Top 20 Home Addition Costs and ROI 2017-2018

When you’re planning an addition or a major home improvement upgrade, there are so many options and things to take into account that it can get a little overwhelming. 😉

The nature of the home remodeling project itself, the materials you need, the cost of contractors to hire, building permits, whether or not there is a justifiable return on your home improvement investment, e.t.c. -– all of these are important factors to consider when planning your project.

Basic Costs of Hiring a Home Improvement Pro to Keep in Mind

When it comes to costing for your project, keep in mind that on average, you can expect to pay $50 to $100 per hour for an electrician, $20 to $35 per hour for painters and around $70 to $80 an hour for a good carpenter.

We have factored these average prices into our costing. Also note that the prices we mention are on average across the US, however costs may vary depending on where you are building. For example, coastal regions and major cities are likely to cost more than country towns.

Top 20 Major Home Addition Projects to Help You Visualize your own Home Remodeling Journey

  1. BUILDING A GARAGE

When it comes to building a garage, you should start by determining your budget, and then decide on the inclusions you want.

You have two main options to choose from for the design – you can have a detached garage which stands on its own, away from the house, where you could also consider a second level for living, workshop or storage space; or attached so it sits on the side of your home and is generally more affordable.

Whatever design you choose, you need to take into account the following to get an accurate quote: the size you want (double, single, three-car, compact, storage space); what materials it will be built from (for the walls – drywall, metal panels, plastic, cement; for the roof – gypsum, styrofoam, cork, tiles); windows and the type of door you want.

Detached: You’re going to pay more from the outset for detached, which you might put behind the house if there isn’t space to build next to it.

Cost: You’re looking at paying around $15,000 to $20,000 including labor and materials, but you can expect to pay more if you’re including plumbing, electrical lines or HVAC; and add another $5,000 to include a second level. Cost per square foot: $30-$40.

Attached: The less expensive of the two, attached garages connect to your home; saving you money immediately by utilizing one wall you have already in place. That means you’re only building three walls instead of four, and being next to the house, you can take advantage of close proximity to your home’s electricity and plumbing to save on installation fees.

via Atec Builders

Cost: For a single garage, expect to pay between $10,000 and $12,500; while a double garage will be in the vicinity of $30,000. This includes materials and labor costs. Cost per square foot: $40.

ROI: Best return on investment is for detached, which allow for added living space above the garage itself. You could include a small bathroom and kitchenette, then rent that space out to achieve 100% returns (and more).

  1. SUNROOM

Via Patio Enclosures

There is nothing quite like soaking up the morning or afternoon sunshine in your own sunroom and if you have the opportunity to include this as an addition to your home, we highly recommend it. With walls of glass that invite the sunlight in, you’ll be protected from the elements as you enjoy basking in the sunshine all year round.

Sunrooms are affordable and popular, and are generally made from vinyl or aluminum. You can save money by skipping heating and using the room only through the warmer months (or only when the sun is shining directly on the room during winter).

Cost: The average cost of a sunroom addition depends on the size and features you want to include. Generally you’ll pay anywhere from $20,000 up to $75,000, including labor costs for painters, carpenters and electricians.  Average cost per square foot: $350 – $380.

ROI: Adding a sunroom will increase your home’s general value, so if you’re planning on selling any time soon, you should see a 50% return on the money you spend.

  1. CLOSET OR WARDROBE

Reach in closets or walk in closets and wardrobes will help you to keep your sanity in a space that can quickly get messy. Having the freedom to arrange your clothes in open space, without having everything thrown in drawers that are hard to maintain; not to mention the added storage space you’ll gain, makes getting a closet or wardrobe well worth your while.

If you have smaller space to work with and less to store, a closet is the ideal choice. You can choose from a walk-in or a reach-in, depending on how much space you have to work with. If you’re getting one closet or wardrobe, why not buy in bulk – getting all the bedrooms fitted. You’ll save money – and get a greater return in the long run.

