October 18 2019 0Comment
Home Additions

Build Up or Build Out?

When we speak with clients about home additions, the inevitable question comes up about whether it is better to build up or out. Of course, we don’t have a one-size-fits all answer, but we have come up with a list of things to consider, which often help make the best decision a little more obvious. At 99 North Construction, we’ve performed a lot of home additions in Rochester, MN and the surrounding area; we’d be happy to discuss your project with you and provide you with a free quote.


The first thing to consider when deciding whether to build horizontally or vertically on to your home is how you plan to use the space. If you want to use the area because you hope to age in place, then climbing stairs probably isn’t a great idea. Maybe your home addition is a new kitchen, which you’ll likely want on the main level. It’s popular to build bedrooms, bathrooms and family rooms on upper levels for added privacy.


Next, think about where you have available space. If your lot is small, you may not want to give up greenspace, or your city’s setbacks make building another room on the main level impossible, then you really only have one choice: build up.


It might seem like building up is always more economical because it negates the need for foundation work. But foundations are constructed with weight limits; if your current foundation can’t support your addition, then foundation work may be necessary, unless we can stabilize the existing structure with support posts. Adding a room atop an existing garage might be an option, depending on the quality of the concrete slab the garage is built on.


If you’re plans involve adding on to the upper level of your home, remember to account for stairs if your house doesn’t already include them. A staircase takes up more room than you might realize. Putting some thought into placing it where it will cause the least disruption and estimating its size will avoid regrets once your project is complete.

The Good and the Bad of Building Out

  • Least Disruption
  • Lost Yard Space
  • May Require Foundation Work
  • May Not Need Structural Support Posts
  • Less Roof Removal Likely
  • Setback and Other Restrictions Come into Play

Pros and Cons of Building Up

  • Yard Size Remains the Same
  • Added Stairwell Will Take Space
  • Structural Supports May Be Necessary
  • Foundation Work May Not Be Required
  • Adding on Over Garage is Possible
  • Existing Ceilings and Walls May Need to Be Removed

At 99 North Construction has helped clients plan and build beautiful and functional home additions in Rochester and areas nearby. We understand that knowing where to begin such a project can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re considering adding on to your home, we welcome your call and would be pleased to provide you with our input. Contact us today for more information or a free quote.

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