5 Things To Consider Before Starting A Home Addition


Are you starting to feel a bit cramped in your home? Have you been dreaming of a sunroom or an extra guest bedroom? If you’re still head over heels in love with your home but want to add more space, a home addition is the perfect option for you.

But before you jump in with both feet, take time to run through a personal inventory and ask yourself these five questions.

#1 What is your budget?

Just like any other home renovation project, it’s important to go in with your eyes open. The average home addition in the GTA costs anywhere from $175 to $225 per square foot. Every project will vary in cost based on the specific requirements, but if you want a successful home addition, you need to start with a plan and square footage estimate.

There is a lot that goes into an addition and a lot of professionals are required. Turning to a trusted full-service contractor will give you peace of mind and allow you to focus less on managing your addition.

#2 Is a home addition going to be worth it?

When we renovate our homes, we often look towards the future. Will this renovation increase the value of the home and until it comes time to sell, will it increase your enjoyment of the home? You should be asking these same questions when it comes to a home addition.

So what home addition gives you the most bang for your buck? According to Home Advisor, these are the additions with the best return:

  • Two-story addition - 65% return on investment  

  • Master suite addition - 63% return on investment

  • Bathroom addition - 53% return on investment

  • Sunroom addition - 49% return on investment

#3 Is it smarter to build up or out?

There are pros and cons to building your home addition up and building it out. First thing to consider is if you have the space to build out.

Building out can be more of a struggle for homes found in busier urban areas. You will need to excavate which adds some cost and time to your home addition plans. But if you are able to, it can potentially save you money in the long run. Detached home additions, such as garages, guesthouses or even home offices, are more affordable.

If you decide to go the route of building your home addition on a new floor, you’ll get to skip the costs of excavation and any foundation work. You may need to hire an architect, as building up is more complicated than building out.

#4 What kind of building restrictions do I need to worry about?

Simply put—yes. The answer is slightly more complicated than that. Restrictions and permits will be different depending on your neighbourhood, city or county. To get a better idea of what you can expect, call your local office or speak to your contractor who will have the answers to your home addition questions.

You’ll need to know what parts of your property you’re actually allowed to build on. There may also be a height limit enforced in your area, which may impact what kind of home addition you choose.

#5 Do I need a contractor?

Odds are that if you are undertaking a home addition, you will need to hire a contractor. A contracting company that provides full service from start to finish of your home addition will help make your project easier to manage. They will take care of hiring all the tradespeople and professionals you will need to complete the project.

Any contractor you hire should be licensed and insured. Be sure to check their references and look through their portfolio to see their previous work. A great contractor won’t have anything to hide.

How Renovations Can Increase Your Resell Value: Our Springwell Renovation

There are many reasons to undertake a home renovation project. Whether you need more space in your home, want to convert a room or make a space more functional, one of the added bonuses to renovations are the increased resell value.

We wanted to share a real world example of this with our South Mississauga renovation project. We renovated this Springwell Avenue family home a year ago. Last week the home went up for sale and sold for 30% over the asking price. 

Take a look at the images below to see the exterior and interior renovations.

Interior design by Sue Bullock.

What Renovations You Should Invest In (And Three You Should Avoid)

If you are planning a renovation to increase your home value, there are a few places that you should invest your time and money. Here are four renovations that will return on your investment and three renovations that are better left undone.

Redo Your Kitchen

Ask any expert and they will tell you the same thing: kitchens are the heart of the home. Kitchens are where families gather, where friends are entertain—renovating your kitchen should be at the top of your list.

Upgrade your appliances, install granite countertops and add in more storage space by giving your cabinets a face lift. The devil is in the details and making these seemingly small changes can make all the difference.

If you are looking to make a more substantial change, consider opening up your space completely. Say goodbye to a wall or two and connect your living room to your kitchen, giving the space a more open and spacious feel.

Upgrade Your Bathroom

As the second most important room in any house, investing in your bathroom is a great way to increase the value of your home. If your tile is outdated or your toilet and fixtures have seen better days, it’s worthwhile to tackle those renovation issues.

Another way to boost your home’s value is by ensuring your bathroom has plenty of natural light. Extend the existing window or work in some overhead lighting to illuminate the space.

Kick it up a notch by turning your one bathroom home into a two bedroom home. Consider adding a three-piece bathroom—you’ll see a dramatic increase in the market value of your home.

Reconsider Your Flooring

Never underestimate the importance of flooring. Carpet, tile, hardwood flooring—every flooring has its place.

The installation of hardwood floors will immediately increase your property valuation. If you already have hardwood floors, consider refinishing the floor to restore it.

Replace dingy carpet with some new, fresh and stain resistant carpeting. For the bathroom, tile is all but necessary and retains its value very well.

Finish Your Basement or Attic

 If you have an unfinished basement or attic, it’s well worth the effort to capitalize on the square footage. Whether you are turning your attic into a spare bedroom or your basement into a games room for the family, adding more livable space to your home will help increase the value of your home.

Don’t Put in a Pool

While it may seem like to dream for a family, the realities of a pool are much different. Pools come with a lot of liability and a lot of regular maintenance. Especially in southern Ontario (think Toronto, Mississauga, Oakville and the GTA), where pools will only be functional for 3 months a year, the investment will not be worthwhile.

Don’t Convert a Bedroom

Never underestimate the value of an additional bedroom. Taking a bedroom that you may not be actively using and turning into a room that is specific to your interests—think wine cellar, library, or craft room—is a risk. Because the next owner may not see the value in having their own library or wine cellar, the space becomes less valuable.

Don’t Redo your Garage

A large, open garage might scream opportunity to you. You may see family rooms, play rooms or an adult game room. But before you start renovating, consider that most people want to be able to use their garage for its intended purposes. Especially in the GTA, with winter weather, it’s important to be able to have a place to keep cars safe and to store lawnmowers, sn