Cost: You’ll spend an average of around $1,500 to $2,000 for a simple walk-in closet of around 6.5 foot wide, and between $1,000 and $2,500 for a reach in closet or around $2,500 for a wardrobe. This price will increase if you need extra walls built. Average cost per square foot: $10 – $15.

ROI: 100%. Pay $2,000 for a closet, and if you sell your home, you can easily ask an extra $2,000 to the total price.

  1. ADDITIONAL BEDROOM

via Simply Additions

The family is expanding and you’re running out of space, but rather than move to a bigger house in a different suburb, consider adding another bedroom to your home. It’s easier than you think. Choose to build out, adding the room on the side of the home, or up, adding a second level; with the first option much more affordable and more practical in many circumstances.

Building up could include a single room, or an entire floor, and in either option the price will increase.

Cost: Bedrooms generally don’t need a whole lot of hidden extras, so you can expect to pay between $150 and $250 per square foot, inclusive of labor costs, if you choose to build on the side of the home.

ROI: Building out will add immediate value to your home by extending the building’s perimeter, though it will decrease the amount of yard space. If you’re selling, expect a positive ROI of around 50%.

  1. DORMER

via Slope Side ICF

Many dormers are there for show. They make homes look more appealing to anyone who might be walking past, or considering buying, or they could be more practical in that they provide you the added benefit of more space in your attic.

Adding a dormer to your attic, or including a shed dormer at the back of the home, could help turn it into a more livable space and more flexibility.

Cost: Dormers aren’t cheap. They will cost anywhere from $10,000 to $25,000 (or more) to have installed, depending on size, location on your home and materials required. Average cost per square foot: $80 – $120.

ROI: Added space, more light and better looking style of home are all added benefits if you decide to sell. We’d say you will get around 40% returns financially, but the benefits of the added light will also save on electrical bills, so add another 20%+ over 10 years.

  1. OUTDOOR KITCHEN

via Fireside Outdoor Kitchens

Enjoy summer with all the benefits of an outdoor kitchen, great for entertaining friends and family, or just for yourself. When considering this as an addition on the home, you need to take into account several factors.

The most important is the grill – what type, size, style grill do you want or need to be able to feed all those hungry mouths? Do you want gas, electric or open flame (such as a fire pit)?

Next you need to choose your other features – tile or stainless steel countertops are the most popular, and most resilient choices; cupboard space might be required; and you could need a fridge.

What about a sink? Or are you close enough to the actual kitchen that you can get away with taking a few simple steps from outdoors to indoors? These are just a few of the things to consider.

Cost: Around $5,000 for something basic; up to $150,000 for extravagance. Average cost per square foot: $25 – $70 depending on materials.

ROI: Lapping up a life of luxury, enjoying the sunshine and basking in the glory of your amazing cooking, we’d give this return 100% when it comes to enjoyment.

For financial gain if you decide to sell, you could get a 100%-200% return if you live in a nice, sunshine-filled area where the new owners will benefit greatly from being able to entertain outdoors.

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Asphalt Shingle Roof Costs: Materials & Installation 2017-2018

The biggest bang for your buck. That’s what Asphalt Shingles on a roof can provide to you, the homeowner. It’s not the most durable material. Durability and longevity belong to metal roofing and natural slate.

For the value, though, Asphalt Shingles are hard to beat, especially when viewed through the prism of their low upfront cost and high near-term home improvement ROI.

Did you know? An asphalt shingle roof, such as 30-year architectural shingles, can often be installed for under $10,000 on a small or mid-sized single family house in the US.

For a relatively modest upfront cost, you can expect to get at least 10 to 15 years of roof protection or longer, depending on the type of shingle you choose.

Pro Tip: Generally speaking, you will get a much better ROI and longer service lifespan by installing architectural shingles as opposed to 3-tab.

That being said, on a per sq. ft. basis, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3.00 to $5.50 to install architectural shingles on a typical home in the US.

Coastal and metropolitan areas will cost more than roofs in rural areas. States like South Carolina, parts of Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Kansas will have lower costs than New England, Mid-Atlantic, and West Coast States.

As you can see roof pricing is highly regional, because labor costs are insurance costs vary a lot in different parts of the country.

