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Should You Build a House Addition?


When interest rates drop and home equity loans become affordable, an orchestra of hammers and saws arises across America. This is the sound of homeowners frantically building additions. An addition is the biggest home remodeling purchase you will ever make.

Advantages of Building an Addition

  • High Cost-Value Ratio

    Studies show that nearly all of the cost of a mid-range two-story addition may be recovered at time of sale.
  • Less Expensive than Purchasing New House

    While this might seem like a "no-brainer," it needs to be mentioned. It is typically cheaper to build an addition than to buy a new home that equals the space of your existing house plus addition. At the very least, the closing costs involved with selling your old house and buying the new house would push this option over the top.
  • Addition is 100% Your Creation

    You may have an old house, but the addition is space that you can claim as your own. It's like designing a whole new house without the expense of a whole new house. Fire up your design software and go for it!
  • Smartest Way to Add Space to House

    When you objectively look at the various ways to add space to your house, addition-building clearly comes out ahead of other methods, such as basement or attic remodeling or adding a sun porch.

Disadvantages of Building an Addition

  • You May Still Lose Money When You Sell

    Even through additions have better cost-value ratios than other renovation projects, you still may not recover the full cost of the addition.
  • Emotional Cost of Addition-Building

    It's a thrill at first, those workers energetically digging and sawing to give you more house. Then one Saturday you wake at 6am to the roar of a gas generator five feet from your bedroom window and realize that your romance with building an addition has hit the rocks. Many causes contribute to this, some of which are: having work crews in your house six days a week, noise, dust, and constantly dealing with the contractor.
  • Addition Brings Increased Costs

    More space means higher heating and cooling costs, more windows to wash and gutters to clean, increased property taxes, and more house to clean.
  • Additions Eat Up Your Yard

    Unless you are adding a second story, you will lose yard space and this is space that can never be recovered.
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