Adding Value to Your Home:

The Benefits of Room Additions

Remodeling is a major undertaking because it requires time and energy, but most of all, it requires money. This is a big decision, and you need to plan well from the get-go to ensure that you will have a home that will maximize your capital/ investment. Increasing the square footage of your property through a room addition can greatly increase your house’s property value.

The present economic climate is encouraging for those who are looking at improving their home. Presently, interest rates have dropped, and home equity loans have become increasingly affordable. More and more homeowners have turned to home addition to increase the working space of their household as well as increase the aesthetics and overall property value of their home.

Before diving into this project, there are some questions which you need to ask yourself:

  1. Do you really need it? – If you’re short on funds or on the fence regarding this remodel, ask yourself if this room addition is a need or a want. If you’ve decided that this is a need, understand the requirements as this will help you determine the design and layout of the room.
  • What is the design? – When determining the design, this is not only the internal layout of the room but also where it will be situated. Location is an important factor in terms of functionality and accessibility. For example, if this will be a room for an elderly family member, it should be on the ground floor and probably not separated from the main house like a guest house. It is important that you design the additional room in a way that it stays connected to the rest of the house and not out of place.
  • What is the cost? – In order to estimate the cost, call around a few general contractors and see if you can get an average price to build a room addition so you can get a good picture of the amount that you will be dealing with. Be aware that is very difficult to estimate the cost of your addition without drawings and even if you have drawings not two contractors will be bidding the same as each one will have a different vision on how to execute the project. In Jacksonville, FL the average price for a first-floor addition goes from $200 to $350 per square feet. This depends on the complexity of the addition and the finishes (Lap siding is cheaper than bricks or stucco, carpet is cheaper than hardwood floors, etc). A good general contractor should be able to produce some budget numbers for you to work with and if you feel comfortable move to the design stage where you can get solid prices on the cost of building your addition. Be sure to pad your budget for those instances where you need extra cash or there are unavoidable expenses you didn’t really count on during the planning stage. Prioritize the most important elements of the room so that you will have a solid foundation. The interior furnishings can be developed as you go along because these are the smaller expenditures you can build slowly. Ask your contractor what’s the average change order ratio. In other words, how many jobs they complete without a change order. Many contractors quote a cheap price to get your business and then start sending change order after change order to get to the price they wanted to charge from the beginning. A reputable contractor will be able to quote a firm price that shouldn’t change much (with the exception of unexpected site conditions or add-ons) from the very beginning. Ask if they have an On Budget guarantee. Very few will as they are counting on all the change orders to make up the price difference.
  • When is the best time? – Once you’re decided on pushing through with the project, you will need to have a timeline so your plans and activities will not get in the way of the construction. Figure out the best time of the day as well as time of the year that is most convenient for your household. Plot your plans for the coming months to ensure that you are available and don’t have conflicts in schedule so that you can be available as the project moves forward.

Here is a list of some of the advantages and benefits of a room addition to your home:

  1. More usable space – as mentioned above one of the basic purpose of adding a room to your home, whether it is a bathroom or living room, is to have more space for your household. Especially for families with young children, having enough space to accommodate all the members of the family is very important. Being able to have adequate space for your daily activities is vital in being comfortable in your own home.

If your family has become too big for your existing house, adding a room can give you more living space as well as freedom for the family to move about.

  • Accommodate family – do you have a family member or relative that needs a place to stay or you’re frequently being visited by relatives? Additions in the home can accommodate family members who need somewhere to stay. If your family is expanding, you can convert the additional bedroom into a nursery which your new baby can enjoy.
  • Cheaper than moving – if you’re struggling with space in your home, more often than not you’ve considered moving to a new home. If you love the home you live in now, it’s extremely difficult to leave the community you’ve built a life around. The time and effort to search for a home that will meet your transportation, school, work and community requirements is not a joke. You will then need to put your home up for sale and uproot your life and that of your family members. A room addition is a viable option you can look into that will eliminate all the unwanted stress as well as cost a fraction of the price of purchasing a new and bigger house.

Let’s just be honest, aside from the cost, no one likes the hassle of moving. From packing boxes to house hunting, building another room is so much easier. It’s the solution to getting the extra space you’ve needed without having to leave your home.

  • Specific to your needs – you can build a room that will cater to your specific requirements and designed as you see fit. Usually, you will have to work with the given layout of a new home but an addition means this will be constructed under your command meaning you will determine the functionality and layout of the room. There is nothing more rewarding than being able to enjoy a space that was created solely for your needs. Whether it’s a sitting room, family room, home office or bedroom, a room addition will give you the space you need and increase the functionality of the home.
  • Adds home value – if you plan to sell the property in the future, adding a room increases the value of your home. Researches have shown that most costs of home additions are recovered by the time of sale. If you invest in your home and create more space for your family to enjoy, the investment you’ve placed in the remodel will reap its benefits when you sell the property. Rather than selling a 2-bedroom home, selling a 3 bedroom will bring you more money. Carefully consider the way you will design and layout this remodel because maintaining a living flow can greatly increase the appeal and value of your house.
  • Elderly parents – Do you or your spouse have elderly parents and want to have them closer so you can help with medical appointments and other necessities? You might find having your parents living with you but in an independent living space is the best of both worlds. You get to retain your privacy and your family gets to enjoy having the grandparents living there.

Finally, the greater value of a room addition is the enjoyment you will get out of the space rather than the financial gain of adding square footage. Keep this in mind when looking at the numbers for your project as a room addition is normally more expensive foot by foot than new construction house