “Your addition should appear as if the whole house was originally built that way.”
Cost breakdown: A 400-square-foot family room built as a second story runs about $72,000 to $100,000, according to Home Advisor.
Adding a bathroom
Bathrooms are a popular addition and increase your home’s value whether you are building a simple water closet or a more luxurious master bath.
You will need to factor in what could be a large plumbing bill and expensive fixtures such as a tub, sink, hardware, flooring, and tile work. Plus, installing all of that is more labor-intensive than simply putting in drywall.
Cost breakdown: Because the cost of fixtures and labor can vary so wildly, expect to spend between $20,000 and $90,000.
Many real estate agents will tell you the number of bedrooms can make or break a sale. So turning a two-bedroom home into a three-bedroom will benefit you greatly if you sell. And adding a bedroom—as opposed to a bathroom—can also save you on additional labor fees, since plumbing and complex tile work isn’t involved.
Cost breakdown: You’ll pay between $80 and $200 per square foot to add a bedroom to a house, for an average of about $50,000.
ROI: You can expect a 54.7% ROI for a midrange master suite addition.
Adding a sunroom
Besides extra bedrooms and bathrooms, adding a functional gathering space that’s tailor-made to leverage natural light is a major plus. But to maximize sunlight exposure, you’ll need to work with glass instead of plywood. And glass can cost significantly more than wood.
Cost breakdown: A simple version of this addition starts as low as $8,000. But the budget can quickly grow to about $80,000 or more if you factor in elements such as pouring a foundation and glass installation.
ROI: You’ll recoup about half of a sunroom’s building costs, for an ROI of 49%.
If the costs associated with additions will break your budget, there’s always the option of working with what you have. Converting preexisting basements, attics, outbuildings, and even garages into livable spaces can transform a home given the right contractor and design.
For instance, basement remodeling projects tend to cost between $10,000 and $30,000, according to Nerd Wallet, and nets a whooping 70% ROI.
Every Morning: 1. Make Your Bed Try to make your bed each morning before you become distracted by the demands of the day. Even if the rest of your room is less than tidy, having your bed made sets an orderly tone for the entire room. Studio G+S Architects 2. Squeegee Your Shower Glass and Hang Up Your Towel If your shower has a glass surround or door, consider using a squeegee to clean it after your morning shower. I do this daily, and it takes less than a minute. It keeps the glass looking fresh and free of water droplets and also makes cleaning it at the end of the week easier. I also recommend hanging your wet towel neatly using the full length of the towel rack. This keeps it smelling fresher as it will dry more quickly than a doubled-over towel. As a bonus, this practice reduces the need to launder your towel as often. Cefalia Development 3. Put Away Toiletries and Wipe the Counter Every morning before you leave the bathroom, clear away hair an
1. Rent out your pool or backyard If you have a pool worth diving into, then you might want to dip your toe into the rental market this summer by using a pool app called Swimply . The company advertises that pool owners can make up to $10,000 per month, although that will depend on how much you charge per hour. “If you have a pool, cash in and make some extra money,” says Erick Nilsson , founder of Rentola . “The average hourly rate for renting a pool via Swimply is $45. This price changes according to the area. In places like Los Angeles, the prices can hike up to as much as $100 per hour.” The app also allows you to rent out your backyard or private gym. Plus, the company’s insurance policy will protect you for up to $1 million for general liability claims. 2. Host a photo shoot Have a great open-concept living room? Or a deck with a view to die for? Your home could be a perfect fit for Splacer , an app that connects you with event planners looking for unique spaces. Whether it
What's a "wow!" exterior these days? Think bold, clean lines. Maybe a touch of stone. Graceful porch columns. These new house plans deliver head-turning style and modern open layouts. Sleek Metal Roof This bold design shows the modern side of Prairie style with its sleek and low-pitched metal roof and lots of windows. Double columns draw your eye to the entry porch. Inside, a great room flows into an island kitchen and open dining room for a modern feeling. A two-sided fireplace warms the great room and the rear porch. Upstairs, the master suite shows off a big shower, two sinks, and a walk-in closet. All three bedrooms enjoy easy access to the laundry room and media lounge. Four-Bedroom Farmhouse You’ll find all the modern must-haves inside this chic farmhouse. A large island anchors the kitchen, which overlooks both the great room and open dining area. Step out to the rear porch from these gathering rooms or from the relaxing master suite. Family-friendly