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Ways to Estimate your Room Addition Cost

There comes a time when most families find their home is too small for them. An addition to the existing home is better than moving to a bigger house. But it’s important for you to know how much the room addition is going to cost you, so that you can plan your budget and arrange for the finances accordingly. Keep in mind that additions, on a square foot basis, are usually about 30% more expensive in comparison to new construction. This is because the existing building needs to be modified to accommodate the additions both in terms of structural safety as well as aesthetics.

While the size of the room is a major issue in determining the cost of additions, there are three other factors that you need to know about. The figures given below are approximations and the actual cost will vary depending on the region you live in, the complexity of the job and the amount of designing required.

The Type of Room

The cost of the addition will depend to a large extent on the type of room being added. A basic family room will typically cost between $80 to $130 per square foot. This means that the cost for a 400 square foot family room will be in the range of $32.000 to $52,000. However, if the addition includes a kitchen, bathroom or anything that involves extensive plumbing and fittings, the cost will be much more. If the 400 square foot addition is for a guest suite with a bathroom, the cost could climb to $100,000.

The Design

A room addition is not created on the basis of a sketch on the back of a napkin. It must fit within the existing structure and also must not affect the structural integrity of the house. This means that design plays an important role. Architect’s charges will be based on the complexity of the project.

The Materials

The type of materials that are used for the additions, including the electrical and other fittings will impact the cost of the project. The type of flooring, windows, paint, amount of electrical work and wiring etc will add to the cost. In addition, market demand can affect the cost of the materials. Prices can be low when demand drops and high when there is a remodeling /construction boom. It is a good idea to spend time online and at local hardware stores and to find out what the market rates are for the materials you plan to use. Keep in mind that the prices you have found in your research and those quoted by the contractor will not be the same. The contractor is running a business and he will need to keep a margin on the materials he orders for the project as well as cover transport costs and other incidentals.

Controlling Costs

A detailed set of addition plans and specs will allow you to price every single thing that goes into the additions so you will know what the final cost will be. In addition, ensure that the contractor gives you a comprehensive construction quote that includes all the work to be done, details of materials to be used and a detailed job wise timeframe.

No matter how much you plan, there will always be some unexpected hike in the costs. Add a contingency amount to your budget to cover this. 10% may seem high but it is a safe figure. If the money is not used on the project, it can be spent on some other home improvement work.

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