Every homeowner is looking to increase the square footage of their home. There are many ways to go about doing this, but most people will agree that one of the most affordable ways to do so is by increasing your home's living space. Although you may be limited in terms of the number of rooms you can actually have added due to zoning restrictions, small rooms can often be enclosed or built over existing open spaces with little difficulty. Regardless of which approach you take, there are some helpful tips that can help you decide what works best for your needs and how much it'll cost.
Building over an Existing Open Space
Oftentimes one of the easiest solutions to expanding your home's available square footage is by building over an existing open space. This could be an enclosed porch or deck that is constantly left unused, or it could be a small finished basement area. There are certain things to keep in mind when choosing this approach though.
First of all, you should find out if your city has codes regarding building over what would normally be considered uncovered outdoor space. If so, you'll have to file for a permit before any work can begin. You must also make sure the ceiling is strong enough to support the new structure when built with standard 2x4 construction. Depending on where you live and how large an addition you want, your local contractor may not recommend this option due to these restrictions and potential costs involved with bringing the project up to code (if applicable).
Building Enclosed Porches/Decks over an Existing Open Space
An enclosed porch or deck is one of the most cost effective ways to add square footage to your home. The doorways will already be in place, and all you'll have to do is build up the walls, install windows and doors, and add insulation. This approach typically works best if you're simply looking to gain a little more space that can be used as additional living space or an office. You may even want to go so far as adding some electrical outlets and small ceiling fans for added convenience. While this option does not offer much flexibility in terms of future needs, it's perfect for many homeowners who are pleased with their existing outdoor areas but would like the option of using them year round.
Enclosing Open Porches/Decks
If your home has a porch or deck that is enclosed with screens, but no solid walls, you can make the enclosure permanent by adding 2x4 studs to the existing framework and insulating between them. You'll also need to hardwire an electrical box for any outlet and lighting needs you might have as well as adding recessed lighting for additional effect. Windows or French doors can be added as well if needed. This approach works best if you want more than just extra space for outdoor seating and use, but not quite enough to warrant having another room constructed. An example would be wanting a larger laundry room where the washer and dryer could stay out of the elements when not in use.
Building a Small Room over an Existing Open Space
In cases where you're looking to add a small office, bedroom or playroom, building a small room over an existing open space is a great solution for many homeowners who don't have the money or desire to expand into another larger room addition. This option works best if the existing ceiling is strong enough to support the extra weight of a full second floor and all of its furnishings so it's important not to assume this will be the case simply because you see no visible signs of stress from below. The cost associated with this choice will depend largely on how much work needs done before construction begins but should fall between $10 - $30 per square foot (for an average of around $10 - $15 per square foot).
Finding Other Options for Expanding Home Square Footage
While these are just a few ideas for how to expand the square footage of your home , there are many more options that homeowners can choose from. If you're looking for more ideas, browse through some floor plans online or take a look at what used homes are selling for in your area. This will give you an idea of what is most popular with other homeowners, which could be a great option depending on your lifestyle and needs.
As important as it is to consider the possibilities outlined above, it's also vital to keep in mind that building larger isn't always better . Just because you have the square footage available for the addition you want, doesn't necessarily mean that it will be functional or fit in with your overall home design. You should also take into consideration things like cost, zoning laws (if applicable), long term value of the property and how any designs you choose could affect resale value when it comes time to sell.
Once you've thought through these important considerations, do some further research on local contractor bids and compare them to online resources before moving forward with any potential designs. Remember to think about all factors before finalizing anything so that you can make sure any ideas you have are practical given your current location and lifestyle!
If this article has helped in finding solutions for increasing square footage of your home, please feel free to contact us for more information. We are happy to answer any questions about construction projects big or small!