Perhaps you’re starting a family, need a new home office, or just want to expand with a new sunroom or hobby room you’ve always dreamed of. Building a home addition is a great way to get more space, allowing you to de-clutter your home and stop more than a few high-tension arguments among crunched family members, as well as being an effective way to add value to your house. Unfortunately, the cost of building a home addition varies significantly and is notoriously hard to predict. Unlike kitchen remodeling or bathroom renovation, building a home addition requires the complex task of constructing an entirely new structure that fits with your home’s current aesthetic and internal systems. Here are a few factors to keep in mind when planning and budgeting for your home addition.
Nine Factors That Influence the Price Tag of a Home Addition
1. Size: Obviously, the bigger the addition, the more expensive it will be. Calculate the square footage of the area you’re planning on building. The cost per square foot differs according to where you live. Research the average cost of construction in your area. Generally, each square foot could cost upwards of $150, depending on the complexity of the project.
2. Complexity: Some additions, such as a deck, are less complicated than rooms that have to be fully integrated with your home’s electricity, plumbing, and HVAC systems. As a result, each square foot is markedly cheaper. Any addition that will require landscaping, demolition, excavation, or utilities work, especially kitchens or bathrooms, will be especially expensive.
3. Worker Costs: A new home addition will require an army of workers to complete. From plumbers to electricians to architects to general contractors and designers, home construction is truly a team effort. It’s important to choose highly skilled trades people who will get the job done right and on time. You can certainly negotiate and choose from among multiple bids, but keep in mind that going with the lowest bidder generally results in a lower quality final product.
4. Prior Damage: Sometimes our homes don’t show all of the wear and tear they’ve endured on the surface. Construction crews may start tearing up your house only to discover that it has structural damage, inadequate insulation, or old, deteriorating plumbing that needs to be replaced. These problems will need to be dealt with before construction can continue.
5. Materials: Some materials are simply more expensive than others. It’s imperative that your addition matches the rest of your home, but if your home has a brick or stone façade or uses more expensive woods, the cost of your addition will rise. With everything that you purchase, from windows to paint and roofing, you’ll have a choice about whether to go for more or less expensive options. More expensive materials are not always higher quality, either. One good way to decide where you should splurge versus save is to weigh quality against visibility.
6. Permits: If you hire a general contractor, they will usually handle all of the paperwork for your home addition so that you don’t have to. This is usually included in their overall fee. If not, you’ll need to do a little research. Some areas have limits on construction or home height. First and foremost, make sure that you’re not breaking any laws, and then fill out all of the necessary forms and pay all fees before you get started. You don’t want to run up against legal problems when you’re almost finished building.
7. Inspections: It’s highly recommended that you hire a structural engineer to inspect your home addition and verify its safety. These experts will point out anything that needs to be fixed or improved based on your original plan and the building’s overall safety rating.
8. Utility Bills: Take into consideration that after the addition is complete, your utility bills will likely increase. Unless you have a heating and cooling system that is controlled on a room-by-room basis, these could be among your biggest expenses in the years to come.
9. Property Taxes: Before you build, familiarize yourself with the property tax guidelines in the Toronto area. An addition may prompt an increase in your property taxes, although it might just require reassessment on the value of your addition.
Building a new home addition is not just about foundations and beams – it encompasses necessities that most homeowners have never even thought about. Home additions mean installing siding and trim, finishing walls and ceilings, and installing insulation, doors, and windows, as well as carpeting, hardwood floors, or tiling. It’s a project that can range from extremely complex to relatively simple and stress-free. Either way, there are ways you can save by considering what you really need from your home addition and what you want, but can add further on down the line.