As their families grow, many people give thought to moving to a larger home. But some people, while they need the additional space, are reluctant to put their home up for sale and begin the search for a new one.

Sometimes, it's just the thought of moving that deters them; packing up an entire household, trying to keep everything tidy while prospective buyers tour your home, and going to countless open houses is overwhelming.

For others, the idea of parting with their home, filled with so many memories, sending the kids to new schools, and leaving the familiarity of the neighborhood is panic-inducing. This is when some people begin giving serious thought to room additions. Here are some factors to consider.

Is There Enough Room To Add On?

You can't add on a room addition if you don't have anywhere to put it. Your lot size needs to be large enough to accommodate building on. If you don't have much room on the sides of your present house, you can look to building off the back, either the width of the home, or jutting out, creating a new L-shaped structure.

If your lot size can't accommodate a first-floor addition, you could consider building up rather than out. However, this isn't quite as easy as a traditional addition. When your home was originally built, it's skeleton wasn't made to support the extra weight of a second-story. This means a structural engineer would need to be consulted, which isn't cheap. You're also essentially building a new home on top on your existing home, and this is going to be pricey. That's not to say it can't be done, but it's considerably more complicated and more expensive.

Will Your Neighborhood Support The Investment?

If your neighborhood is primarily smaller 2-bedroom Cape Cod-style homes, you will need to do your research to see if the expense of adding on would offer a good return on your investment. The last thing you want to do is add on knowing you would never be able to recoup the cost should you decide to sell further down the line. On the other hand, if your home is one of the smallest ones in the neighborhood, chances are adding on will add considerably to the value of your home.

If you are considering adding square footage to your current space, consult with a qualified contractor who is experienced with room additions to further explore your options and limitations. 

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