Are you considering upgrading your home? If so, you may wonder how much does a home addition cost. Home additions can vary in price, depending on the size of the addition and complexity of the project, yet as a homeowner, knowing what you should expect to pay is essential.
In this article, we will first discuss some factors that can affect the cost of a home addition project and then provide an overview of how much a home addition costs in Northern Virginia. So, if you are thinking about adding on to your home, read on for more information.
Factors that Affect the Cost of a Home Addition Project
As you begin considering a home addition project, it’s important to understand the main factors that affect the cost.
Is the Home Addition Simple or Complex?
Perhaps the simplest and most cost-effective home addition is a family room or home office because the project usually involves only a minimal number of structural changes to the existing house. For example, it doesn’t require plumbing, as an owner’s or in-law suite would.
However, sometimes building a home addition that is functional and architecturally pleasing involves affecting other areas of the house, which makes it more complex. For example, when new rooms are added, the tie-in of the roof impacts second-floor windows above the new space. As a result, these windows may need to be resized or even eliminated, which creates additional interior and exterior work in areas not touched by the new home addition.
Will there be Structural Changes?
Changes to the existing structure to accommodate tying in the new room could be substantial. Take, for example, a home addition that involves removing 20 feet of the house’s existing rear wall. It has many steps: site preparation, planning, engineering, demolition, temporary and permanent support, removal and relocation of electric, plumbing and possibly duct work, floor alignment, security during construction and weather protection—and all the building materials and man-hours to complete the job. In comparison, another room addition may only require removing a sliding glass door to create an entrance to the new room, which does not require structural changes.
What is the Project Scope?
Indeed, the size of the room addition is a factor that affects the price. For example, if you want to know how much you should expect to pay for 200 square feet, generally speaking, the larger the home addition is, the lower the cost per square foot.
When adding a room to your house, remember that this will also impact the existing house—often in ways most homeowners don’t think about. For example, if the home addition involves matching floors, the new and existing hardwood flooring must be sanded and refinished to create the “as if it has always been there” look.
Additionally, since the homes in northern Virginia/metro Washington D.C. tend to be older, many addition designs function better by removing walls so that the new and existing spaces are combined. The cost of reworking the existing house is necessary to connect the addition to the home to create a nice flow between rooms.
Can the Exterior Finishes Be Matched?
A big challenge of any home addition project is matching existing house siding or brick. Either the siding has weathered too much to match, or the materials are no longer available in that exact color or style. Sometimes the addition can be designed using a different exterior finish that blends well with the existing exterior. However, if your home’s exterior is siding (as often the case in Northern Virginia), your addition could require a significant overhaul of the existing siding. Often, we need to reside the entire house because we cannot match the old and new siding materials. But, again, this cost is necessary to make the addition look like it has always been part of the house.
Brick is another popular exterior choice for the suburban houses in our area (the Washington, D.C metro), and can be challenging to match. Some solutions we’ve used in the past include finding matching style/texture brick and having the new brick stained to match the existing, using stone as an architectural accent to blend with existing brick, painting all the brick or using complementary siding.
Are the House’s Mechanical Systems Adequate for the Added Space?
When substantial home additions and modifications are made, we often discover that the existing HVAC and electrical system cannot adequately serve the increased size of the house. Upgrading electrical service combined with installing a different HVAC system can easily cost $20,000 (or more). Again, this is an expense that is necessary to allow the newly added and existing spaces to have balanced, comfortable temperatures.
What Other Items Affect the Price?
Other items that can affect the cost of a home addition include:
- site access
- permits and other local fees
- the size of the addition (a larger addition often equals a lower cost per square foot)
- the foundation type
- the style of the roof
- relocating of existing mechanicals
- the homeowner’s energy efficiency goals
- the style and level of finishes selected, and
- the number of stories on the home
Home Addition Cost Per Square Foot
Here are some general square footage costs to help you plan your home addition. Remember that no two home addition projects are the same, so prices could vary greatly.
The basic one-room home addition with no plumbing and very little structural work: $525 to $580 per square foot. Examples of a basic home addition include a family room, home office or bedroom.
A one-story addition with a medium amount of structural work to tie-in the new with the old, mid-level finishes, some work in existing space: $650 to $750 per square foot. Including a bathroom or kitchen remodel or addition to the new space will increase your budget.
A multi-story addition with substantial structural work to tie into the existing house. This could include a second-story addition, kitchen remodeling or bathroom renovation, new mechanical and/or electrical systems, and higher-end finishes: $750 per square foot and up.
Please remember that these square foot costs are not absolutes, but they are taken from real projects involving very little complication to projects with numerous complications. I hope this helps you get a feel for the real cost of an addition project in the Northern Virginia area.
Ready to start a home addition project? Contact us today. We’d welcome the opportunity to hear more about the project you have in mind.