Homeowners will usually decide to extend their home when they enjoy their neighbourhood, but start running out of room. It’s often a battle between moving to a larger residence or fixing the one you know and love, as seen on HGTV’s show “Love It or List It”. A home extension is a great investment since adding livable space to any property is typically seen as adding value. That being said, there are significant costs associated with home extensions so we normally like to consider all options of maximizing the home’s current footprint first. If the increased quality of life paired with the long term return on investment offsets the upfront costs, you may have a reason to embark on this type of large scale renovation.
In our experience, the starting cost for the smallest home extension is $50,000 once you consider the structure, the exterior facing, and the roof. Then you must consider the elements that will make the new space functional such as windows, plumbing, and electrical. From there, the price can increase just like any other renovation. What typically drive costs up are the materials selected, the scale, and the wish list. As you can see, at a starting price of $50k, it can make more sense to move around a few walls to maximize the homes existing layout before considering an addition.
We’ve seen extensions range from $50,000 to $300,000. The higher price usually occurs when we must run new plumbing or face challenges with bringing ventilation to the addition. Like all homes in Quebec, it’s important that any interior space is well ventilated with sufficient heating in the winter and preferably central air to cool in the summer months. One of the most common issues seen with rooms that are not original to the home is that they are often not warm enough during our coldest months. We also have to think about increasing or adding electrical panels to support new electricity required and see if the extension is even structurally possible.
For example, a common renovation is to extend the upper level by adding a room over the garage. We’ve worked on a project where the structure of the garage was not sufficient enough to support the second level which meant we had to tear down the exterior walls of the garage and reconstruct to be able to support the added weight. Other times, it can be an easy place to add on to.
The first step to determine a starting cost if you are thinking of enlarging your home is to meet with a certified contractor that has a good knowledge of mechanical systems. By taking a look at the structure, the exterior material used, as well as the electrical and ventilation systems that you currently house, they will be able to start running some numbers and give a good idea of how much it would cost to add an extension to your home.
We say starting cost because there’s also the element we like to call the “snowball effect”. When building a new room, it sometimes requires us to select all new doors, trim, flooring and so on, which makes us re-think how the new room will relate to the rest of the house. The question then becomes, how much of the old home are we willing to change to end up with a modern extension that has a good flow. It has happened more often than not when adding square footage to a main floor that the project snowballs into a full remodel of the main floor to maintain consistency and flow.
That hopefully gives you something to think about if you’re considering growing your home through a home extension. As you think about how these factors relate to your residence, don’t forget about the design! Contact us here to schedule a free 20 minute discovery call with one of our designers to discuss your project.