While planning a home addition, the first place to start is understanding what your budget for the project will be and how much the project will cost. Unfortunately, the type of addition you want to build can have a huge impact on the total cost. Home construction, additions included, are higher in the San Francisco, San Jose, and greater Bay Area of California, than the rest of the United States.
The cost to construct an addition is similar to a brand new construction. The average home addition in the Bay Area costs around $350-500 per square foot. Bathroom additions cost between $350-500 per square foot, adding up to around $67,000 for 150 square feet.
We’ll break down how much different types of additions cost, how much return you might get for your investment, and which additions are trending for the highest market value increase in the Bay Area.
How to Estimate Costs for a Home Addition
Everything is more expensive in the San Francisco area, including home additions. HomeAdvisor.com estimates the average home addition in the United States costs about $80-200 per square foot, but the Bay area costs between $350-500. The cost doesn’t just come from the ZIP Code. Due to demand, high costs of living, and high operating costs, the cost of materials and labor is higher.
The lowest cost home additions will be simple projects. An easy addition will only require a single connected opening between the old part of the house and the new. However, site work, utilities, grading, and excavation can also add substantial costs. Costs can be minimized if the flow of your home can move seamlessly from the old house into the new portion, without an interior major renovation of the existing portion.
If you have to renovate the older part of your house, and perform significant site or utility work, or if you’re adding any additional bathrooms, kitchens or other plumbing work, your cost can be much higher.
To estimate the cost of your home addition, multiple the cost per square foot by the estimated size of your addition. If your addition is 400 square feet, multiply 400 by $350 and $500 to get your low and high-end costs. Therefore, your costs could range between $140,000-$200,000. Keep in mind that permits and fees may cost about %10-%15 of this total, while design and professional services may cost about 15% of the total.
Best Home Additions Investments
When estimating the cost for your home addition, you may also want to consider your return on investment. Owning your own home is an investment in itself, therefore spending money to improve the property can increase its value as an asset. It’s important to consider which investments would provide the biggest bang for your buck for when you resell the home in the future.
According to the Cost Versus Value 2020 Report, the home Addition with the biggest return is the addition of a wood deck. The average wood deck addition (national) costs around $20,000 dollars and the average increased market value is $20,533 for a return of 102.8%. Interestingly, the addition of a composite deck costs more at around $26,000, but only resulted in a resale value of around $23,000, resulting in an overall net loss.
Surprisingly the home addition with the lowest return on investment is the addition of an upscale master suite. The cost is around $343k dollars but results in an increased market value of only $243k, netting in a loss of almost $100,000.
Finished Basement Addition
Additions typically add usable, “heated”, or “conditioned” area to your home, which increases the property’s value.
One of the top home improvements that increase property value is adding a finished basement to your home. If you have an unfinished basement, you may avoid it due to dampness, darkness, or overall creepiness. However, you can make use of your home’s deep foundations to add a finished slab over the dirt floor, waterproof a leaky slab, or just add finished drywall, lighting, and power, to make the space feel more comfortable.
The average cost to finish a basement is about $28,400, but the range could be between $7,800 to $64,000. The low-end range is typically just adding a little drywall or paint, while the higher end range includes waterproofing the structure, installing sump pumps, or finishing the entire floor and building walls.
Adding Conditioned Spaces Above Detached Garages
Adding a detached garage can add significant market value to your home. A detached garage may not add “heated” square footage to your home but has the potential to. Many homeowners may decide to add a detached suite, or “mother-in-law’s” suite above a garage, which can be used for guests, office space, or kid’s playhouse.
Detached garages can increase interest in your home in the future when it’s on the market, which results in higher or more competitive offers. Homeguides.sfgate.com says that the average detached garage costs just $30-55 per square foot. For a two-car garage, this would average between $11,800-$19,000.
Even if you already have a garage, there could be benefits to adding a separate detached garage and converting your existing garage into a conditioned area inside your home. Your existing garage is already connected to your home so power, heating, and cooling can easily be brought over from the existing living spaces in your home.
Enclosed Porch for an All-Season Sun Room
An easy addition to consider includes enclosing an existing deck or patio to create an all-season sunroom. Since the deck or patio structure already exists, it’s easy to add a roof or awning, with exterior walls, to create an airtight space. However, you may need to seal up the deck below, which may include replacing the deck boards with tight fitting planks. Alternatively, you may be able to add insulation and waterproofing below to keep the floor air and watertight.
If you have outdoor receptacles on the deck, you may be able to keep your costs low without having to add additional power. A small plugin heater can keep the sunroom warm in the winter, while a small split system can keep it cool in the summer if a fan won’t cut it.
Homeadvisor.com says that enclosing a patio typically costs as low as $2,900, one of the lowest home addition costs discussed here, or up to $40,000, depending on how much you do. The average is about $16,340. The Bay Area average increases to $16,586-$27,000, which is also one of costs least impacted by the Bay Area’s location.
The lowest cost projects will typically use lightweight or low-end screening materials, such as mosquito netting or vinyl plastic for windows. The higher-end projects typically make the sunroom a weather-tight, air-conditioned space, adding to the total conditioned area of your home.
How Much Does a Bathroom Addition Cost in the Bay Area?
People who have lived with roommates or family in a home with a single bathroom know the importance of having multiple bathrooms. Since so many people want more than one restroom, many homeowners would think that adding a second bathroom to their home will help increase the market value.
The Cost vs Value 2020 Report notes that the average restroom addition costs approximately $120,160 in the Bay Area for an upscale 100 square foot bathroom addition. This averages to about $1,202 per square foot. However, this assumes that the bathroom is finished with upscale fixtures and finishes. The increased market value is only $86,842 on average.
