Types of Home Additions Explored

Are you dreaming of more space in your home and all the fabulous things you can do with it? Sometimes just a few hundred square feet can make all the difference in gaining the much-needed elbow room you’ve been dreaming about. A home addition can be a perfect solution. Did you know there are several options to choose from? An addition that is right for you will depend on your home’s existing footprint and your family’s functional needs. Here are a few types to explore, and their unique benefits:

Main Floor / First-Floor Room Addition

If you have plenty of yard space, increasing the footprint of your home is an ideal solution. You can:

  • Add a second master suite for aging parents
  • Build out a media center for a roomier entertainment space
  • Create a sizeable, functional mudroom, laundry center, or another bathroom
  • Build another home office that also functions as a guest room when you have two people working from home
  • Create an additional playroom or game center so those toddlers or teenagers can have their own space
  • Build a home gym for yourself, and eliminate the excuses for not working out

A main floor addition typically involves adding to the home’s foundation as well as the roofline. Generally, your remodeling contractor will bring in a piece of excavating equipment to dig up the yard in the area where the addition will sit. Then, they will install a new foundation and construct the walls and roof of the addition before opening the existing exterior wall, linking the new and old spaces. A successful home addition should also blend seamlessly with the existing residential design of your home, so it looks like it was part of the home’s original structure.

Bump Out

Dining Room Bump Out Addition

If you’re not quite prepared to commit to a full main floor addition, a bump out could be an excellent choice. A bump out is merely an expansion of an existing room in your home, often adding a modest amount of square footage but still making a sizeable impact. A bump out can allow you to:

  • Add a bigger seating area in your kitchen or expand the kitchen footprint to allow for a larger functional island
  • Turn a small powder room into a full-size bathroom complete with a shower and larger vanity
  • Turn a modest bedroom into a more substantial master suite with french doors opening to the backyard
  • Expand a cramped laundry room to include a new pet grooming station and much-needed storage

Similar to a main floor room addition, a bump out often includes adding to the foundation as well as the roofline. But, because of the smaller scale, a bump out will usually cost significantly less than a full room addition.

Second Story Addition

If your home’s lot size is limited and not conducive to building out, then you may want to consider building UP. While this type of addition is almost always a more complex and expensive option, you’ll end up with twice the home! Imagine what you can do with all of that added space? For growing families who love their neighborhood and have no interest in moving, this can be a functional and practical solution to obtaining the larger home you want.

Room Conversion Addition

Many homeowners already have the space in their home for an addition; it just needs to be converted:


Unfinished basements are the perfect blank canvas. Basements are often already wired for electricity and plumbing, which makes this addition more affordable. You just need to decide on how you want to use the space. If you design your basement to include a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchenette, you have an ideal in-law suite (to earn rental income or keep family members close). You can also divide your basement into smaller rooms to satisfy multiple needs (think second office, home gym or arts, and crafts room). You are only limited by your own imagination!


The angled shape of many attics bodes well for a media room conversion, teenage hang out space or man cave.


A detached garage offers a ready-made foundation to add an addition. Or if you have an attached garage that just acts as a catch-all space and is rarely used for your car, it might be worth converting to gain valuable, livable space for your family.

Photo Courtesy of Home Stratosphere

Sunroom/Enclosed Patio Addition

Photo Courtesy of Maccomb County Sunrooms

Many homes built in the last two decades have patios. While patios are perfect for entertaining and enjoying the outdoors in ideal weather conditions, why not enclose it for multipurpose use 365 days a year? If you live in an area where underground obstacles or local building codes prohibit conventional additions, a sunroom or enclosed patio could be an ideal solution to adding to your much-needed living space.

ADU Addition

ADU additions have skyrocketed in popularity over the last decade, especially in California where home prices are high and more people are looking for affordable housing. An Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) is a room or set of rooms in a single-family zone that has been designed or configured to be used as a separate living unit that has been established by permit. ADUs generally include living, sleeping, kitchen and bathroom facilities and have a lockable, dedicated entrance door. A detached ADU is the same concept, but the living area is in a separate structure, normally a backyard cottage or above a detached garage.

The beauty of this type of home addition is that it not only gives you the flexibility of using the extra livable space for you and your family but you also have the option of earning rental income. Before embarking on an ADU build, it’s essential that you check the ADU laws in your areaand work with a qualified design/build contractor who is knowledgeable about ADUs.

If you’re ready to finally design and build that extra space you’ve been dreaming about, Acton ADU can help. Generate some ideas by visiting our Design Portfolio. Or contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

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