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  • Writer's pictureTui Kanuka

6 Types of Home Additions For Your North Vancouver Home

Is your home starting to feel a little crowded? As your family grows or your needs change, your house can start to feel cramped.

But if you’re happy with everything else about your house, why move to a new one? It’s a huge expense (not to mention a TON of work). To meet your space needs, all you need to do is add a home addition to your current house.

There are various types of home additions you can choose from. Which type is right for you will depend on your needs, budget, the available space, and other factors.

So let’s dive in at look at 6 types of home additions for your North Vancouver home. Once you’re done reading this article, you’ll have a bunch of great ideas for how to modify your home!

Attic Conversion

Got an attic that’s just sitting there taking up space? You might have a few boxes of holiday decorations stored up there, but that’s about it.

Converting existing space like this into usable space is a cost-effective way to add a new room to your home. This is one of the few expansion projects inexpensive enough that you can expect to recuperate the full investment through added home value.

Most of the time with home additions, you have to be doing it for the lifestyle boost. They’re too expensive to reasonably expect a high ROI when you sell your home.

It’s also a great option if you don’t have much outdoor space to expand into. You don’t technically add any square feet to your home’s footprint, but you get to enjoy an extra room.

Attics can be converted for all sorts of uses including an extra bedroom, a home office, or even a game room/play area for your kids. As you know, we spend a lot of time cold and wet here in Vancouver, so an indoor play space where your kids can get out of your hair is a big advantage.

Considerations for Attic Conversion

There are a few things to consider when converting an attic. Attics generally aren’t built with the idea of turning them into useable space one day so some structural requirements may be lacking.

For example, sleeping spaces must have egress exits in case of fire. If you want to turn the space into a bedroom, you’ll probably have to install special windows to meet the requirements.

A couple of other considerations are insulation and ventilation. The current specifications might be fine for storing a few boxes. But it has to be possible to modify them and bring them up to your local building code if you want to convert the area to usable space. Also, the ceiling has to be tall enough. And both the floor and ceiling structures must meet structural requirements (or can be modified to meet them).

In some cases, so much modification will be required that it isn’t practical to convert the attic. However, if you can, this is an excellent idea for adding a whole new room to your home without having to change the exterior.

Basement Conversion

What if you don’t have an attic space? Well, what’s under your home? A basement conversion is like an attic conversion in that you can get an extra room without having to change your home’s footprint.

As such, a basement conversion is also a cost-effective project, though the costs vary significantly depending on the required structural changes. But as with an attic conversion, you can often expect to recuperate your investment in home value.

To be clear, we’re talking about a basement conversion here, not an addition. Adding a basement is a whole other type of project and a very expensive undertaking. You’ll have to dig out the area under your house to build the new space and you can imagine how quickly the costs skyrocket.

Considerations for Basement Conversion

Of course, the space needs to meet certain specifications in order to be turned into a living space. Again, the ceiling must be high enough and structures must meet building codes or be modifiable to meet them. Plus, safety exits are required if the space is to be used as a bedroom.

Basements are also infamous for retaining moisture, especially here in our wet climate. In order to convert to living space, your basement must be completely dry and stay that way. But even if you struggle with moisture, there may be modifications you can make to remedy the problem.

Talk to a home addition/conversion expert to find out what options you might have.

Room Additions

A full-on house addition is quite an expensive undertaking. These are done when people want to greatly modify their home, perhaps adding a guest suite with a bedroom and bathroom, or adding a spacious family room.

Thus, if you are looking for a little extra space without stressing the wallet so much, a single-room addition is a great choice.

The project generally still requires a small foundation and adding onto or changing the roofline. And of course, the project must meet all building codes and is subject to inspections like any other type of construction project.

However, the smaller footprint helps keep the price down to a more manageable amount.

You can add any type of room that you want to your home. Perhaps you want a home office space, an extra bedroom, or you need another bathroom. A room addition is a great way to get that extra space.

House Bump Out

A house bump-out is similar to a room addition, but typically a bit more cost-effective. Instead of adding on a whole new room, the bump out adds floor space to an existing room.

Bump outs are often done to expand the kitchen, add a breakfast nook or enlarge the dining area, or add floor space to the living room. Sometimes people will add a bump out to the master bedroom, looking to elevate their private area to a luxury space.

House bump outs are a great idea when you need a little extra space — and don’t have a lot of room in your budget. They are generally inexpensive and your house won’t be torn up for a long time as the project is being completed. You can even cantilever a house bump out into thin air to add on to the house without putting in a foundation.

However, the bump out is still subject to the same building codes and regulations. A foundation and roof addition will probably be required. And permits and inspectors will still be a part of the process.

Sunroom Addition

A sunroom addition is a different kind of home addition that is a lot more cost-effective for the amount of space you will receive.

Sunroom additions can be built from the same materials as the house to visually match. However, they are often built using pre-fabricated materials that are then quickly assembled on-site. This method can be surprisingly inexpensive.

Sunroom additions are not designed to be a year-round living space and thus don’t have to meet the same building code requirements as a room addition or bump out. They don’t have to be insulated to the same standard and heating and cooling are not required.

You can also add fun adornments or use different materials than you could use in an addition. For example, you can do oversized windows or other creative window stuff because they don’t have to meet the same efficiency standards.

Of course, sunrooms have their limitations. They cannot be used as a bedroom and you’ll never see a kitchen or bathroom in a sunroom. It may be helpful to think of a sunroom as an enclosed porch rather than an official living space.

If you have the budget and you want to get fancy with it, you can. You might choose to add some insulation and perhaps heat the area with small space heaters. This would allow you to use the sunroom addition as a living area, home office, or even an exercise room all year round.

The price for a sunroom addition varies dramatically depending on what you want to build. However, you can get some rather inexpensive DIY kits for just a few thousand dollars if you want to tackle the project yourself. A professionally installed sunroom will be more expensive, but also more versatile.

Garage Conversion

The last type of home addition we’re going to examine is a garage conversion. This is a great choice when you’re looking to add a sizeable amount of space for a relatively low investment.

People sometimes create whole new living units when they do a garage conversion. With a small bathroom, kitchen, bedroom, and living space, that old garage becomes a comfortable apartment for an elderly family member or something similar.

Garage conversions typically aren’t too expensive since a lot of the stuff is already there. It is usually already wired for electricity and some garages already have drywall and maybe even windows.

If you want to heat the space, you’ll have to add on to your HVAC system. Plumbing will be needed if you want to add a bathroom to the space.

However, since the structure is already there, the conversion will be less expensive than constructing an entire home addition.

Keep in mind that you may have the expense of building a detached garage later on if you still want a place to park your cars.

Which Type of Home Addition Is Right for You?

The answer to this question depends on your situation. How your home is already structured, what exterior space is available, the purpose of the added space and the size of your budget are all important factors.

So how do you choose the right type of home addition for your North Vancouver home? Ask an expert for help! We specialize in helping homeowners modify their homes to perfectly meet their growing family’s needs.

Our experts are happy to chat about any of these home additions and help you estimate how much your project will cost. Contact us today to learn more and get started on your amazing “new” home!

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