While a home addition may be the best decision you make for your home, several factors are worth considering.
Are you contemplating an addition for aesthetic reasons? Do you want more space? Is it to increase the value of your home? Is it something else entirely?
Your needs and wants will determine the kind of addition to pursue and the cost of said project.
Average Home Addition Costs
Although different types of home additions incur different costs, here are the prices we’re used to seeing on quotes our clients receive from contractors:
|Types of Home Additions||Average costs (incl. material & labour)|
|Storey addition (unfinished)||$100 to $150/sq.ft.|
|Storey addition (turnkey)||$145 to $210/sq.ft.|
|Garage addition (unfinished)||$85 to $135/sq.ft.|
|Garage addition (turnkey)||$120 to $175/sq.ft.|
|Home addition on piles (unfinished)||$110 to $150/sq.ft.|
|Home addition on piles (turnkey)||$140 to $210/sq.ft.|
|Home addition on foundation/slab (unfinished)||$125 to $200/sq.ft.|
|Home addition on foundation/slab (turnkey)||$170 to $255/sq.ft.|
|4-Season sunroom on piles (turnkey)||$145 to $220/sq.ft.|
The Cost of a Home Addition on a Foundation
The cost of a turnkey home addition on a foundation is roughly around $170 and $255 per square foot. If you’re looking for a lot more space in your home, this addition type is a great option. You’ll greatly expand your home’s main floor, but also expand the footprint of your basement. On average, finishing a basement costs $30/sq.ft. Extending your home by extending your existing foundation is also warmer during winter months, compared to an addition on piles.
When planning out a home addition, one of the greater challenges your architect or technologist faces is putting together a plan that will seamlessly integrate itself to your home’s current architectural design. Below is a lateral home addition on a foundation that one of our contractors completed for the Laferriere family. The addition is unnoticeable because of the great work the architects put into planning the addition.
The Cost of a Home Addition on Piles
If you plan on getting a home addition on piles, the quotes you receive are likely to be anywhere between $110 and $210 per square foot – all depending on whether or not you’re looking to get a fully finished, turnkey addition. Going for this type of home addition will allow you to save costs, in comparison to a home addition done on a concrete slab. Opting for an addition on piles has quite a few advantages. A house on piles is highly resistant to unstable grounds, making it quite easy to build. Also, the machinery required to get the job done are much less invasive and costly than the ones needed for a foundation. This option has a higher probability of a higher return on investment.
However, it’s important to note that your energy bills might be a little higher during winter months as an addition on piles is not as insulating as concrete. To avoid major heat losses, it’s important to properly insulate your addition’s floor with special insulating materials.
Below is the Carles family’s 12′ x 12′ home addition on piles. They were looking to expand their dining room’s space and add a new bathroom.
The Cost of a Home Addition on a Concrete Slab
Extending your home on a concrete slab is another option you can go for. This home addition option’s cost is anywhere between $170 and $255 per square foot. It’s ideal if you don’t want to excavate to add a new foundation, and it’s also more insulating than an addition on piles. Your expansion will essentially be built on monolithic concrete (concrete poured only once), which has 2 roles — foundation of this new addition and floor of the space. Insulating this kind of floor is much easier than insulating a floor built on piles as the concrete slab retains heat during winter months. If you plan on going with this kind of addition, you’ll need to check if your property can withstand this kind of structure.
Here’s the Gagnon family’s home addition. They decided to expand their bungalow to increase their living space. The family went for a 14′ x 18′ addition on a concrete slab. Given they were already renovating their bungalow, they took the opportunity to also change their home’s siding so the extension and the original parts of their home can match.
The Cost of a Sunroom or a Solarium
A sunroom can be built on piles, on a foundation, or even on a concrete slab. Generally speaking, homeowners tend to get a 4-season sunroom on piles, given its smaller price tag. The cost for this kind of home addition varies between $145 and $220 per square foot. A sunroom addition needs to be insulated, ventilated and heated just like the rest of the house or any other kind of home addition. A solarium or 3-season sunroom, on the other hand, aren’t necessarily considered home additions. If you choose to get a sunroom addition facing south, getting slightly tinted windows is not a bad idea as the space’s internal temperature can rise quite high in summer months. You’re also likely to need air conditioning in this new space during the summertime.
In the below example, the Weber family got a 4-season sunroom built. It fits nicely with their heritage-style home.
The Cost of Adding a Second Storey
A turnkey storey addition can cost anywhere between $145 and $210 per square foot. This is one of the most popular home addition options for many reasons. Firstly, you can expand your living space without taking up more space on your property. It also increases your home’s resale value significantly. Though, like any other home addition, you’ll need to check the rules and regulations in your city. You’ll also need to be ready for 2 to 3 months of planning out the work, then, depending on how complex the work to be done is, plan for another 3 months of construction.
Adding a second storey is also a great option for those looking to convert their home into a bi-generational one. That’s exactly what the Gilbert family did! Learn the details of their bi-generational home addition project on Reno-Inspiration.
The Cost of Adding a Garage
Adding a garage not only allows you to add a space dedicated to your workshop or cars, but some people also opt to add more living space above it. The cost of a turnkey garage addition is anywhere between $120 and $175 per square foot. The Dube family added a garage with extra living space above it!
