Should My Home Addition Go Up Or Out? | LBK Blog

Should My Home Addition Go Up Or Out?

When constructing a home addition, the first question usually asked is “Should we build up or out?” There are advantages and disadvantages to both, which we will discuss later. But what it ultimately comes down to is the shape of your house and lot, your budget, and the reason you need more space. As a rule of thumb, the best option for those looking to save money is building up, and the best option for those with mobility issues is building out.

Building Up

The primary advantage of building up is cost because it needs less material and labor. Why? Because the foundation is already laid. If you add space above an existing room (or even above a garage or outbuilding), the foundation and utilities are already there, we just build on top. Whereas, building out requires the additional cost of excavation, the laying of a footer, concrete, block, masons, and the like. Building up also does not take space away from your yard. The disadvantage of building up is stairs. If you live in a rancher, for example, you need to give up some living space (around 80-120 sq. ft.) for stairs. You are also limited to the size and shape of the room that you are building on top of. If you are building to accommodate someone with mobility issues, there is the additional expense of including a chair lift.

Building Out

Building out is more popular, but it is also more expensive. Building out increases the footprint of the home and as mentioned above, requires excavation to dig up the yard as well as additional materials. Maneuvering around power lines and sewer lines could add to your costs as well. It also may take up valuable yard space.

The advantage of building out is that it gives you more options on size and footprint. How big you can go is usually determined by how much space you have (and maybe some local zoning restrictions). It is also more practical for building In-Law quarters or for people with limited mobility because you can keep them on a single, usually lower, level.

Every home and situation are different, so you need to evaluate your options carefully. To help you determine which is best for you, schedule a consultation with Nick to discuss your needs and budget for an addition and how our simple remodeling process can help you get it!

Nick Kornea, President / Designer at Luxury Bath and Kitchens

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