14 Ways to Add Space to Your Home that Won’t Break the Bank

The best way to make sure any renovation project will pay off with additional square footage is to check with a few appraisers prior to beginning the projects.

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Enclosed Patio

Enclosing a patio is going to be a lot of work. Putting up walls and a roof, along with a foundation but it could potentially become additional square footage if done correctly. It needs to feel like a part of the home and be accessible through the house. Another option is to build a screened-in patio if you don’t want as big of a project.

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Finishing a Basement

Unfinished areas in a house aren’t included in calculating the square footage of a home, regardless of which level they are in the house. So if your lower level is just sitting there with nothing but stud walls and bare concrete floors, you should consider finishing your basement.

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Finish a Garage

It’s a bit of a Catch-22. If you want to add square footage, finish your garage. But as soon as you finish your garage, in order for it to be considered additional square footage, it must no longer be a garage. Even if you don’t want to go all out finishing it, you can create the garage of your dreams that still holds a car.

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bump out addition
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House Bump Out

A bump-out addition is a great way to expand a small bathroom without messing with other nearby rooms. It’s complicated, but the spaced gained is well worth the effort.

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Add a Second Story

There are several factors to consider if adding another story is the right path. It can run expensive Have it built off site and added to the top to save money and time. Make sure your foundation can handle it.

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Enclose a Porch

Just like with an enclosing a patio, enclosing a porch can potentially add square footage to your home. It has to have heating, feel like a part of the house and be accessible through the house.

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Courtesy of Cris Nolasco

Small Kitchen Addition

If you have a small kitchen and have some room off the back of your house, then consider an addition to the kitchen. A minor kitchen remodel ranks toward the top of projects that recoup the associated cost. Consider adding a pantry as well to free up some space.

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Build Over the Garage

A room above a garage might prove the perfect tonic for a house with a small lot and a need for additional rooms. Be sure to check your local building codes and zoning ordinances before starting a project. You’ll save on some of the construction because there will be a foundation already in place with the garage. But there will need to be a vapor barrier to block car exhaust and of course, a new roof. Here are a few tips for converting your garage into a living space.

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Add a Dormer

Looking for a simple expansion that’ll give you more space in your home? A new dormer in a cramped, underused attic might just be the ticket. It’ll create the additional headroom you need to make a comfortable living space–an extra bedroom, studio or playroom. And a dormer window provides natural light, fresh air and perhaps some dramatic treetop views. Dormers look great from the outside, too, adding variety to a plain front and improving your home’s curb appeal, not to mention the resale value.

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Take Blueprints to County Assessor

It might sound like a fruitless venture but many have been surprised to find the county’s records don’t match the actual numbers of their home. Their records might not match the actual numbers. Either way it’s a good idea to check if you’re planning on buying or selling a house as a way to check an appraiser’s work.

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Finish an Attic

An attic must be connected through a stairway in order to be counted toward the square footage of a house. At least one half of the finished floor area must have a ceiling height of at least 7 feet. Get some ideas for a finished attic after looking at attics you’ll adore.

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Glass panel deck railing

Wrap up a Deck

If you can enclose a deck, add heating and make it feel like another part of the house, it could be considered as additional square footage. The foundation for the deck must meet code in order for the work to take place, so checking with a building official is vital before starting a project.

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Garage Bump Out

If your house is constructed as such, an addition by subtraction from your garage might help add square footage. If you’re comfortable with paring down your garage in order to add a bathroom or a bigger mudroom, then a garage bump out might work.

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Create Livable Areas

An area designated for storage might open an opportunity to turn it into a livable area to be factored into your home’s square footage, if you use it as a livable area. Just make sure to document it and update it with the county assessor.