Additions: Expand Up or Out?

June 16, 2016

So you love your neighborhood, that short commute to work, the tree lined streets? If only, you could add another 1,000 sqft, you would never leave. Well, you can! The process of adding an addition to your existing home may be easier than you think. Check out these ideas below to give you an idea on where to start. 


Image via Worthington & Shagen Custom Builder, Inc.

1. How much space do we need? 

The first step is figuring out how much more space you need. Having a new luxurious master bath above the garage and a kitchen addition might be on the top of the list, but when it comes to everyday living, figure out what makes the most sense for your family long term. 



Image via leteke

2. Matching Styles?

You may live in a colonial home, because the is the most common style of house in your region, but wish you had an open and airy contemporary studio with high ceilings and large windows. The trick here is to make sure the exterior matches your existing home. You don't want the new addition to look like an addition. It should blend seamlessly with the facade of your existing home. If the differences in style stands out like a sore thumb today, it will still be noticeable when it comes time to sell.  


0548224c07da0315d7ec9f1a724e1ae2.jpgImage via Cook Architectural Design Studio

3. Do We Go Up or Out? 

Consider the size of your lot. Is it long and narrow? Is it shaped like a square? Is there a slope at the bottom? All of these questions should be asked when considering the type of addition you plan to build. With a narrow lot, building up may be your only option. Most zoning regulations require a minimum space between neighboring houses. Consider raising the roof of your existing house to add an entirely new level. You will save on costs, due to not having to pour a new foundation. 



Image via Helios Design Group

 4. Can I Have a Sunroom? Pretty Please!

When you're considering your priorities in your new addition, think not only of everyday living, but also energy efficiency. If you need more space, and have it within your budget to add more bedrooms and baths along with a sunroom, go for it! If not, consider the hidden costs of all of those windows. It's lovely to have the sun shining in, but if you do not choose high efficiency windows or insulation, that beautiful new sunroom will cost you more than you think. 


If you live in the Northern Virginia area and you’re interested in a free estimate, or would like to know how Lensis Builders, Inc. can make your home even better, give us a call at 703-367-8999 or fill out a short contact form. If you’re looking for inspiration for your next project, visit our Pinterest page. 

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