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Home Extension vs. Home Additions: What Are They & What's Better

Homeowners who need more space have many options available to them. Building a home extension or home addition can add square footage to your house, providing valuable space to you and other members of your household.

Home extensions and home additions also add value to your property and can help you stay in a home that you otherwise don't want to leave. Many homeowners use the terms "extension" and "addition" interchangeably, but these terms do have differences. Knowing those differences, including the benefits of each, can help you decide which one is right for you.

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What Is a Home Addition?

Home additions are built up. When building a home addition, you may choose to build a second storey, for example, or add functional space to the roof of your contemporary house. A home addition is a change that doesn't alter the existing footprint of your home but still adds space.

Benefits of a Home Addition:

  • Add a lot of square footage to your home - Building an additional storey on your home can double the size of your house, depending on your home's current size and layout.
  • No loss of yard space - An addition doesn't compromise your yard space in any way, so you can continue to enjoy your green space.
  • An excellent option for homeowners on a small lot - Maybe your outdoor space is small or non-existent. An addition makes it possible to add square footage to your home, even if you have no room for such a change on the ground.

Cons of a Home Addition:

  • Zoning and permitting can be complex - Additions are very visible, conspicuous changes, and thus are open to more scrutiny by zoning and permitting boards. This can make your project take longer and may make it more expensive as well.
  • You'll likely need to move out while work is being finished - Second-storey additions are invasive projects that require homeowners to leave their homes for some time while the work is being done.
  • Less age-in-place friendly - Anything built up on the roof of your home is likely to require stairs to be added to your house. If aging in place is your goal, this project could pose some challenges that your builder and designer will have to overcome.

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What Is a Home Extension?

A home extension is a home building project that's built onto the side of your property - usually the back. Home extensions typically add square footage to the ground level, although some extensions can add multiple stories to your home.

Benefits of a Home Extension:

  • Make the home you love more functional - A home extension is a practical way to help ensure the home you currently live in will continue to meet your needs.
  • Age-in-place friendly - Adding a room onto the first floor of your home can make your house more age-in-place friendly. Some homeowners choose to construct a master suite where they can sleep without using stairs, while others add a bathroom and utility room to their home, to bring additional services to the first floor.

Cons of a Home Extension:

  • Loss of outdoor space - Extensions stretch the foundation of your home to take up a larger chunk of your existing outdoor space. In other words, you'll lose a part of your yard if you build onto your home in this way.
  • Smaller space than an addition - Since an extension builds out and an addition builds up, an extension is more limited in how much space it can add to your home. This is a good option if you need an extra room, but not many extra rooms.

Is A Home Addition Or Extension Right For You?

Choosing between a home extension and home addition can be a challenge. When trying to decide which project is best for your home, consider factors like your budget, goals, and the size of your existing lot. Your home builder and renovator can help you decide which type of project is most realistic and best for your needs.

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Need Advice For Putting An Addition On Your Toronto Home?

At SevernWoods Fine Homes, we perform whole home renovations, home additions, and home extensions. We can show you home addition idea pictures and discuss your goals for your upcoming home improvement project.

To learn more about building an addition to a house cost and other parts of this process, contact a Toronto home builder and renovator with a reputation for excellence. Contact SevernWoods Fine Homes today to make an appointment.

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