Read This Before Putting an Addition on Your Home

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Thinking of adding onto your home? You may regret that decision.

Key points

  • You may be looking to put on an addition if you've outgrown your home.
  • While an addition will spare you the hassle of moving, it may not be the best course of action to take.

There may come a point when you start to outgrow your home. This could happen as your family expands, or as you could simply start to crave more space over time.

If you're feeling starved for square footage, you have a couple of options. You could sell your home and buy another one, or you could stay in your home and put on an addition.

Going the latter route can be tempting. For one thing, you won't have to move. Not only does that mean avoiding the expense of hiring movers and hauling your belongings to a new property, but it could also potentially mean not having to uproot your children and pull them out of the schools they know and love. But while putting on an addition can be tempting, there are several drawbacks to consider as well.

1. A home addition can be very expensive

The cost of putting on an addition can vary tremendously from one project to the next, so it's not really possible to estimate the price tag you'll be looking at. Much will depend on factors such as how much square footage you're looking to add, where your addition will be located, and how much plumbing or electrical work will be required.

But generally speaking, it's fair to label home additions as expensive. Before you shell out the money to pay for one, it makes sense to explore your options for buying a larger home. You may find that it's cheaper to sell your home and use your proceeds from that sale to buy a new property rather than make your current mortgage payments and pay off your addition over time.

2. You could be displaced while the work is being done

Depending on the nature of your addition, you may end up having to vacate your home for several weeks or longer while the work is being done. Not only might that prove expensive, but it can be quite disruptive.

Imagine your kids take a bus to school every day. Their designated bus stop is no doubt based on their home address. If you have to get temporary housing a mile away, that bus stop will no longer be convenient.

Similarly, if you have a dog, you might struggle to find temporary housing that allows you to bring a pet. These are considerations to account for before moving forward with this sort of project.

3. You might sacrifice outdoor space for more indoor space

Putting on an addition often means building out into your backyard. If you have a very large property, that may not be an issue. But if your yard is smaller, what you gain in indoor space, you lose in outdoor space.

If you live in a part of the country where the climate is moderate and you use your backyard year-round, that's a sacrifice you may not want to make. In that case, you may be better off buying a larger home with an equally large yard to enjoy.

For some people, putting on an addition is the right move. Just consider these pitfalls carefully before taking that leap.

Our Research Expert