Adding On? Attached vs. Detached Additions

From on October 06, 2009 in CalFinder News

Wanting more is an American tradition. We never seem to have enough, whether it’s clothing, money, nice things or space in our homes. So what’s a body to do? Get more! All jokes aside, adding onto your home is really a very wise investment. It’s easier than building from scratch or moving, and less wasteful than new construction. It adds to your property value, as well as to the comfort and enjoyment you experience from being at home.

Depending on your needs, you may decide to add onto your home, but you may also want to consider adding a detached structure to your property. There are several advantages to both.

detached addition remodeling

The cost of either type of addition is comparable. While it may cost a bit less to build more rooms onto your existing house, the project will also entail deconstructing portions of the homes in order to tie the new addition in, which will add costs. An attached addition may also mean constructing a whole new roof. And even though your new detached structure will come with the cost of laying new footings, so might your attached addition if you’ve decided to build out, as opposed to up.

The Attached Addition

Some of the benefits to adding onto your current home include the ability to enlarge certain rooms, making them more spacious and comfortable, as well as the capacity for bringing additional bathrooms or bedrooms to your dwelling.

Unfortunately, there are drawbacks to the attached addition, too. What drives many homeowners a bit bonkers is having to live in a mess during the construction phase. You may have your roof torn off, an exterior wall missing, and tools, materials and dust strewn about for months. And then there’s the noise. Especially if you work from home, the construction phase will cut into your productivity. Another disadvantage is that you’ll need to modify your plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems to accommodate the extra space and rooms.

The Detached Addition

A detached addition, however, nicely masks the mess and noise, because it’s all taking place OUT and away from your house, even if just by a few feet. The extra space you’re adding outside of your home can give you lots of options for multi-use areas. You can run your small business outside of your home while keeping your non-commute luxury, and during special occasions, your office can become a guest house with a private bedroom and bathroom for visitors.

If you have hobbies that are noisy or dirty, a detached addition can give you the extra space you need to enjoy yourself without tracking mud through the house or blasting awake the napping babies. Gardeners and woodworkers can once again pursue their passions without getting their spouse’s panties in a bunch.

A drawback may be your local zoning laws. You’ll need to check with your city or county before making any firm plans. Be sure you can have a detached addition at all, and see what restrictions they have on those types of projects.