If you’re a homeowner living in a small home and you’re looking at options to increase the square footage of your home, then look no further.

Irrespective of whether you’re looking at expanding your family room, adding a den, craving for a brand new master bedroom and bathroom, building your kids a new dorm-style room or feel the need for a guest bedroom, we’ve got a few pocket-friendly room addition ideas for small homes for you to explore.

How to add an extra room without breaking the bank?

1. Renovate existing spaces

One of the easiest ways to add an extra room to a small home is by modifying or completing existing spaces like basements, garages, and attics. These spaces are perfect to convert if you’re looking at adding a guest room, building a family room or adding a home gym

Since you already have the basic structure, adding to your living space will only take some insulation, plumbing, and electrical work, with some amount of fabrication depending on how much natural light you want to let in.

Remodeling basements, garages, and attics are all unique in their way, though. For example, while natural light and ventilation can be a problem in all three cases, sliding and/or dormer windows can be easily added to attics and garages. Basements will predominantly need artificial lighting.

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Insulation against the elements is something you will have to spend on in all three cases. For example, most attics will have roof vents that will need to be addressed if it is to be converted into a living space. A new staircase may also be in order. You will also have to see if your existing HVAC system can support your new living space.

On the other hand, converting a garage into a living space may need you to raise the height of the flooring and the ceiling, change the door to better suit the new purpose, add new heating, plumbing, new windows and maybe even a carpet for the floor to complete the project.

2. Add a sunroom

A great way to increase the square feet of your living room while adding to the curb appeal of your home is to build out and add a sunroom.

Since sunrooms are predominantly windows, they allow in oodles of natural light and make for great cross ventilation. Sunrooms are also amazingly affordable and customizable. The market has great do-it-yourself kits made by multiple manufacturers, giving you options in design while guaranteeing you savings because you don’t need to hire a contractor.

You could even make building your new sunroom a family activity, allowing you to spend some quality time together.

3. Build up

If you’re looking at building yourself a master bedroom and master bathroom, you’ll need considerably more space. You might have to consider adding a new story to your home, or building up, as it’s often called. 

Building up will mean drawing new floor plans, and will give you the freedom to choose how large you want your living space to be, what you want it to look like, what kind of flooring and fittings you want, etc.

Building up would also allow you to add private luxuries such as walk-in wardrobes, private outdoor decks with access from your master bedroom, his and her wash closets, jacuzzis and/or large bathtubs, etc.

Read more: How to build a tiny house

4. Build above your garage

Another easy way to add square footage if you’re looking at building your kids a room or adding a guest room is to build on top of your garage. If your garage is already flat-roofed, you can save money on the flooring by reinforcing the roof and adding the kind of tiles, wood or carpet you want. 

You could consider reducing costs by incorporating large windows and aluminum sliding doors, which are also efficient in letting in natural light. 

You will, however, need to work closely with your plumber and your contractor to make sure your pipes are laid only overheated areas and not in external walls. It would also help to keep in mind that you will need modifications to your existing home to be able to access the new part of the home.

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5. Easy to build mudrooms

If you live in a four-season area and need to build a mudroom, you could do so with relative ease by enclosing a part of your porch. You could also increase the amount of natural light your existing living area gets by adding large windows to the new mudroom. 

Permits and costs

  • Any changes to your existing floor plan will need you to apply for a building permit. In addition to the building permit, you will also system permits to carry out any plumbing, electrical and mechanical work.
  • The average cost of building one square foot is between $86-$208. The national average cost for adding a room to home is estimated at around $44,968.

Want a quote on your home improvement project?

How Much Does It Cost to Build a Wall? Take a look at our guide.

How much does it cost to add a room?

The cost of adding an additional room depends on the size of the room and the amount of work required in building it. The average cost of adding an extra room may vary from $86 to $208 a square foot. The national average cost of building an additional room is pegged at around $44,968. Adding a 20 x 20 family room may put you down around $48,000. The table below ought to give you a fair understanding of the costs involved.

ElementAverage Cost per 100 Square Feet
Foundation Materials$400 – $700
Foundation Installation$4,000 – $12,000
Roof Framing$700 – $900
Roofing Materials$500 – $5,000
Demolition of Load Bearing Walls$1,200 – $10,000
Demolition of Non-Load Bearing Walls$300 – $1,000
Permitting$400 – $1,850
Drywall$400 – $600
Flooring: Carpet$350
Drywall$400 – $600
Flooring: Wood$800 – $1,000
Plumbing and Bathroom Fixtures$1,500 – $4,000

Read more: Taking Down A Wall: Costs and Considerations

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Adding a room to your home is beneficial in multiple ways. Sure, it’s going to be a long-drawn process and will leave a mess behind, but the added square footage will only increase the overall market value of your home.
Not only that, your family and you get to continue enjoying the comforts, familiarity and neighborhood charm you’ve gotten used to for a fraction of what it would cost you to buy a new home.
We hope we’ve introduced you to affordable home addition ideas that you can use when you feel the need to add some living space, irrespective of whether it’s a guest room, a master bedroom, a den or an extension to your living room.

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Room Addition Ideas for Small Homes was last modified: October 11th, 2022 by Narayan Shrouthy
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