By determining the cost of an addition to your home and working to keep this cost within reason, you will be able to build the addition that you desire. You may find, however, that the cost of an addition is higher per square foot than the cost of entirely new construction. There are several reasons why this is so. First, demolition will probably be involved. Chances are, the contractor will have to demolish some of the current home in order to build the addition, which adds costs both for labor and the disposal of debris. These costs will be over and above the costs of the construction of the addition.  Secondly, the

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demolition may reveal repair work that must be done before proceeding with the new construction.  Thirdly, the addition must match the existing structure exactly. If your home is not currently sitting on a structurally sound foundation, i.e., it is not perfectly square or level, then the addition may need extensive foundation work.  There is also extra work involved in tying the addition in to the original structure.  Besides these financial considerations, there is the inconvenience to you and family members during construction.

Costs of preparation and design:

• Fees charged by the designer or architect.
• Cost of permits required to build the addition.
• Costs for any demolition required.
• Costs to seal off the rest of the house from the construction area.
• Costs to prepare the area for the addition.

Construction costs – for each category listed there will be costs both for materials and labor:

• the foundation
• framing
• electricity
• plumbing, if required
• the roof
• cooling and heating system
• telephone lines and jacks, satellite and cable, if desired
• interior and exterior surfaces
• flooring
• windows and doors
• appliances, fixtures and cabinets, as needed
• finishing work such as painting, baseboards and trim

Management costs for the project:

• the general contractor
• the subcontractors
• all required inspections

Additional costs:

• required insurance
• losses, tools and equipment, garbage disposal fees, repairs, and cleanup
• safety equipment

Hidden costs:

• last minute changes
• upgrade of materials
• unexpected delays or problems
• enhancing decorative items such as the window treatments, etc.
• impact on utility bills
• impact on insurance
• impact on taxes


There are many ways in which you can save money when building a new addition to your home. With some proper management, time, and imaginative thinking, you can save on much of the work involved.

Consider the following simple tips:

1. Preparation: Instead of an architect, enlist the services of a contractor with design skills or a home designer. Also, consider doing some of the work yourself, including site preparation, demolition, and sealing of the adjacent areas.
2. Construction: Make as much of the work a do-it-yourself project. Shop and compare costs of materials to ensure that you are getting the most reasonable values. Reduce costs by using as many prefabricated materials as possible. Have a well thought out plan that details the finished product, including how you will best utilize the space and the fixtures, so you don’t make last minute changes. For each change a contractor or subcontractor is required to perform, there is an additional cost.
3. Project management: For those who are capable of managing the project themselves, acting as the general contractor is an option which will save a tremendous amount of money.
4. Other costs and hidden costs: Minimize upgrades during the actual construction. Carefully plan ahead to reduce the need for changes and repairs. Be sure that your property and your possessions are protected in order to prevent losses. Also, if possible, sell or donate construction materials that are removed during the demolition.

To find resources, design ideas and suggestions, click here to check out more of our articles. For estimates on the cost of room additions, click here to work with our free home addition cost calculators.