Considering a home addition? You have options!

Dana Willing

By Dana Willing

Renovation Contractor and co-owner of Make It Real Design talks about home renovations.

When clients come to us with a request for an addition to their house, we often find they are using the phrase “we want an addition” without really understanding why they need or want an addition. Knowing the purpose of a proposed addition is crucial since it may not be the best way to address a problem. Many people have difficulty envisioning their existing space in various ways. That’s why a blank slate in the form of a newly constructed space may seem like the only option. Adding on to the house is the solution people can come up with on their own.

Reasons people request home additions:

  • Dysfunctional or small kitchen
  • Not enough bathrooms
  • No workspace or office
  • No entryway or mudroom
  • Lack of dedicated laundry area
  • No play space for kids
  • Not enough bedrooms or guest rooms
  • No room for a family member to move
small kitchen in Oak Bay with grey cabinets and open shelving

In each of these situations, we find better solutions through interior renovation. We have successfully completed home improvement projects that our clients are happy with, without the difficulty of home additions.

What type of space do you need? What are you trying to achieve with the space? Is the need really about more space, better space, or wasted space?

When we look at the entire home and how the space is currently being used or not used, we can offer alternative solutions, like renovation projects, that may be a better fit.

Why home renovations may be a better option for you than new construction

Usable space VS Square Footage

No matter the square footage, if the layout is badly planned, a home may not feel inviting or spacious. You want the space you live in and spend the most time in to be lived in space – not ending up as “a hallway to somewhere else” or a place to dump things because there is no dedicated storage space.

Sometimes rooms can be stacked together without flow, like several bedrooms with no adjoining bathroom. Or, there may be strangely placed rooms, like a bedroom off a kitchen. Worse still, many homes have dead space – the place where no one goes. A home without logical, planned flow can end up feeling cramped, difficult to work in and lacking a welcome feeling. But…that doesn’t mean that just adding to the house makes sense.

Usable square footage is really what clients want – not necessarily more square feet. Your home should accommodate your lifestyle and not the other way around.

Home Additions Use Up Property Space

Homeowners often don’t consider the loss of yard space. Your outdoor space and views are a valuable part of your home. Your lot may also be tied to certain zoning and permitting requirements. In this case, local building authorities can decide whether or not to grant your permit based on site-specific issues. 

traditional BC kitchen with mix of modern, minimal design

The Costs of Home Additions Add Up

Additions not only impact the roof line and aesthetics of a home, but more importantly they affect the load of the roof on walls and the home’s foundation. The homeowners we work with are often surprised to find that although they have space for an addition, the costs of reconfiguring the roof and reinforcing supporting walls and the foundation can make the project costs prohibitive. 

Additions are very costly, very time consuming, and can involve a large team of designers, architects, engineers.

Costs Add Up



Is a home addition right for you?

When we work with clients who request a home addition, we want to be very sure that an addition is the only solution (other than moving). After a series of questions, (why, what, where, how, when) we really take the time to look at the whole house in context to your needs. We evaluate how the space is or isn’t being used and how it could be re-thought to achieve your goals. The solution to limited space problems begins with clearly defining your home’s space issues. There are many home renovation or remodeling options that can solve your problem of limited space. When completed, they add function and resale value to your home. 

If, after a thorough examination, an addition is the best solution, we can help. We work directly with our team of architect, engineer, drafting technicians, and designers to prepare for permit application. Design and construction are equally woven into our process here at Make It Real Design for start-to-finish project management.

Ready for new ideas on how to transform your home? It’s as easy as scheduling a free consultation. Fill out the form below, and we’ll be in touch right away!

We’re here to help you transform your home in Greater Victora!

Dana Willing

Renovation Contractor & Co-Owner, Make It Real Design

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