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Is your house starting to feel a bit cramped? Some homeowners choose to move to a new house when they find they need more space. However, for those who love their current property but wish that it was a bit roomier, or that it had an extra bedroom or a spacious family room, choosing to build an addition may be a better option.

Updating your current property with an addition can not only provide more space, but also improve you and your family’s quality of life, enhance the appearance of your home, increase its value, and appeal to prospective buyers in the future.

Before you dive right into an extensive project, though, you should thoroughly assess your current space. People often overlook unused space that they may already have in their home and would be prime for a simpler remodel. That empty attic, space above the garage, or the side porch your family rarely uses can be transformed into an extra bedroom or family room for a fraction of the price a complete addition would set you back.

If adding a completely new space is what you want, make sure that it’s financially feasible before you proceed. Figure out if you have enough in the bank to finance an addition, or if you’ll need a loan. Depending on the size of the project, it could cost tens of thousands of dollars, if not more. If you need to cut costs to fit within your budget, you could scale back your project plans or use less expensive materials.

Also, don’t forget that building up is cheaper than building out on the ground level, as it doesn’t require a new foundation. If you’re adding another bathroom or washroom, it’s less costly to extend existing plumbing as opposed to installing a new system.

No matter what, be sure to check with your local zoning and building laws before you set your heart on that new sunroom or three-car garage. There might be restrictions that keep you from building your project. If you can move forward, make sure you get all the necessary permits and approvals, or risk facing hefty fines and other serious penalties.

Building an addition is a significant amount of work that requires expertise, so you’ll want to hire a contractor. Shop around, and get several estimates from different companies. To ensure the project is a success, and to protect yourself from potential scams, do your homework before choosing a contractor. Check reviews, ask for references, make sure the company is licensed and insured, and get everything in writing. Working with the right contractor can help you avoid unnecessary stress and realize the project of your dreams.

If you feel up to the challenge, building an addition could be a great way to get that extra space that you and your family crave. On the other hand, if you’d prefer to simply buy a bigger house or want to explore your other options, you can reach out to a real estate agent for help.