Addition vs Remodel – Add on or make the most of your space?

You’ve got a home in a location you like, but maybe it didn’t have everything you wanted when you first bought it. Or perhaps there is a part of the house that is due for an update because of age and style. Whatever the reason, it’s time to decide to either remodel or make an addition to your existing home. Here are some things to consider when you’re evaluating whether it makes more sense to build an addition, or to remodel your existing space.

Whether you add-on or remodel, you’ll probably be remodeling.

A remodel of your home, means that you will be taking the existing footprint of the home and restructuring it in a way that fits your desires. This may include moving walls, realigning and repurposing spaces, and adding new appliance amenities. Whereas, in an addition you will be creating a whole new portion of the house that didn’t previously exist. This may change the footprint and square footage of the house, or create an entirely new floor.

Regardless of whether you are looking to remodel or add-on, you should understand that a remodel will be part of the project. Choosing to do an addition is not as simple as slapping on an adjacent room, or stacking an additional floor. An addition will probably require that you make some reconfiguration to your current home so that new space maximizes its value to the home, and it creates a cohesive feeling inside and out. When you’re putting an addition onto your house, in most cases, you will have to make changes to the existing spaces, or there will be a very distinct contrast between the new structures and the existing structures. Additionally, a poorly fitted addition may take away a feature of your house that you previously enjoyed, or render the addition less functional because it is not well married to the existing space.

Some people like to take a “remodel-first” view of home transformation, because it looks first at what your needs are, then determines if you can better utilize the space you already have, or if an addition will be needed to reach the ideal you have in mind. Then you can examine how the space will need to change. In many cases, you may be able to simply claim a piece of your house that is underutilized or poorly designed for your needs.

How will this project return value to your home?

Another consideration before beginning a project is how to get the best value for the amount you invest in making changes. Generally speaking, addition jobs are more costly than doing a remodel of existing structures by about 25-50 percent per square foot. It can be hard to recoup the cost of an addition with increased property value. It’s estimated that you will get about a 50-60% return on your dollar for most additions and remodels.

An addition will also likely come with extra ongoing costs, such as higher property taxes for the additional square footage, and increased heating and electrical costs, especially if you are adding another floor to your home. You can increase your return, if your addition or remodel includes highly sought after designs or modern amenities that are popular, such as master suites, open concept kitchens, and a modern bathroom design. Having an additional bathroom, if you have less than two full baths, is also a feature that gets a good return.

Make sure to consider zoning and regulations

While you may have a certain ideal in mind when you begin the process, it’s important to understand that you may be limited by your local regulations. It’s important to consider that local zoning will often dictate how much you can add onto your home. While regulations vary by municipality, you’re generally not allowed to build anything within 20 feet of the front of your property; 7.5 feet of either side, or 15 feet of the rear.

You should also make sure you understand rules about how close you can build to any natural habitats such as streams and wetlands, and how much of your land is allowed to be covered by impermeable materials such as concrete and paving. There may also be special regulations around how high your house can be. Make sure that the builder you work with can walk you through these regulations, and can still make a plan that works towards your vision.

What is best for you? Treasured Spaces can help!

At the end of the day, the decision about whether to add on or remodel will be about your personal preferences once all things are considered. Treasured Spaces is ready to help you imagine, design, and build your ideal home. Contact us today for a consultation!

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