June 11, 2024

Best Home Addition Tips, Ideas and Costs Los Angeles, CA


House Additions

Has your family outgrown your living space? Are you thinking of expanding your home? If you can answer yes to any of these questions, then a home addition might be for you. As you are no doubt aware, it has become increasingly hard to find a home with adequate space for an average family in the LA area due to legal restrictions on home sizes and ever-increasing population size. Building a home addition is often a simple and efficient alternative to a costly and time-consuming home remodel that will provide a substantial return when you do eventually sell your home. However, the process of building a home addition can be a confusing and exciting time, this article will help you make sense of the process.

Understanding the Difference between a Home Addition and Remodel

Simply put, a home addition falls under the category of construction and, if you play your cards right, will lead to a reassessment of your home value. Remodels, however, unless drastic, will do little to affect your home value because they are often categorized under the necessary requirements of homeownership; updating your home. While a remodel may be necessary for you, an option with a bigger financial return is adding an addition. It means that as a homeowner, not only should you focus on crafting a space suitable for your family’s needs, but also the needs of future buyers. Building a separate in-law suite addition is a popular option because of the increase in home value that it brings, plus its versatility as space when it is not housing extended family. Similarly, dormers, basements, and bathrooms are all popular choices because they provide future buyers with more room to house their families, something that many houses in California lack.

First Step: Figuring Out what is Legal in Your Area

Each city and county in California have its own ordinances outlining what kind of home additions can be done. A good contractor will be able to tell you this information, but it is important for you to know to avoid spending money asking about something that cannot be done. Use Overland Remodeling and Builders to discover the possibilities in your area.

Home Addition Requirements

Because of the diverse history of California, buildings can differ drastically from county to county. The following are some areas that Overland Remodeling and Builders work in, and they can provide information on the different requirements that need to be met before the construction of a home addition in cities like:

  • Beverly Hills
  • Westchester
  • Lynwood
  • Westside
  • Malibu
  • Santa Monica
  • Venice
  • Westwood

How Long Does It Typically Take to Build a Home Addition?

The length of time necessary for building a home addition can vary due to many factors, such as whether you are doing it yourself or hiring someone out. However, it is considerably faster to hire an experienced contractor, as there are many legal steps required in the process. Most addition construction times vary between 1 to 3 months, the former assuming the inspections and permits get done on schedule. However, it is prudent to plan for one or two extra weeks of work just in case something goes wrong

Home Addition Tips, Tricks and Ideas

There are multiple options to look at with varying price ranges, based on you and your family’s needs, such as;

  • A Detached Addition
  • Sun Room or Conservatory
  • Expanded Room, Up or Out
  • Refurbished Garage

It is worth noting that for most people, a basement addition is perhaps the best option due to California laws that limit house sizes but do not include basements in the ordinances. This means that if you need a relatively quick increase in space but do not want to deal with the legal hassle, a basement is a best and most popular option. (LA Times) However, many other options like the ones listed above can add both space and value to your home, so it is worth doing your research to verify what is allowed where you live. There are also smart ideas to expand usable square footage. The fact of the matter is, no matter how much you love your home, there are ways to improve it. Often there are areas that are not being utilized but can be easily be turned into usable space. Some of these options include;

  • Transforming attics into small rooms or storage areas
  • Building a small nook under the stairs
  • Removing doors
  • Knocking down unnecessary walls

These are especially great room addition ideas for small homes. Apartment therapy states that removing unnecessary doors, such as closet doors, can add usable space to your home because you no longer have to worry about being able to open a door, leaving more room for furniture. Areas underneath stairs are prime home estate as they rarely contain a load-bearing interior, meaning they are relatively hassle-free to expand. Similarly, your attic can become a beautiful, calm space with a carefully selected dormer addition.

Family Room Addition Plans

The family room is one of the key aspects of your home. It is the room that guests, in-laws, and friends look at and see a representation of you and your family at a glance. Therefore, it is imperative that you get it right. Many family room additions focus on bring more light into the area, which often translates to a sun room or conservatory. Adding a fireplace can also create a homey feel.


A family room home addition that is the best of both worlds, with both a sunroom and a fireplace added.


A modular home addition could be the perfect solution to adding space to your living room without tearing down an entire side of your house and creating an incredible space with sunlight from every angle.

Master Bedroom Home Addition Plans

The master bedroom s room that is often taken for granted but can sway a future homebuyer to purchase a home. The problem is that most master bedrooms are on the second floor leaving more limited options for home additions. Most master bedroom addition plans focus on expanding the room into the attic or adding a balcony. A well-crafted dormer may also be great for you.

How To Create A Plan And Guide With General Contractors

The key to getting the most out of your time and money when dealing with general contractors is doing thorough research beforehand, coming up with a general deadline, and having a solid idea of what you want because some contractors charge per hour, rather than per project, which means that if you play your cards right, you can save a lot of money.

  1. The first step to planning a home addition is to track down the original floor plan of your house. This will be helpful later when you start planning which building materials to use.
  2. The second is to verify your property lines. This is very important because many places have laws restricting what percentage of your lot can be built out.
  3. Research the average cost of a home addition in your area. Although the national average is about $40,000, this cost can vary depending on your area and the age of your home. There are many online calculators that you can use to do this.
  4. Then, create a basic budget. Here are some financial options you may want to consider;
  • Apply for a Title I Home Improvement Loan from an HUD-certified agency.
  • Refinance your mortgage by taking out a second, larger mortgage and using the extra money to finance your project.
  • Open a home equity line of credit or apply for a home equity loan
  • Take out a general loan
  • Apply for a credit card
  1. Once you have decided how you will finance your home addition, the next step is to research which home addition is best for you and your family. Great places to start are Pinterest, HGTV, and your local building contractor.
  2. Draw a rough draft of your project, doing your best to calculate building and material costs.
  3. Contact an architect to verify your idea is possible. Additionally, a good architect will help you plan a beautiful home addition that flows with the rest of your home’s design, help you calculate costs, and give you a general timeline.
  4. Your tape measure comes into play next. Begin measuring the dimensions of your potential home addition, paying close attention that you are following your county’s regulations in regards to how close you can build to your neighbor. Check your yard for anything that may cause potential problems in the future, like trees. Make a plan to remove these if possible.
  5. Contact your local construction company, such as Overland Remodeling and Builders.
  6. Recalculate your budget and adjust your plan as necessary.
  7. Finally, begin your project.

Calculating House Addition Cost

The most important aspect of building your addition is deciding exactly how much you are going to spend on it before you start. It is very tempting to begin a project with one cost in mind, but get sidetracked in the weeks following and spend more money on the project than you ever meant to. Therefore, and well-planned budget is your best friend. So, what are some of the costs associated with a home addition?

  • Cost of masonry- especially if you live in a historical district, the price tag on the masonry can be high.
  • Plumbing/Electrical- unless you plan on building a cold and unlit room, you are likely going to need to pay a plumber and electrician to evaluate your current systems and add another room to them, or build new systems entirely.
  • Cost of the general contractor- this is the person you hire to actually make your project happen- is approximately 3,580 dollars.
  • Acquiring all necessary building permits can range in the hundreds
  • Landscaping, once the construction is complete, to restore your land back to its previous state, can cost a considerable amount as well.

Final Considerations

Adding a home addition to your property can be extremely rewarding, both emotionally and financially. But there is also a lot of room for mistakes throughout the entire process, which can last many months. Reading this guide will help you to begin the journey of getting your questions answered, and for you to feel comfortable with the process before you commit financially.

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