Cost of adding to the home: price per square foot, where to save, financing options, and more

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Thinking of building an addition to your home? Count the costs now to make sure you have the money to invest in the project. According to Fixr, an online home improvement marketplace, the average cost of adding 240 square feet to the ground floor is $ 55,000. The average ranges from a $ 7,000 laundry room to an elaborate $ 200,000 second floor addition of 1,000 square feet with a new roof.

Knowing how to plan a home expansion budget helps you see where the money is going, what expenses you might need to fund, and possible areas where you can save. Variations in home add-on costs come from several factors:

  • Type and size of bill
  • Your location
  • Permit requirements
  • The cost of labor and materials
  • Any hidden problem

With these variables in mind, we have some averages that will help you with your planning.

Home Addition Costs by Type

While most home additions cost around $ 200 per square foot, according to Fixr, variables can increase that amount. Plumbing for kitchens and bathrooms is an example of something that increases costs. The direction, upward or outward, is another. “An addition to the ground floor costs a little more than a second floor because of the excavation work,” explains Steve Besch, architect and founder of Besch Design, Ltd. in Chicago. “And an attic renovation is less than both,” he adds. So let’s take a look at a few types of home additions and the average cost of each currently nationwide.

The dining room—Unless you add higher quality fixtures and materials or extended cabinetry, you can count on your average family room cost per square foot, which makes a 15 by 20 foot room about $ 60,000 .

Parental suite—According to the 2020 Cost vs. Value of Remodeling, the cost of a mid-range master suite is $ 136,739. Of course, the size of the suite and the amenities and materials used contribute to the overall price.

Bathroom– According to Remodeling magazine, the average mid-range bathroom addition is $ 49,598.

Cooked—According to Fixr, the average addition of a kitchen costs $ 50,000 to $ 70,000, depending on your location, kitchen design and quality of materials. Custom wood cabinets, for example, cost more than stock cabinets from the home improvement store.

A breakdown of the costs of adding to the common house

To get a better idea of ​​where your money is going, here is a breakdown of the most common home expansion costs.

Cost of the permit

Building, electrical and plumbing permits add to the cost of adding to the home. The associated costs vary depending on the location and extent of the work. But generally, a building permit is priced according to the monetary value attributed to the work.

For example, in Richmond, Virginia, before construction begins, someone has to get a permit. Normally, it is the general contractor. A building permit covers construction, but the work also requires separate business permits for things like electrical, plumbing, or gas work. The appropriate subcontractor will file for these.

The fee schedule for all residential permits is $ 63 for the first $ 2,000 in value, plus $ 6.07 per thousand or fraction of that amount. So if someone provided for an addition of $ 30,000, the fee for each permit would be $ 232.96, plus a state surcharge of 2%.

In addition, Richmond charges fees for revisions to plans and permit applications that are withdrawn or rejected. This means that if the plans do not meet their approval or if the owner changes their mind, they will still have to pay a fee.

According to home-based services company HomeAdvisor, the average cost for a building permit is about $ 1,222, ranging from $ 390 to $ 2,072 for most projects.

Architect and design costs

Including an architect or design professional in your project saves you money in the long run. Whether hired separately or as part of the same organization, the design professional works with an owner to help them best solve their problem.

According to the online professional services matchmaking website Thumbtack, architects charge between $ 50 and $ 150 per hour nationwide with an average cost of around $ 3,000 per project. Of course, this cost varies depending on the scope of the work. According to Fixr, the average design fee is 10-17% of the project value. This would make a home addition design cost of about $ 30,000 to about $ 3,000.

As an architect, Besch tries to capture the homeowner’s vision by asking questions to determine what works and what doesn’t work well in the home. He spends time evaluating the whole house, not just a room, to research the best design options.

Once the architect or designer has made a firm commitment to staying within the project budget and design, he draws a set of plans for the contractor to follow. According to Fixr, the average cost of a set of plans for a home addition is $ 1,200.

Entrepreneur costs

Typically, residential contractors bill by project, not by the hour. According to HomeAdvisor, they add a percentage to the cost of materials, supplies, labor, etc. Depending on the region of the country in which you live, this can represent between 10 and 20 percent of the total cost of expanding your home.

Cost of materials

The cost of building materials fluctuates with the economy. And currently, due to the covid-19 pandemic, lumber prices have increased by more than 180 percent in the past year, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

The materials are also available in a wide range of quality and cost which contribute to the overall budget. For example, natural stone costs more than synthetic materials. Custom manufacturing costs more than stock items. Copper and brass plumbing fixtures cost more than chrome plastic. When planning your budget, it helps to shop around a bit to get an idea of ​​the cost of the materials you want. Then you have the knowledge to discuss with your contractor where you would be happy to cut corners in order to save.

Potential hidden costs

Contrary to what you may have heard, contractors want to get your home improvement projects done on budget, if not less. This produces satisfied customers and satisfied customers refer them to their friends. But sometimes issues arise that you and the entrepreneur may not have been prepared for. For this reason, many entrepreneurs suggest boosting the budget by 10-25%.

Let’s say you live in an old house. Your contractor may encounter old renovation mistakes made by a previous owner. If they discover a code violation done as part of an old DIY project, they will need to first bring the violation up to standard before continuing. The extra work adds cost to your project.

Additionally, especially in kitchen and bathroom renovations, the contractor may discover damage from unknown water leaks. They must remove rotten wood, mold and mildew before new construction can begin. This too would increase your cost.

Ways to save

If you are skilled with a hand tool, ask the contractor if there is any work you can do to save on the cost of labor. “Ask if the general contractor will allow you to do the painting,” suggests Besch.

Choose less expensive materials. Making a list of non-negotiable items when creating a budget helps you with your choices. For example, hard flooring is a must, hardwood is not.

Reduce the space. “Less square footage,” says Besch, “means lower overall cost. Just cutting a foot around the perimeter of a room could save a few thousand dollars.

Financing options

Once you have counted all the costs and finalized a budget for your addition to the house, you need to decide how you are going to pay for the project. Here are a few options to consider.

Cash– If you don’t have $ 40,000 lying around, consider dipping into an investment account or liquidating other assets.

Home equity loan—This loan takes your home as collateral against the loan repayment.

Mortgage refinancing– Refinancing your existing mortgage and borrowing more than your needs could provide the funds needed for your addition.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC)—As with a home equity loan, you will borrow against your home for this loan. But, it creates a line of credit that you can borrow on when you need it, not just for a project.

Entrepreneur loan—If you lack equity in your home, ask your contractor if he is partnering with local lenders to provide loans for his work.

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