This isn’t your first flip, but it is the first time you’ve thought about adding some square footage to your house, which is a little on the cozy side. As you weigh your options consider the typical costs of horizontal and vertical home additions, which we’ve highlighted below, to see how expanding your home may impact your budget. (Be aware that labor and supply expenses can vary by region).
Expanding the Footprint
If you want to expand your flip horizontally (expand its footprint) it can be cheaper than building vertically. It’ll cost you between $150 and $200 per square foot, on average.
But before you commit to an expansion plan consider how it will impact the rest of your property. A larger footprint can eat into your outdoor space. This can mean less green space, and less room for you—or a potential homebuyer—to install a deck or a pool.
Consider this: A 400-square-foot ground floor family room addition can range between $60,000 and $80,000, according to experts at Realtor.com.
(Take into account an additional $1,500 to $5,000 in costs for ground excavation and pouring a new foundation).
Adding a Floor
If you plan to add a second or third floor to your flip you can expect to pay between $300 and $500 per square foot.
Consider this: A 400-square-foot family room built as a second-story addition can cost between $72,000 and $100,000, per Home Advisor.
(Instead of adding an entire floor, if you’re interested in building a cantilevered room—which extends over a portion of the first floor—it’ll cost you between $15,000 and $25,000).
The Price Difference Between Building Horizontally and Vertically
When you expand horizontally you have to pour a foundation. When you build vertically, however, you must remove the roof of your flip, reinforce the existing foundation to handle the weight of an additional floor, and build stairs.
Although it is usually more costly, adding another floor may be your best option for expansion if your flip sits on a small lot that won’t accommodate a horizontal addition.