The Cost of Adding a Basement
Adding a basement to your home is no simple feat. This option is rather pricey, as there are a lot of costly steps involved. House lifting costs roughly between $16,000 and $20,000, then the foundation can cost anywhere between $30,000 and $45,000, and finally you’ll need to add the cost of finishing your basement which is roughly $35 per square foot – all depending on whether or not you’re to include a bathroom, kitchen, etc. The overall cost for adding a basement can vary greatly. It can be as low as $80,000 but easily go above $250,000. Of course, if you already have a basement and are looking to expand it or have a crawlspace, costs will vary as underpinning processes will take place.
It’s also important to note that not all houses are ideal for this kind of addition. Homes with wooden structures and lightweight exterior siding are much easier to work with compared to homes covered in masonry. Sometimes, homeowners decide to get a basement put in to create a rental apartment. In such a case, an areaway (i.e. a separate entrance) needs to be included as well as plumbing, electrical, and more. For this kind of project there are many rules and regulations to follow according to your region’s Building Code. It’s not as simple as finishing your basement. However, adding a rental space is sure to increase your building’s resale value. Keep in mind that you’ll need to check with your city if such a project is feasible.
The Cost to Convert Your Attic
Converting your attic is also a great idea! However, if the roof isn’t at least 7 feet above the base (or “floor”) of your attic for at least 50% of the space’s surface area, you’ll need to lift it. The cost to do so varies between $25 and $35 per square foot, thus about $25,000 for an average-sized bungalow. Note that the height mentioned previously needs to be taken into account without including the ceiling and the actual flooring materials. Given that this kind of work touches your home’s overall structure, you’ll need to hire a structural engineer to check out the project’s feasibility.
Additional Home Addition Costs: Permits and Plans
When you start thinking about getting a home addition done, you’ll need to check with your city what kind of addition you’re allowed to have, what dimensions are permitted, whether siding options are imposed or not, and more. In fact, there are urban planning rules that specifically regulate home additions. Many municipalities even require you to get your plans done and officially signed by an architect or technologist before even handing you over the permit. Depending on where you live, the cost of a permit can vary depending on the kind of home addition you plan on getting done. On average, a permit is about $200. As for plans, depending on how complex they are, their cost can vary between $2,000 and $3,500 if they’re done by a technologist. If your project requires an architect’s expertise, the plans are likely to cost you anywhere between 10% and 20% of your project’s total value. It’s fairly easy to find permit request information online for most cities: Toronto, Mississauga, Pickering, Vaughan, Markham, Montreal, Laval. Some of them offer online application forms while other require you to show up at the urban planning office with your plans and home’s deed in hand.
Live in Toronto? Check out our Guide on Toronto Home Additions to learn the entire process – including the cost of each party involved!
Does doing your home addition yourself save on costs?
Careful! Self-builds are a lot more complex than they seem. In fact, a home addition requires pretty much the same elements as building a new home: electricity, plumbing, insulation, etc. Some of these elements need to be installed by a licensed professional – meaning that you wouldn’t be able to do the work yourself. For instance, you’ll need qualified tradesmen for both electrical and plumbing work.
When hiring sub-contractors, it’s your responsibility to check with the appropriate governing bodies whether or not they truly are licensed and reliable contractors. When hiring certain tradesmen, you can be considered as their “boss” during the time they work on your project. If that’s the case, you might need to check with certain governing bodies if you’ll need a permit to do so. It’s important to note that in the eyes of the law, even family and friends helping you can be considered as salaried employees.
When you hire a contractor, they have the right liability insurance policies in case anything ever happens on the worksite. If you opt for a self-build, you’ll also need to get the right insurance. You’ll have a lot of material on hand that isn’t covered for theft or vandalism by standard home insurance. In this case, the tools used are also of greater value than regular tools found in a home, so, you’ll want to insure the equipment too. You’ll also need to consider civil liability in case a third party gets injured.
Essentially, self-builds can seem attractive because of the savings you’ll make in labour hours. However, there are so many details that need to be considered, which will cost you time and require you to be extremely organized.
We Know The Best Home Addition Contractors Out There!
We’re proud to say that we have the best verification process in the entire industry. Each and every contractor we work with has undergone a strict 360° Verification Process. We check their financial solvency, their legal history, client references, their licenses, their insurance policies and much more! When you choose to get quotes from our contractors, you receive their up-to-date verification reports. Your risks when following through with these renovations are therefore minimized as you won’t have to vet the contractors. We’ve already taken care of that for you!
A Renovation Advisor with You Every Step of The Way
Besides having a database of 360° Verified Contractors, we also have dedicated Renovation Advisors to guide you every step of the way. They’ll take into account your needs and wants and get up to 3 home addition contractors to compete against one another and provide you quotes. They’ll help you understand their quotes so you’re sure to end up with a fairly priced quotes.
Get Quotes Now!
Call us or fill out our form to get in touch with one of our Renovation Advisors today! They’ll rally up home addition contractors to bid on your project! Our service is at no cost, no obligation to you.
Happy Renovations Start Here!
"I'm here to help you with your home addition project"
- Francis / Renovation Advisor at Reno-Assistance
Updated December 17th, 2019