Note: Larger remodeling companies and general contractors will charge up to 30% more to install a new roof than a smaller roofing company. Reason being is that larger companies have some serious overhead costs that get priced into their roofing services.

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PV Solar Panels Costs, Pros & Cons – Solar Roofs 2017-2018

Sunlight made into electricity. It’s that simple. Enough electricity to power not just a few appliances, but an entire home, including transportation. That’s where we are quickly heading, but let’s deal with the basics first.

Solar and PV Encapsulated
Effective Means Of Capturing Awesome Power
System Components And Function
Hiring A Contractor – Costs Further Explored
Advantages of PV Solar Panels
Disadvantages of PV Solar Panels

Solar and PV Encapsulated

PV stands for Photovoltaic. — The quantifiable process of converting sunlight (solar) into electrical power. For the conversion to be realized and useful, the right semiconducting material must be in place. — This results in efficiency that helps us put into perspective how solar energy can and does compare to historical methods of producing electrical power.

Solar cells are the fundamental, man-made part. Each cell produces about 1 to 2 watts of power. While that isn’t much, for the small size they are, it’s actually quite sufficient.

Group cells together into modules and stack modules into arrays, and suddenly mega and kilowatts of power are realized. To visualize what we are communicating, check out this short video from the U.S. Department of Energy.

For the solar cell to be effective, it must be protected. Durable glass for its transparency is the obvious choice and results in the modules we call solar panels.

A module can be as small as those found on calculators, which date back to mid 20th century technology. Or modules can be arranged as arrays, which today is what we consider to be a solar panel system.

Contemporary solar cells are manufactured in about a half dozen ways. The ongoing and still most popular material is crystalline silicon. Its efficiency in the conversion process is why it continues to be popular.

Yet, it is also more costly, which certainly matters when it comes to the idea of using solar cells to power a home. For more cost effective systems, solar cells are packaged in thin-film materials.

Currently, this is where much experimental technology is occurring and emerging.

It also leads to BIPV materials, or solar cells integrated into construction materials, such as the case with Suntegra and other emerging BIPV solar shingles and tile offerings.

Because solar panels, of the non-integrated variety, are still the dominate option in the market, we focus on the components, costs and advantages/disadvantages for this type of PV system.

Effective Means Of Capturing Awesome Power

Each hour, there’s 122 Petawatts of solar energy delivered to the earth from the sun. To help put this in perspective, this is around 10,000 times the power consumed by all humans in one trip around the sun (aka 1 year).

In the last century, we are just learning to tap into solar energy in a meaningful way. Efficiency of cells and ultimately arrays is the ongoing work of research scientists. Highest efficiency arrays are either too experimental for mass production or are relegated to government and major industry purposes.

For a home, the process of solar generation into electrical power requires other technologies to be in play. Foremost is placement of arrays.

Positioning toward the south is a given. Thus rack mounting panels onto a southern exposed roof is the norm. Though, not necessarily the most efficient.

A solar panel mounted on the ground that tracks the movement of the sun is currently the most efficient way to harness solar energy through a PV system. — It can, rather easily, power itself, plus have power left over to supply power to many other applications.

Yet, this type of system is generally more costly upfront, is not suitable to all forms of residential living, and requires much more ongoing maintenance than rack-mounted systems.

System Components And Function

For every PV system, there are generally 4 primary components. The solar panel, which we’ve described already. A controller, which is what regulates the amount of electricity in the system, but particularly to the battery.

You didn’t think the power was directly feeding the needs of the home did you? No, a battery is in place so electrical energy is stored for later use.

The last primary component is the inverter. Energy stored in a battery needs conversion, from DC electrical current, to AC, in order to power most modern conveniences. That’s what the inverter is for.

It’s helpful to understand there are essentially two types of systems you would install for a home: off-grid and on-grid. Off-grid is perhaps what most who are new to solar power conceive a system to be.

It means all power generated from the PV system, will be used solely to power the structure it is connected to. Whereas on-grid (or grid-tied) systems feed to the local utility provider, and then back to the home in a metered process.

