Types of Home Additions

Are you considering moving or adding on to your home? If adding on, what type of addition(s) should you consider?

First Floor Additions

Expanding or renovating the first floor can provide a more comfortable living arrangement in many ways. If you have a large family or entertain a lot, you know that everyone tends to gravitate towards the kitchen. Adding on a 'Gathering Room' that is open to the kitchen, allows others to be nearby without crowding the cooking and meal preparation area.

Second Story Additions

If a building lot is small or the property is not ideal for a ground level expansion, building up may be a better choice. With no excavating or foundation work, costs are lower for building up and tying into existing utilities is usually easier.

A second story that doesn't increase the home's 'footprint' may eliminate the need for a lot survey or zoning approval. 

Basic Options for Adding On

Click on the thumbnail pictures below to see photos of projects for that type of addition.

Garage Addition

A garage addition adds valuable space at a relatively low cost. It also provides a footprint for future expansion above.

Check out how this master bedroom and garage addition transformed a tiny cape cod style home.

two story sunroom

A sun room or unheated 'three season room' can function in many ways. It can be a light and airy living space with lots of glass and outdoor views, or a great place for plants to thrive in the winter months. Here’s a picture of a dramatic two story sun room that was added to a the back of a split level home.

 'Bump Out' Addition

'Bumping out' to add a new breakfast, bath, laundry or mud room can add just the necessary amount of area to make a smaller space usable. The 'cost per square' however, is often higher than for other types of additions. Check out these old stone farm house bump outs.

Family Gathering Room Addition

A family room provides a large space for casual living and and may include amenities such as a fireplace, skylights, an entertainment center or a wet bar. By far the most popular type of expansion for smaller or older homes, this addition option gives a homeowner the most 'bang for the buck'. Check out this addition opens to the existing kitchen.


Farmhouse Porch Addition

A kitchen is certainly the 'heart of a home'. Careful thought should be given to its placement when remodeling or adding on. Proximity to other living areas; with a balance between a bright, open room and ample wall space for cabinets are two of the many keys to a successful kitchen. Check out this kitchen addition to a 200 year old farmhouse.

In-Law Suite Addition 

In-law additions involve many special considerations including accessibility, privacy and allowable size, to mention just a few. Although typically a 'use by right' an in-law suite may require zoning approval when there is a separate kitchen.

Check out this in law cottage and see how it attaches to an existing two story colonial.

Dormer Addition

A cape cod style house can have a lot of potentially usable space under a steeply pitched roof. Adding a gabled dormer in the front or a shed dormer in the back will better utilize this space while adding curb appeal to the home.

Check out the attic dormer expansion on this two story home.

Addition Over Garage

Building over the garage is an efficient way to add space for everything from a master bedroom suite to a 'bonus room'.

Check out the new master suite over this existing two car garage.

Second Floor Ranch Addition

Raising a rancher and remodeling the first floor bedrooms can totally transform a home. Matching windows and re-siding the house can result in a house that looks brand new. Of course, the timing of a second floor addition is critical for keeping the existing house protected and weather tight. Check out the second floor addition to this small rancher.

Two Story Addition

Adding a multi level addition to a two story colonial can be fairly straight forward or a challenge depending on the existing rooflines, level changes or a sloping yard . Rear facing additions allow for a less formal arrangement of windows and more flexibility in how the new additions connect to the existing structure.

Cape Cod Addition one

Cape Cod Addition two

Adding a two story addition to a cape cod home requires greater design skill. Keeping the new roof lines below the existing ones while providing adequate headroom under sloped ceilings is the key to a successful design.

Check out these one and a half story additions that expanded these modest cape cod style homes.

Sitting Room Addition

No longer just a place to sleep, but more of a private retreat, master suites have become larger and more luxurious over the years.These rooms often have amenities such as sitting rooms for the owners to “get away” from the kids. Second floor laundry rooms are also popular also since laundry chutes are impractical due to current building codes.

Check out this sitting room, laundry and bath addition over a newer two story colonial garage. 

A successful addition will blend with the existing structure and does not need be large to function well. Right click on this link to read about What size should my addition be ? 

Regardless of which type of addition may be right for you consider planning and building your addition at a slower pace. Too often, the design and construction process proceeds too rapidly which may save time upfront, however, the end result may not be a home that reflects your unique needs and desires. Experiencing a space or several new rooms before making final decisions such as interior finishes and materials for instance, will allow you to take your time instead of making quick decisions you may later regret. In creating a custom living environment as with many things the “joy is in the journey”

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