Gatineau: 273 Boulevard Saint-Joseph #2, Gatineau, QC J8Y 3Y1

Phone Icon

 +1 819 598 2109

Ottawa: 80 Terence Matthews Crescent #5D, Kanata, ON K2M 2B4

Phone Icon

 +1 613 266 9084

Mail Icon​​​​​​​

Things to think about when planning a home addition

Thinking about a home addition?

Generally there are two options to consider when adding living space to your home; extend the ground floor to add to the footprint of your home, and/or build up on to the existing structure to add space on a second floor. Here are some things to consider for both options.

When adding to the footprint of your home while extending the ground floor you can choose to build the structure onto a newly installed foundation, or, depending on the size (generally anything under 256sq.ft.), have the new structure built on to structural metal screw piles. 

Building onto a new foundation: Albeit the more expensive option, is also the option that adds the most value to your home for a future sale of your property. Having the addition installed on a new foundation also means, any added space to the ground floor will be mirrored in the basement. Another thing to consider is that the new space in the basement will need to be heated, adding a small amount to the electrical or gas bill over time. Also, in order to install a new foundation, heavy machinery would have been used at the beginning of the project to excavate the area. This means your land will be in need of some general landscaping repairs once the project is complete.

Building on to metal screw piles, the more inexpensive option, will add living space uniquely to ground floor. It doesn’t require any excavating work and will not damage any of the landscaping on your property. You will save on any costs that would have been incurred from excavating work, concrete foundation installation and/or landscaping work. Depending on the municipality where the addition is taking place, there can be limitations to the size of an addition that is permitted to be built onto metal screw piles. For specific information regarding these limitations relating to your property, you are best to visit to your municipality’s urbanism department.

When building up on to the existing structure, again you will save on any excavating, foundation and/or landscaping costs. Depending on the model of your home, this can be a great way to add some living space. A popular, low cost addition option is to add living space onto a garage of a two story home. In these specific case, there is already a stairwell and stair-set the lead to a second floor, and generally these additions can be effected with minimal renovation work carried out on the existing side of the home. Other second story additions, such as in cases where there is no existing second floor to the house, require ample amounts of work on the existing ground floor of the home, and can be more costly. It is still important to visit the municipality’s office to ensure that an addition of this kind will be permitted in your sector.  

Visiting your municipality’s urbanism department is actually one of the first steps you should take if you are seriously considering an addition of any kind. There, you can be informed on all your possibilities and/or limitations. Gathering this information early on in the process is important, because finding out about a particular constraint or limitation during the late stages of planning results in a lot of time, and in some cases, money, being wasted.

A reputable construction contractor can be a great source of information during the early stages of planning. Any questions in regards to what additions are possible with the existing structure of your home can be answered by an experienced home addition contractor. Also, your contractor should be able to guide you in regards to approximate budgets prices for the various options being considered. This information is crucial when you are trying to decide which addition option is best for you.

In conclusion, there are different options when it comes to adding living space to your home and it is important to gather the right information early on in the process to allow for proper planning. Having an experienced contractor on board early on in the process to guide you through the structural options and budget approximations is also beneficial. If ever you have any questions in regards to the home addition process, fell free to contact us directly.