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If you need more living space and you don’t want to move, you have two options: you can remodel or build an addition. Each may have advantages and disadvantages, depending on the circumstances.

Pros and Cons of Remodeling 
Remodeling your home’s interior can be a good choice in some cases. For example, you might be able to renovate the basement or attic to have a guest room or family room for a fraction of what it would cost to build an addition.

If the interior of your house is outdated, remodeling and updating it would make more sense than building an addition. If you had a house with one new section and another that was outdated, it would seem disjointed and could be hard to sell in the future.

If your house is currently divided into rooms that are too small, or if the layout doesn’t work for your family’s lifestyle, remodeling could help you make better use of the space without increasing your home’s footprint. For instance, if you need more space in the kitchen, you might be able to work with a contractor to figure out a way to add more room for cooking, storage or seating. You might be able to change the layout of the room or take some space from an adjacent room or closet instead of increasing the overall size of the house.

Benefits and Downsides of Building an Addition 
When you bought your home, you had to figure out how to use the house’s existing design to suit your family’s needs. If you built an addition, you and your family would be able to discuss how to design the space in a way that is perfectly suited to each of your needs.

Additions are expensive. Even adding one room could cost more than you might expect. If you built an addition and sold your house several years later, you may or may not recoup your investment. 

Building an addition would increase other costs. You would have to pay for more electricity, heating, air conditioning and property taxes.

If you built an addition that increased your home’s footprint, you would lose yard space. If you have a huge yard or you don’t have young kids, that might not be a problem, although potential buyers might not be interested in a big house with a small yard. To increase the size of your house without giving up valuable yard space, you could add another story.

What Should You Do?
It can be difficult to figure out the best way to change the layout of your home and to have more usable space. There is no right or wrong answer since each house is different and your family’s needs are unique. Talk to a contractor about design options and ask a real estate agent how changes might affect your property taxes and your home’s value.

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