A mid-range bathroom costs around $67,378, nearly half the price. This cost assumes a 6×8 bathroom addition, or about 48 square feet, resulting in a rate of $1,400, a higher cost per square foot than the upscale addition!
There are several reasons why the midrange costs per square foot are higher than the upscale version. The upscale version area is much larger. When constructing an addition, there is an economy in scale. For example, a single restroom may have plumbing connections for a sink, toilet, and shower or tub, which doesn’t change regardless of how large the bathroom is or how high end the fixtures are.
The larger the project, the lower the costs per square foot usually are. If you are considering a bathroom addition, consider adding extra living space or bedroom space to get more bang for your buck.
How Much Does a Bedroom Addition Cost in the Bay Area?
A simple bedroom addition is the cheapest addition to consider for your home. If you have a two-bedroom, two-bathroom home, a third bedroom is easy to implement. Many homeowners will consider adding a second story over their garage or existing home, with a stair on the exterior of the garage or home.
The Cost vs Value 2020 Report notes that the average bedroom suite addition costs approximately $373,655 in the Bay Area for an upscale 640 square foot bedroom addition. This averages to about $583 per square foot. The high costs also includes a master bath, which includes a soaking tub and walk in shower, as well as high end fixtures, and a “hospitality bar.” The increased market value is only $86,842 on average.
A mid-range bedroom suite costs around $187,004, nearly half the price. This cost assumes a 384 square foot, resulting in a rate of $489. While the mid-range master bedroom suite also includes a master bath, the fixtures are much lower end, and a hospitality bar is not included.
Without the extra bathroom, the additional bedroom addition cost will be lower. Building a second story on your home will be much less expensive, (even if you have to reinforce some of the structure below), than building a new foundation to the side of your home. The average room addition costs between $80-$200 in the Bay area according to HomeAdvisor.com. However, a more correct cost would be around 300-450 per square foot bedroom addition. A rand range might be between $120,000-$180,000 for a 400sqft room.
How Much Does a Kitchen Addition Cost in the Bay Area?
Many homeowners may not consider a kitchen addition for their home, but some may see value in opening up the floor plan to have an open space between the living room, dining area, and kitchen.
Kitchen additions will cost more than a kitchen remodel. If you want to read more about kitchen remodeling costs, read more about our break down here.
In addition to the costs for plumbers, electricians, cabinetry, and interior finishes, you’ll also add costs for the extra foundations, roofing, exterior finishes, and site work. Instead of a kitchen addition, consider adding additional living space instead, making use of your existing plumbing and power connections to remodel your existing kitchen space, which will help keep the overall costs down.
Vertical versus Horizontal Additions
Some homes may have no option but to look up for adding area to their home, while other homeowners see tons of open space on their lot. There are benefits and downfalls to both options. Depending on your situation, one may be more cost-effective than the other.
Horizontal additions often require significantly more infrastructure including:
- Excavating new foundations, possibly leveling the site to make it large enough for the new addition.
- Supporting your home’s existing foundation.
- Constructing a new foundation.
- Attaching the addition to the existing home’s exterior walls, and possibly replacing sections of exterior finishes
- Attaching the addition’s roof to the existing roof, making sure that the new seam is waterproof.
Vertical additions can have concerns, such as:
- Ensuring the existing foundation can support the new load
- Reinforcing the foundation or columns inside the first floor of the home
- Removing and replacing the existing roof over the addition
- Existing plumbing, power, and HVAC upwards in the home
The above options may help you decide what is right for you. If you have an existing attic that can be converted into a play area, storage, or personal office, you may be able to save money on roofing or foundation costs. Similarly, an existing garage may be able to easily support a second floor addition.
How to Finance Your Home Addition
There are several options to finance your project. If you have an existing mortgage on your home, you can look into options for a Home Improvement Loan, Home Equity Lines of Credit, or a second mortgage. Read more about financing home improvement projects in our post here: https://elementhomeremodeling.com/home-improvement-loans-explained/
Why Does a Home Addition Cost So Much?
Home additions are like building a new home. Remodeling projects cost much less, as the existing exterior skin of the home typically isn’t impacted. Since your exterior structure protects you from the elements, you need to pay special attention and invest more in their construction to make sure your home stands up to rain, fog, cold, and earthquakes.
Once you’ve estimated your costs, secured your financing, and set your budget, make sure you pick the right team to implement your project. Choosing the right time can help you maximize the benefit of your addition, reduce stress about the project, and help you stick to your your budget and schedule.
Picking the lowest cost materials or the cheapest contractor will often lead to heartaches. Low bid contractors will usually issue change orders throughout the process for any minor changes, set backs, or complications. In addition, poor management can lead to schedule delays that cause you additional costs or frustration while waiting for your project to be completed.
Low costs materials wear out quickly. The materials, finishes, or fixtures, or appliances could be outdated or worn out before you ever resell your home, resulting in reduced market resell value or extra costs for having to replace them.
Make sure you plan your project carefully and stick to your plan throughout the process. With the right design and construction team on your side, they can help guide you through the process and make sure you are happy with the end results.
Choosing the Right Home Addition in the Bay Area
While the average home addition in the Bay Area may be substantially higher than home additions throughout the rest of the United States, the cost is an investment that can be partially, if not completely, recuperated when you resell your home in the future. The investment will be well worth it, whether you sell on the sooner side or have years to enjoy it as planned.
Adding living spaces and bedrooms will have the lowest costs while bringing significant value to your home, whereas adding bathrooms, kitchens, or other spaces with significant plumbing or power needs, can be costly without much return. Choosing the right type of home addition and finding the right team will help make your home addition successful.