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Breakfast nook with round white table in new addition to home.

14 Home Addition Ideas to Increase Your Square Footage

Whether you have a large or small home, room and house additions are invaluable investments. Along with expanding your available in-home storage and living space, adding rooms with features that are desirable to home buyers can increase the value of your home. But before you start adding an addition to your home, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure to consult with a builder before starting your project.
  • Check on your local zoning ordinances and building codes.
  • Take your blueprints and plans to the county assessor.
  • Once you’ve completed the additions, report them to the county assessor.

The first part of planning a home addition is finding inspiration. Below are some home addition ideas that can help inspire your next home improvement project!

Plan a Second Story

House with second-story balcony. Photo by Instagram user @mwconstruction

Photo via @mwconstruction

One of the biggest home addition projects is adding a second story to your house. Depending on the size of your home, this addition can run anywhere between $60,000-$600,000 and adds significant square footage and resale value to your home. Work with a builder or architect to make sure your home’s structure and foundation can handle a second-story addition!

Put a Room Over the Garage

Creating a bonus room or apartment over a garage is a great way to add extra square footage without turning your home into a mess. With the foundation of the garage already in place, all you need are walls and a roof. Once it’s finished, you can rent it out or use it as a guest bedroom. Keep in mind that certain additions like a new roof, Type X fireproof drywall, and vapor barriers will be more expensive than other home addition projects. Costs typically average around $35 per square foot when building a bonus over-the-garage room.

Include a Modular Home Addition

A modular addition is a pre-fabricated room that can be added onto house exteriors to create a second story. They’re popular home expansion projects for single-story buildings like ranch homes. These additions run 10-20% cheaper than conventional home additions and are made off-site, saving you from living in a constant construction zone. Costs vary between $80-$200 per square foot, depending on the size of the addition and where it goes.

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Build a Dormer

Dormers not only expand your attic and provide much needed light, but they also add major curb appeal and make your home look larger. Some homeowners choose to install DIY dormers to increase their attic ceiling space. A DIY project will run about $1,800, while professional installation can cost anywhere between $4,600 to $16,400.

Finish Your Basement

Finishing your basement increases the livable square footage in your home, and it gives you additional space you can use for a small apartment, a home theater, or an entertainment room. The average cost to finish a basement is between $2,800 to $34,000 with a return on investment around 70%. Just be sure you include emergency windows or a backyard walkout if you plan to build a basement bedroom.

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Add On to Your Kitchen

Kitchen with breakfast nook. Photo by Instagram user @jbmarchitect

Photo via @jbmarchitect

Remodeling your kitchen—even on a minor scale—can provide a great return on investment. Expand your kitchen’s square footage by turning a flex space or bump-out addition into a walk-in pantry or breakfast nook. Kitchen remodel projects can cost between $60-$46,000 and recoup almost 93% of the cost at resale. Check out these kitchen remodeling ideas for more inspiration!

Expand the Bathroom

Increasing bathroom square footage can greatly increase the value of your home. Similar to a kitchen addition, bathroom projects have a return on investment of up to 62%. The cost of expanding your bathroom starts around $5,000 for a bathroom upgrade or expansion and goes up to $35,000 for a full-on addition. Looking for bathroom addition ideas? Try extending your master bathroom to include space for a soaking tub or dual sinks. Or add a half-bath in an underutilized small space like under the stairs, a closet, an attic bonus room, or a basement.

Incorporate a Mudroom

While many homes have entryways, an entire mudroom addition is a handy way to keep shoes, coats, and backpacks all organized in one space. Installing wall hooks, built-in cabinets, lockers, or cubbies during the remodel adds both additional storage and visual appeal. Mudroom additions can cost anywhere from $4,500 for a minor project in an existing room to $30,000 for a total addition.

Change the Front Porch into a Sunroom

If you love spending time on your front porch, enclose it and turn it into a sunroom! In order for your porch to be considered livable square footage, it needs to have heating and be accessible from the house. Make your sunroom addition feel like a second living room with lamps, comfortable furniture, and plenty of seating. If you live in a state with extreme winters, you may need to consult an architect or builder to make sure the roof and walls are strong enough to support heavy snow. The cost to add a sunroom varies from $15,000-$22,000 with a 50% return on investment.

Get Creative with the Back Patio

Enclosing a back patio can create a cozy outdoor living room! This home addition project can be quite extensive—especially if you extend your roof—so make sure you enlist the help of builders or contractors. Like a sunroom, a patio must be enclosed and accessible from the house in order to count toward livable square footage. Back patio enclosures typically run between $8,242-$24,810.

Consider a Bump-Out Addition

Bump-out addition on house. Photo by Instagram user @mwconstruction

Photo via @mwconstruction

Cantilevered house bump outs are small extensions (or micro-additions) of rooms that can be considered extra square footage. Bump-out additions can be as small as two feet and as large as 10-15 feet. Because bump outs do not require a roof or foundation work, the cost of bump-out additions can be 15-30% less than a conventional addition. Some bump-out ideas for small rooms include creating a window nook in a living room, building a walk-in closet, adding a space for a bathtub in a bathroom, or increasing the space of a kitchen to allow for counter space.

Finish the Attic

Finished attic with living room. Photo by Instagram user @arborand.co

Photo via @arborand.co

As far as home addition projects go, an attic has unlimited potential! For this renovation, make sure at least half of the ceiling reaches seven feet and that the attic connects to a stairway. Once these requirements are met, you can take advantage of that extra square footage and turn it into a guest bedroom, home gym, art studio, or office. Converting an attic into livable space can recover as much as 56% of the value!

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Turn an Attached Garage into an Extra Room

Garage converted into a living room. Photo by Instagram user @bonno_brother

Photo via @bonno_brother

If you’re looking for a creative home addition idea, consider repurposing your garage! An attached garage can only be considered additional square footage if you don’t use it as a garage. Instead, consider turning your garage into a gym, art studio, guest bedroom, or craft room! The average cost of making a garage into a room addition project is around $14,094 with up to an 80% return on investment.

Enhance the Laundry Room

Spacious farmhouse-style laundry room. Photo by Instagram user @brunoandlibby

Photo via @brunoandlibby

Is your current laundry area small? Expand it and get more square footage! Second-floor laundry rooms are a highly desired unique home feature, so moving your laundry room from a basement or first level to an upstairs addition can be a worthwhile investment. If you’re feeling ambitious, tackle the project yourself using this DIY tutorial from The Family Handyman.

Knowing which home additions increase home resale value and square footage can help you make good investments in your home that will last for years. Looking for other creative ways to improve your home? Check out these home remodeling ideas for more inspiration!


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14 Home Addition Ideas