Each of the two methods have their advantages and disadvantages. Because storing energy inevitably leads to wasted energy, it is usually far more cost effective for a homeowner to go with a grid-tied system.

It is unlikely that a homeowner would use all the power generated from their solar panels, and so in essence the utility company is paying you for that energy and then providing that same cost back to you for that electricity.

So, you pay for what you need and don’t pay for wasted energy. In this case, the utility company serves as the virtual battery within the system.

Advantages of off-grid are few, but depending on the situation with your residence or style of living can outweigh the advantages of being on the grid.

If living in a rural area, with less access to a utility company, then the costs to get into the grid would be prohibitive for most to make it worth their while to go solar.

Plus, there’s just the notion of being inherently self sufficient without relying on the utility company for power storage.

Installation costs are the determining factor for most homeowners ready to move in this direction. It takes more homework than we can possibly provide should you choose to go the DIY route and, for sure if you are considering going with an off-grid system.

However, let the guys at WholeSaleSolar.com and GoGreenSolar.com to help get you started in that direction.

Hiring A Contractor — Costs Further Explored

First things first. One advantage of going solar, is federal tax rebates for PV systems. Such rebates were recently extended, through EnergyStar.gov, to ensure they go through 2021.

For 2018 through 2019, whatever cost you spend, you can get a rebate of 30% off the price. Must apply through the government first, but the savings of thousands of dollars is very likely worth it.

Next is the realization that you’ll be generating watts of electricity at a cost to you, from installation of materials.

So, essentially there’s a cost per watt factor that needs to be calculated and then determined by you, the homeowner, to ensure it is worth your time and money. Chances are it is, and latest information is that costs of material continue to decline.

If basing decisions on information from even 5 years ago, it may lead you to think it is too unaffordable. Yet, what hasn’t changed is that a typical solar panel system will save 30% to 70% off your utility bills when fully implemented.

Walking you through all the considerations is challenging to do in short order. Fortunately, the information at SolarPowerAuthority.com and EnergySage.com does this quite nicely.

The key information is that your cost for material is greatly enhanced if going with a buyer (hired professional) that has greater buying power than you.

Once you do the math on your own, you’ll realize what you can afford in terms of amount of panels and the watts generated from such a system. With a pro at your side, you can likely afford more panels, and reduce your cost to watt ratio.

Some key factors and considerations with professional installation include:

  • surveying your home’s roof for orientation, ability to hold the extra weight, and determination of panels is a first step, that may take awhile. Especially if additional permits and fees are involved.
  • determining if the company is the right fit for the job
    • are they experienced in on-grid installation?
    • can they provide examples of their work?
    • how many years have they been in business?
    • how much experience do they have installing PV systems?
    • are they properly licensed and certified? Don’t just take their word for it, call the county where you live to check on this.
    • what warranties can they provide? And do you truly understand what the warranty is covering?
  • as with any job, go for more than one quote and take time to compare notes
    • be sure to compare apples to apples, or that if one contractor offers bid for something another didn’t include, then follow up and ask for that cost estimate
  • what does maintenance entail after installation? Who’s responsible for that?
  • After all the information is in, are you really saving money over say a 10 year period?

Residential PV Solar Power System — Upfront Costs

The upfront costs are usually the reason most people don’t go with solar energy. $15,000 is a lot when you compare it to a yearly bill of say $1,200 for current energy costs.

In 2018, the average cost is closer to $20,000 and yet if we factor in the federal rebate, then it’s actually $14,000. Still, there are enough factors to consider that could lower, but for sure may raise the price.

Which leads to our last consideration of leasing panels instead of owning them. The solar leasing company owns the panels, handles installation and you reap the benefits of lower energy bills. However, this comes with a few caveats, such as:

  • the federal rebate goes to them, not you
  • you still pay full price to the utility company for energy used there, even if its reduced some. Plus you are paying the solar leasing company for the energy they are providing you.
  • if you sell your home before the lease is up, the lease may say you’re still obligated for payments, or you hope the new owner is willing to eat that cost

With all that said, leasing does make it more affordable on the front end, but less of a solution over the long haul.

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