Need More Space? Home Addition Plans That Work Now and For Decades to Come

Photography by Lisa Russman

Deciding to add on to your home is a big decision; it can even be a little scary. After all, with how much some house additions cost, wouldn’t it be better just to buy a different house? But adding more space to your home doesn’t have to be daunting, and with the right advice and support, your home addition plans can add value and comfort to your home both now and well into the future. 

Depending on your needs and budget, several home addition plans could help your house become your dream home, one that will allow you to stay where you are. Home additions enable your kids to remain in their schools, your family to stay close to friends and neighbors, and for you to realize the full potential of your current home. Adding on to your home can be the perfect solution in tight markets or when relocation is not an option. So which type of house expansion project will work best for those looking to hang on to their home for many years to come? Here are a few options. 

Add a Second Floor
Arguably the most ambitious of home addition plans, creating a second story on your home is a perfect choice for some families. This type of addition can cost anywhere from $125,000 to $250,000 for a full, mid-grade design. As another option, adding dormers to an attic level can convert an unoccupied space into more habitable space and the cost is closer to $15,000  to $25,000 per dormer. Prices will all depend on the size of your home, your location, and your design choices, but a second story addition can add tremendous square footage to your living area while greatly increasing the resale value of your home.

Working with a residential architect will help you design a second floor that blends seamlessly with the other parts of your home, reimagine current spaces, and dream of what you could do with a house that nearly doubles in size. If you have the budget, adding upwards is the house expansion plan that will most significantly improve your current home while increasing its value. 

Finish That Basement
If you have a basement, finishing it can, like adding a second story, add significant square footage to the livable area of your home. You can use a finished basement as a small apartment for aging parents, older children, or even tenants. It can also become the living room/home theater/game room for your growing family. The right architect can transform your basement from the dingy, dark space we all love to hate into the livable area you need. 

A basement project, depending on size and scope, can be much more affordable than second story additions. The average cost of finishing a basement starts around $20,000 and goes up from there depending on if you need to add plumbing, electrical or other major components. If you plan to have a bedroom in the basement, remember to include a walkout or emergency windows for safety. Your architect and contractor can help you ensure you are meeting all local codes, as well.

Turn Your Porch into a Sunroom
If you enjoy spending time on your porch or patio, then transforming it into a sunroom can provide you with year-round access as well as supplemental living space that could be just what your family needs. A sunroom is an excellent alternative to a conventional home addition as it is more budget-friendly. And this space can be used for many purposes over the years. While your kids are young, this room could be used for homework or as a place to practice hobbies. As your family’s needs change, the sunroom can become a library, a reading room, or a hangout space for your older children.

Sunrooms are not meant to be used as permanent bedrooms nor do they usually include plumbing, so their building requirements differ from more traditional room additions. Talk with your residential architect about the benefits of adding a sunroom to your home, as well as the potential resale value in your area. 

Adding more space doesn’t have to be daunting. These home addition ideas will give you the space you need and provide the dream home you’ve always wanted.