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Should You Move or Extend Your Home?


house under construction
Photo credit: kenny123 / Bigstock


“We have too much room in the house! We need less space,” said nobody ever. When people consider expanding their home or movin’ on up to a bigger place, several issues are important. Usually, money leads the list.

The expense of adding rooms has risen steadily for many years. The cost to hire contractors has gone up because their costs have risen, from materials to labor to regulations. Building an addition rarely comes in under budget. However, many people dislike the idea of moving to a new place and look at the expense of an addition as more than reasonable vs. packing and moving.

The benefits of building an addition are centered around being able to stay in your home. If your family does not need to be nearer school, work or other family members, staying in your home is the way to go. In that case, it is best to have contractors review your plan for new rooms to see if they are feasible. Permits and local regulations will determine what a builder is allowed to do to your home.

Check with a Realtor to see if the addition will add value to your home. This is a step many people miss; it could happen that someday you will need to move, to downsize or relocate. An expert will be able to describe which additions will add the most value. You might think adding a small bath is a big expense, but it could work out for the best later.

Two ideas about expanding: usually, it is much less expensive to build out than build up. If you have the room on your lot to go sideways, that is the best idea; adding electricity, heat and air conditioning are the most expensive amenities to include in the design, but they are more than worth it and generally mandatory by law when adding rooms.

One popular exception is the sunroom, an added room that has mostly windows and is neither heated nor cooled centrally. Many people opt for this choice and then change an existing room for other uses. If you live in a climate that allows using one of these rooms as a living room most of the year, you can use a large part of an existing living room as a new office, for example. A few new walls and outlets, and you have divided an existing room into two.

Take your needs to the next level, and think about the future. Your home expansion will be less stressful and will add value to your home.