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Last modified: 2021-06-18 | Approximate reading time 5 mins
When your home becomes too small due to the arrival of a new family member, or because the house just doesn’t suit your needs anymore, know that instead of moving, another solution is available: building a home addition!
What are the elements that need to be taken into consideration when constructing a home addition? What is the price of a home extension? When should you expand and when should you move? RenoQuotes.com answers a few questions that often emerge in the process:
Before taking on any sizeable home extension project, several elements need to be taken into consideration when designing the plan. However, even before making any specific plans, it is important to know about the specific zoning laws and restrictions in your area. Don’t hesitate to ask your municipal authorities about the requirements and conditions for building on your land (square meters upon which you can build).
Next, you will have to evaluate the following elements: the structure and the framework; the current architecture; the architectural style that you wish to choose for the home extension; the size of the expansion; access to the land where you will build; the difficulty level of the work to build a home addition; the materials used for the finishing.
Here are the 5 key points to remember:
A house extension comes at a price. This price varies depending on how exactly the home will be expanded, as well as the complexity of the work to be done. The costs relating to this type of project can be quite elevated; in general, they are two to three times higher than those of a new construction.
That is why it is important to know when to expand and when to move. Don’t hesitate to ask for price estimates to get an idea of the costs associated with your project. According to architect Guy Demers “building an annex for a house at less than $40 000 is practically impossible. The labour costs and the heavy machinery will eat up a large part of the budget. Adding a floor to a bungalow will bring the bill up to more than $100 000. It cannot be less than that; we remove the roof, demolish the walls, etc.”
Photo: Flickr DesignMilk- Sansarc.studio
A lateral expansion consists in making your house bigger by building directly on one of the exterior façades. “A one-floor expansion with an unfinished, 120 square foot standard quality basement, will cost at least 400$ per square foot of floor surface, explains Yves Perrier, an independent consultant in the field of construction and home renovations. However, this same expansion project for a surface of 300 square feet will cost around $300 per square foot, as the cost per square foot diminishes when the size of the surface increases.”
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The costs involved in building a whole new floor on a house can vary depending on the difficulty of the work to be done and the transformations that will affect the house’s façade, structure and mechanical systems. According to M. Perrier, one must “plan at least $175 per square foot, plus a minimum of $10 000 for related work pertaining to modifications on the existing building.”
Digging can be an interesting option if your house is fairly old and, for example, your foundations show weaknesses and are not solid enough to support an extra floor. For consultant Yves Perrier “excavation is a costly process. It can amount to approximately $25 to $50 per square foot, depending on the size, the desired depth, the type of ground and ease of access to the basement for the machinery. This generally includes cement foundations. Then, you must add the costs for finishing and setting up the basement.”
This type of extension is ideal for zones where the ground is unstable (without being rocky or loamy), risks being flooded or is characterized by a steep incline.
However, its installation requires several caution warnings. First, the floor is harder to insulate than with traditional construction and extra precautions must be taken to ensure that the structure is airtight. Next, any movement in the ground can cause the spikes to move around if the installation is not done properly.
If you are still interested in using this technique, know that it will cost around 135$ to 155$/square foot, excluding fees relating to the installation of a bathroom.
As you will have understood from reading the previous paragraphs, expanding your home is not always the most economically friendly option to gain space. Below are examples of home addition projects that are cost-effective and others that are not usually worth the investment (source: La Presse (article in French).
To help you plan out your home extension project, check out this article: House addition project: what you need to know
To find out about the average prices of different home renovation projects, check out our Home renovation price guide.
RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for. By submitting your home addition project to us, we’ll put you in contact with top-rated contractors. Fill in the form on the homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will get estimates from trusted professionals.
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