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In the current economy, home buyers are looking for more square footage and increased livable space. Here's a look at home addition costs, and the value it can bring at selling time.

Give Me Space! The Value of Home Addition

According to Remodeling magazine's 2009-2010 Cost vs. Value Report, remodels simply aren't getting the returns that they used to. Overall, returns are much lower than they've been in the recent past, with only a handful of projects being smart investments this year.

Projects that make financial sense right now have to do with getting more for less--more energy efficiency, more performance, more living space, and more convenience. Although this is in many ways a buyers market, the homes that have been improved and offer more for less are simply selling faster. This is why a home addition can be a valuable improvement.

The Additions That Add Value

Not all additions are alike. Those that add livable square footage, such as attic or basement bedrooms and decks, are more valuable than remodels done to existing spaces. For example, adding a basement bedroom can cost almost $50,000, but it adds nearly $41,000 in value, bringing an almost unheard of 83.1 percent return on investment.

It seems also that certain additions are more popular in certain regions. South Atlantic states' residents are more interested in paying for additional living spaces than New Englanders, for example.

Additions that aren't seeing such good returns at the moment include bathroom, sunroom, and garage additions, while family rooms, bedrooms, decks, and master suites are more rewarding. Among those, minor and mid-range additions offer greater value than upscale ones.

Adding Value Without the High Home Addition Cost

Because there are so many options when it comes to home addition, it's hard to offer an average cost. As an example, the average family room addition can range from about $50,000-$90,000, averaging around $70,000. That cost is comprised of mechanical work (wet bar anyone?), fireplaces, floor coverings, moldings, windows, furniture, and simple square footage. And here's a tip: cost per square footage tends to decline with quantity, so it may be more cost-effective to make a bigger room.

Want to add a room, but can't spare $70,000? Try to find large spaces in your home that could be enclosed to create another room. Closing off a half-wall to create another bedroom may only cost a few hundred dollars, but add tens of thousands in selling value.

The cost per square foot for a home addition depends on many factors:
  • Rooms to be added - for example, a living room or bedroom is going to be more expensive than a garage addition, but much cheaper than a bathroom or kitchen addition
  • The design of the addition - simple design versus more complicated
  • Cost of the materials and fixtures you select - flooring, windows, doors, tile, etc.
  • Who will be doing the work. Are you planning to do some of the work yourself, or will all the work be contracted out?
  • Location - labor rates of contractors may vary greatly countrywide
  • The contractor you hire - contractors’ quotes can vary by 10-30% for work of similar quality.
The following list lays out some approximate costs for a home addition. Please note: these are rough estimates and can be used as a guide only. The actual costs may vary.

Home addition cost estimate

  • Build an addition for $80 to $135 per square foot
  • Enclosed porches can run from $6,500 up to $16,000

By locations:

  • $125 to $150 per square foot for an addition in Washington, D.C.
  • $120 to $130 per square foot for an addition in Baltimore, Maryland
  • $100 to $120 per square foot for an addition in Seattle, WA

Living room or bedroom addition cost estimate

  • Master Bedroom additions run $80 to $135 per square foot

By locations:

  • $75 to $130 per square foot for a bedroom addition in Phoenix, AZ
  • $70 to $125 per square foot for a bedroom addition in Riverside, CA

Bathroom Addition Cost Estimates

  • Add a bathroom $8,000 to $15,000

By locations:

  • $7,000 to $15,000 for a bathroom addition in Denver, CO
  • $8,000 to $17,000 for a bathroom addition in Virginia Beach, VA

Kitchen Addition or Remodel Cost Estimates

  • Remodel kitchen $12,000 and up

By locations:

  • $12,000-$17,000 for a new kitchen in San Francisco, CA

Second Story Addition

  • Add a Second Story $20 to 70 per square foot

By locations:

  • $30 to $70 per square foot for a second story addition in Chicago, IL
  • $25 to $60 per square foot for a second floor addition in Baltimore, MD
  • $35 to $75 per square foot for a second story addition in Providence, RI

