California has loosened the rules regarding room additions, aka attached ADUs (accessory dwelling units), which now makes it easier than ever to add a room to your home. So what kind of room can you add to your home? Any kind you want! It’s up to you, and at Pacific Green Homes we will help to make your proposed room addition a reality.
There are many different reasons why someone would need a room addition; Los Angeles is going through a housing crisis and a room addition that can be rented out can help people looking for an affordable place to stay. Or it can be used to accommodate a growing family, friends or relatives who drop by unexpectedly, and even as a personal place for work or fun; there are few limits to what you can do with a room addition in Los Angeles.
The Basics of Room Additions in Los Angeles
No matter the type of room being added to the home, it has to fit and flow with the rest of the home, both inside and outside. From the inside, utilities like plumbing, electricity, and HVAC need to flow smoothly into the new room without feeling like they were shoehorned in.
The interior style of the room addition also needs to match the style of the rest of the home. The same thing goes for the exterior style of the room addition, it needs to look like it is a part of the original home, or else it will stick out like a sore thumb. When a room addition is done perfectly, it will look like it was always a part of the original house.
Where On the Home Does the Room Addition Fit?
An addition can fit anywhere on the home where there is space, so you can build out or build up; that means adding a room addition to the first floor, or to the second floor of a house. If the home does not have a second story, then one can be added via a room addition. Both are viable choices, but they have different advantages and disadvantages.
First Floor Room Additions
This increases the overall size, or footprint, of the home and is usually a room addition like a guest room or even an extra kitchen or bathroom. In most cases, a new foundation needs to be laid down in order to support the room addition.
Pros of a First Floor Room Addition
- Less disruption – it is possible to live in the house while the addition is being constructed
- More variety – more and different kinds of rooms can be added
- Less complexity – a ground floor addition is complicated, but not as much as a second floor addition
Cons of a First Floor Room Addition
- Reduced yard space – adding a room means subtracting from the yard space and could mean uprooting trees and removing or reducing gardens
- Potential red tape – since the size of the home is increasing, various zoning variance rules and setback regulations need to be followed, which can be
- quite strict and can potentially limit the scale of the new room
An Alternate First Floor Addition
If you do not want to worry about adding a new foundation, then you could try a Bump-out instead. This is a smaller room addition—more of a room extension really—that hangs off the side of the house and does not require a foundation. It might not even need a roof if the current roof extends far enough, if it does not, then the roof might need to be extended to cover the bump-out. A bump-out is a safe, secure, less expensive form of extending a room, it can be used to create a walk-in closet, extend a kitchen, and more.
Second Story Room Additions
A second story does not increase the footprint of the home and does not need a new foundation to be laid down. However, the existing foundation may need to be reinforced in order to support the additional weight of the new room.
Pros of a Second Story Room Addition
- No loss of yard space – the size of the yard will be unaffected by the new room
- Less red tape – Building up means that there is no need to worry about zoning restrictions or floor area limit restrictions
Cons of a Second Story Room Addition
- Highly disruptive – it is unlikely that you can live in the house while a second story is being added, so you will need to find a place to stay until it is complete
- Staircase construction – the building of a staircase can reduce a lot of the downstairs living space
- Less room variety – second story rooms are typically restricted to bedrooms or bathrooms
The Steps of Building a Room Addition
Building a room addition is like building a house, but on a smaller scale, so similar planning needs to take place.
- Decide on the size and scale of the room addition.
- Secure a budget – remember to allocate 10% to 20% of the budget to an emergency fund to take care of any unexpected surprises.
- Meet with the contractor and architect – they will help you to finalize the design and budget of the room addition.
- Permit procurement and site preparation – the contractor will obtain the proper permits and prepare the building site for construction.
- Foundation establishment – the foundation of the room addition is laid down at this time.
- Framing – once the foundation is finished curing, the walls of the room addition go up, this is closely followed by the wall panels and roofing.
- Extension of utilities – the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems are connected to the new room.
- Window installation – windows are added to the new walls of the new structure.
- Insulation and drywall installation – the new room must have the same level of insulation as the rest of the home, so this step is very important.
- Flooring and painting – at this stage, the room addition starts to more closely resemble the rest of the home.
- Doors and trim work – these are the finishing touches of the room addition, once they are complete, so is the new room.
The Benefits of a Room Addition in Los Angeles
In addition to making the home a bigger and better place, a room addition can increase its value; the reason being that more rooms generally means more money on the real estate market. So, the money spent on the room addition can be paid back by the value it adds to the house.
The extra space and brand new room are of course the main benefits of the addition. Finally having the space you need is a liberating feeling that cannot be replicated. The wide variety of rooms, or room extensions, that can be created via an addition means that there is a room addition perfect for you and your home. Contact Pacific Green Homes and let us make your room addition into a reality.
- The Average Cost of a Room Addition in Los Angeles
- Types of House Additions
- Room Addition Ideas
- The Best Reasons to Build a Second Story Addition
- Building Costs Affecting Room Additions in Los Angeles
- Room Addition Ideas for Smaller Homes
- Why Building a Room Addition is Better Than Buying a New Home