10 January 2022,

Does your family need more space in the home? Do you feel you have outgrown your home but don’t really want to move to a new place?

A home expansion will provide you with the bigger space you need and help you update your home’s design to sync it with your needs. Many renovation and design experts will tell you that it is cheaper to expand a home to build more space than to sell and buy a new house.

With the right tips and assistance from our home renovation partners, you can update and keep your home fresh and modern without breaking the bank.

Home expansion projects include:

·         Adding a new floor

·         Digging out a basement

·         Adding a new room

·         Attached garage


Not all types of home expansion or home addition are idea or add value to your home. Hence, it is important to seek the advice of home addition specialists in our network!

Fill out the form on this page to get connected to the best renovation contractors in your area.

 Receive free and no-obligation quotes in the comfort of your home to save time!

What you must know about home expansion


A home expansion or home addition is simply increasing the square footage of your home by building up, sideways, or in the rear of the property.

Doing so allows you to have more room in your property rather than moving or constructing a new home.

There are many reasons to want to expand a house- inadequate space, increase outdoor space and enjoyment, increase property value, update home design, etc.

If you like living in your neighborhood but want a bigger space, a home addition is the perfect solution.

What kind of home expansion would be ideal in your situation? How much do you need to construct a home addition?

We will answer these critical questions below so you can plan your project confidently and wisely. You can also check out other related articles on our blog to plan your project.

Why do you need a home expansion?

First of all, you should ask yourself why you would like a home expansion. What is your objective?

A home expansion can provide many advantages to your family. Are you planning a home business and need an office? Do you need an additional bedroom and bathroom? Perhaps, you have backyard space you want to enjoy with a sunroom or covered patio?

Whatever your goal is, be sure to define your goal and choose a design that suits that goal. You don’t want to invest money in a project that will not be worth your time and money.

Before starting a home expansion, you need to consider a few factors in planning the project. Check restrictions and zoning regulations in your area.

In Ottawa, a home additions of over 10 square meters need a building permit.

It is best to work with a contractor to determine your architectural style, size of your expansion, complexity of the project, and the estimated cost of your home addition.

Types of home expansions to choose from


You have several options for a home expansion which you can choose based on your available space or land, purpose, and budget.

 Lateral home expansion

A lateral home expansion means making your home bigger by increasing its exterior façade sideways. It will take up more space on your land and is commonly done for adding a garage as an extension with the potential to add a bedroom and bathroom above the garage.

Generally, lateral expansions are added to a bungalow or a cottage.

Floor Addition

Adding a second floor to your home can also provide you with a lot of new space.  It generally has the same square footage as the ground floor and is a major construction for contractors.

The enlargement of a split-level home can be considered as adding another floor but this type of expansion is more common for bungalows. The structural work required will be the same in both types of projects.

Your city may require the certification of a structural engineer that the foundation of your house can support the weight of an additional story.

Work will also be done on the ground floor as a staircase will need to be built. Many homeowners decide to do renovations on the ground floor to coincide with a floor addition such as a kitchen renovation or bathroom renovation.

The roof will also need to be demolished so it is a strong possibility you will need to live somewhere else during construction.

Rear addition

A rear addition is an extension of your home into the yard. It is often used to add a solarium or expand the kitchen. It is suitable for many types of houses such as bungalows, cottages, etc.

There are 2 types of rear additions – a home addition on piles and a home addition on a foundation.

For a home addition on piles, it is not necessary to excavate and pour concrete to build a foundation.  It is a good option for homeowners who want to add a sunroom or a family room.

Some municipalities don’t allow second floor additions. In this instance, a rear addition is a good choice. Home additions on piers are generally colder than other parts of the home and adding a heated floor is also a very good choice.

Home expansions on concrete foundation are ideal for homes with basements that can be lived in. The expansion will allow you to expand on both floors. A home expansion using concrete foundation is more expensive.

Before a home expansion, you need to think about your property’s current value, even if you don’t plan on selling soon. Consider which home expansion has the highest return on investment. The best way to start planning a home expansion is to seek the advice of professionals!

For most types of home additions, a permit is required in most parts of Ontario. You will need to check the rules in your municipality. You can check requirements for Toronto home additions, Ottawa home additions, home additions Sudbury, home additions Richmond Hill, home additions Markham, and many more. 

The cost of a home addition or expansion


The cost of expanding a home will be different for every homeowner. The budget required will vary based on the design and materials, the size of the area, and the type of expansion. If you are building a second floor, you need to pay for a new staircase. If you are building on the ground, you will need to pay for a new foundation.