Basement Conversion Cost Estimates

  • Basement addition $40,000 to $60,000

By locations:

  • $40,000 to $60,000 for a basement addition in Newark, NJ
  • $30,000 to $55,000 for a basement addition in Minneapolis, MN

Garage Addition Cost Estimates

  • Build single car garage $8,000 to 12,500
  • Build double car garage $10,000 to 14,000

By locations:

  • $10,000 to 15,000 for a garage addition in Santa Ana, CA
  • $9,000 to 13,000 for a garage addition in Bridgeport, CT

Attic conversion Cost Estimates

  • Convert an attic to a bedroom $20 to 40 per square foot

I am considering an addition of 650 square foot of living space to my home above a 2 car garage. What is the price range per square foot or flat price? Rick H. - Burbank, IL

What is the average cost of a 700 square foot addition to an existing home in NYC? Richard M. - New York City, NY

We are thinking about adding two rooms and bathroom to our home. What is the price range per square foot for such an addition in the North Virginia area? Brittany L. - Arlington, VA

What would be the cost to build a 25’ x 25’ great room adding on to the second level of the house with a 2 car garage located under it? Janie G. - Olympia, WA

I am planning on extending our family room by 200 SF. How much will this cost me? Carlos J. - Long Beach, CA

I am interested in adding on a 40' X 20' addition included one bedroom, walk-in closet and bathroom. How much should I expect to pay per square foot? Thanks. Nancy W. - Dayton, MD

We are considering adding a master bedroom 25x25 and a bathroom. Can you estimate the price per sq ft for that kind of addition in Middlesex County MA? Thank you so much. Dave K. - Belmont, MA

What approximately cost per square feet for a second floor addition (about 600 sq ft) in New Jersey? Tom S. - Rumson, NJ

What is the ballpark cost of a two car garage addition in Orange County, California? We would like also to add a bedroom on a second floor above a garage. Cathy W. - Anaheim, CA

The cost per square foot for an addition would be around $120 - $160. The price may vary and depends on you requirements and the region you live. The addition price could be much more if you are adding a new bathroom or a kitchen. To get accurate quotes from qualified contractors, be sure they fill out a detailed estimate and a material list. After you have multiple quotes from several contractors you can make the right decision about your home addition project. Start Your Project with a FREE Estimate.

Looking for an Addition Contractor? Try our Free, no obligation service. Let local Addition contractors contact you and give a free quote on your Home Additions.
All Home Improvements
The most popular Home Addition types are Two Story Extensions, Second Story Extensions, Add a second story, In-law Additions, Add a living room, Master Bedroom, Add a Bathroom, Kitchen Additions, Room Addition, Bedroom Additions, Bathroom Additions, Family Room Addition, Sunroom Additions, Dormer Addition, Garage Additions, Garage Conversion, Bonus Room Above Garage Additions, Deck Additions
Home Additions and Remodeling available in the following states: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona room addition, Arkansas, Second Story Addition California, Bedroom Addition Colorado, Connecticut, DC, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Bathroom addition Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Adding a basement in Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Building a Garage in North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming.
Home Additions in most popular areas: Mesa AZ, Phoenix AZ, Long Beach CA, Los Angeles CA, Oakland CA, Orange CA, Riverside CA, San Diego CA, San Francisco CA, Santa Ana CA, Denver CO, Bridgeport CT, Washington DC, Chicago IL, Boston MA, Lowell MA, Baltimore MD, Minneapolis MN, St. Paul MN, Manchester NH, Newark NJ, New York NY, Beaverton OR, Portland OR, Philadelphia PA, Providence RI, Warwick RI, Arlington VA, Newport News VA, Norfolk VA, Vienna VA, Virginia Beach VA, Bellevue WA, Everett WA, Olympia WA, Seattle WA, Tacoma WA, Vancouver WA, Milwaukee WI

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