Adding An Extension To Your Home

Should you add an extension to your home? Or should you simply look for another property? It’s a question we get at LJ Realties all the time. People love their home, they love their neighbourhood, they’re close to a great school for their kids … but their space is starting to feel a little tight.

Adding An Extension To Your Home: Pros & Cons

Should you add an extension to your home? Or should you simply look for another property? It’s a question we get at LJ Realties all the time. People love their home, they love their neighbourhood, they’re close to a great school for their kids … but their space is starting to feel a little tight.

While extensions really can be a game-changer, the main snag is that they’re expensive. If you’re going to do it right, you usually have to pour a new foundation, dig, and literally build from the ground up. It’s not exactly the easiest endeavour, so costs can add up quickly: typically, you’re looking at about $250 per square foot.

So, you really have to think hard: what is the additional use you’ll be getting out of the property? Is your lot even big enough to provide the added utility you need?

To extend or not to extend?

Generally speaking, adding an extension is going to be more expensive than finding another home nearby that fits your criteria. Moving somewhere else means you get to finance the entire thing, as opposed to going totally out-of-pocket for your reno.

If your heart is totally set on extending your home, there are a few things we recommend. First, be sure to speak with a designer, architect, and real estate professional to discuss not only the work that’s going into the project, but also the value you should be adding to the property.

Should you build an additional bathroom?

Would extra bedrooms boost your home’s value?

Are you only planning to extend the living area, or will you also be renovating your dining room, kitchen, and more?

Finally, what will the general flow of the home look like when all is said and done?

You always want to make sure that the final product feels seamlessly connected. We’ve seen a couple of extensions where the homeowner has added an extra room simply because they wanted a bit more space, but it feels a little out of place.

At that point, extra space is more likely to diminish the overall value of a home instead of increase it – the total opposite of the desired outcome.

With so many factors at play,  the answer to “Should I add an extension to my home?” will inevitably be “It depends!”

What to expect when you’re extending

If you’ve never renovated before, it’s very important to understand the implications of your home being under construction.

You’ll need to plan for delays, since the general timeline provided by your contractor will inevitably be increased by on-the-fly challenges. In addition to patience, these changes require more money – so your budget shouldn’t be stretched to its limit right off the bat.

You’ll also need to make sure you’re ready to actually live through a reno. Prepare for dust everywhere (truly all over the place), and for sharing your space with a group of construction workers during the day. 

As long as you understand these contingencies and the ways in which a renovation affects your quality of life, you’re as ready as you’ll ever be to take on an extension. If it sounds like too much of a headache, or if you’d prefer a turnkey solution, moving might be the right call.

Have more questions about extensions vs. buying a new home? Our team has seen it all. Reach out and we’ll be happy to chat!

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