You will also need to get contractors’ services, including:

·         A general contractor

·         Plumber (average cost of $170 per hour)

·         Electrician (average cost of $100 per hour)

·         Carpenter (average cost of $75 per hour)

·         Painter (average cost of $35 per hour)

Check out the prices for home expansion or addition in Ottawa, Toronto, and other cities in Ontario with our free and no obligation quotes.

Average prices of home additions in Ontario

The cost of building a home addition or home expansion can vary based on where you live. Below are average quotes given by our reputable partners for their clients.

Type of home expansion

Average cost (materials and labour)

Floor addition (unfinished)

$260 to $350 per square foot

Floor addition (turn-key)

$290 to $370 per square foot

Garage addition (turn-key)

$250 to $300 per square foot


$80 to $100 per square foot

Home addition (on piles) – unfinished

$270 to $320 per square foot

Home addition (on a foundation) – unfinished

$320 to $380 per square foot

Home addition (on a foundation) – turn-key

$350 to $420 per square foot


Several factors can really influence the cost of your project such as your location, the type of project, size of the area, materials and design, choice of contractor, and contingencies.

A home expansion is not something you should do without proper planning and research. Oftentimes, a project of this magnitude will need permits from your municipality.

Once you have determined everything you need including financing, you are ready to hire the best people for the job!

Compare multiple quotes from different contractors to find the best price for your project. Just fill out the form on this page to get FREE and NO OBLIGATION quotes today!

Types of home additions based on structure


Homeowners have choices when it comes to materials used for the structure of a home addition. Each type has its pros and cons and will also vary on cost.

Home addition on piles

A home addition on piles is very economical compared to using a foundation. It is very resistant to unstable soil and much easier to build. It also offers a higher return on investment.

However, you may spend more on energy bills in the winter because it does not insulate as efficiently as a structure using concrete. You may need to spend on insulation materials to properly insulate your flooring.

Home addition using a concrete slab

Using concrete slab to expand your home is also a good option and costs around the same as a home addition on piles. It does not require excavation and insulates better than a home addition using piles. It using monolithic concrete and it retains heat better in winter. You must check, however, if your property is ideal for a home addition using concrete slab.

It does have some disadvantages, though. It offers little protection against inclement weather and in case of damage, can be costly to repair.

This type of foundation is popular because of its lower price tag and easier installation. Of all types of foundations, it also has the least required maintenance.

Home addition on a foundation

A home addition using a foundation is the most expensive option but is great if you also want to expand your basement’s footprint. This type of home addition is warmer in winter than concrete slab or piles.

Generally, concrete foundations are used on houses with basements that can be lived in. For instance, you can put a solarium on the ground floor and an additional suite in the basement.

Benefits of a Home Expansion vs. Buying a New Home


The current mortgage rates in Canada are at its lowest right now and this can be enticing for many homeowners who want a larger home to buy a new home.

Before you get on that home shopping wagon, consider this fact- home equity loans are also much more affordable, giving way to a lot of sawing and hammering across the country for home additions. This means that a home expansion to increase the square footage of your house and get more space is an equally good option. In fact, it can be better than moving to a new home because:

·         You get to stay in the neighborhood you love

·         No legal fees or commissions for selling your home or buying a new home

·         Cheaper to expand a home than to buy a new one and avoid closing costs

·         Save on moving expenses

In fact, no other method is as effective in adding space to your house than a home addition. It gives you a blank slate to do what you wish without going outside your budget. Surveys show that 65% of most home additions can be recovered at resale.

Benefits of a Home Expansion vs. Buying a New Home

The expenses related to buying a new home and moving are hefty. Below you will find the most common expenses you can expect to pay:

  • Property appraisal: $400 to $500
  • Inspection: $500
  • Notarial fees: $1,000
  • Welcome Tax:
    Properties with value of up to $55,000 (0.5% of the total value)
    Properties with value over $55,000 to $400,000 (1% of the total value)
    Properties with value over $400,000 (2% of the total value)
  • School and other municipal taxes (varies per municipality)
  • Sales tax (for new construction at 13% of the total selling price)
  • Mortgage insurance
  • Real estate commission (if you sell your current home)
  • Moving expenses ($1,000 or more based on the distance and size of the move)

It is clear that you will be spending a lot for selling your home and buying a new home. This is why many homeowners choose a home expansion or home addition.

If you are considering a home addition vs. buying a new house, compare multiple quotes from different contractors to see your potential savings!

Just fill out the form on this page to get FREE and NO COMMITMENT offers from our reliable partners!

The Pros and Cons of a Home Expansion


 A home addition or expansion is a long and usually complex process that could take a few months to complete. You will need to follow several steps such as obtaining the necessary permits, drawing up plans with an architect or engineer, meeting with contractors, and looking for financing.

While the construction is ongoing, you may need to move out of your home. At the very least, some areas of your home may be inaccessible to you.

But in the end, you will be able to revitalize the design of your home and maximize its use and function. You can also increase the value of your home with a well-planned construction and design

Consider a home expansion to increase the space in your home and enjoy it to the fullest! 

Frequently asked Questions about Home Expansion in Ontario


As we have said earlier, a home expansion is not something to be taken lightly. It will involve a hefty financial investment on your part as well as your time and effort.

Thus, we want to help you make the best decisions concerning your home renovation and get the highest possible return on your investment.

Below are some frequently asked questions about home expansion in Ontario that can guide you in planning this exciting project.

When is the best time to start construction of a home expansion?

Spring is the national construction season in Canada with home builders for new construction and renovation in high demand. But contrary to popular belief, the cold winter months can also be a good time for home additions because contractors are not so busy and can give discounts for their services. The frozen ground and drier air are also ideal for digging foundation and concrete pouring.

For indoor projects such as kitchens and bathrooms, summer is an ideal time although most contractors would also be booked months ahead.

What types of contractors am I required to hire for a home expansion?

Depending on the design, complexity, and size of your home expansion, you need to hire a general contractor to supervise and plan the work. You will also need an architect or engineer, and licensed trades for plumbing, electrical work, insulation, carpentry, and painting.

How long does a home expansion take?

Some renovation projects are invasive and can take months to complete. Depending on the complexity and size of a home addition, several factors can affect the time issue such as getting permits, the availability of contractors, and the intricacies of the construction design. A simple bedroom addition takes less time than a multi-room addition.

What is the best home expansion project for increasing property value?

The answer depends on what you mean by increased property value. If it is a home addition just before a sale, it will not be a lucrative project as other home renovations can increase market value before a sale more effectively. But if you are doing a home addition for personal use and want to increase the future potential resale value, a second-floor addition can offer a high ROI.  A garage addition with a bedroom on the upper floor also offers a good return on investment.

How much is the average cost of adding a garage with an upstairs bedroom and bathroom?

One of the best ways to get bedroom space is to expand the garage with an upstairs bedroom and bathroom. It will not increase the footprint of the home, thus, reducing the cost. But the challenges in the planning and construction of this project are also unique and should be handled by an experienced pro.

If you are building an attached garage with living space above it, you will need to put in plumbing, electrical wiring, and expect to pay from $200 to $220 per square foot for the upstairs room. The total cost of this project could be from $60,000 to $65,000.

Is a home addition on piles better than a home addition on a foundation?

A home addition on piles is ideal even for unstable soil and is cheaper and easier to do. The machinery used is less invasive, too, and gets the job done faster.

On the other hand, a home addition on a foundation is a good option if you want to expand the ground floor of your home and your basement. This type of home expansion is warmer during the winter compared to one using piles. The cost is more expensive, though.

Is it worth adding a second floor?

Adding a second floor can be messy- the roof needs to be ripped off and major construction could take months to finish. It will also cost a lot of money. However, adding a second floor is a great way to significantly increase space and allow you to stay in the home you love. It also potentially increases the value of your home.

What is a multi-room expansion?

A home addition can be a single room or multiple rooms. For instance, you can add a new family room and toilet or a home office with a kitchen and bathroom. A single room project allows you to address a specific need whereas a multi-room addition not only stretches your space significantly but also allows you to revamp activities by shifting them from the existing spaces to new spaces.

A multi-room addition is a good way to add architectural drama especially if you will be building new rooms on the ground and second floor.

Multi-room additions offer great opportunities to generate architectural drama, with large spaces that open to smaller ones or adding attributes that the home lacks.

Should I hire a home addition contractor?

A home addition is a major home renovation that will cost you thousands of dollars and will affect your lifestyle and home value significantly. Thus, you need to make sure the project will be a success. Scheduling and budgetary issues are critical and will be handled more efficiently by an experienced professional. Undertaking a home addition is stressful but a qualified contractor will be able to plan and execute the project well and relieve you of much of the stress.

How much does a contractor charge for a home addition in Toronto?

Labor and materials in Toronto for a home addition can be anywhere from $120 to $255 per square foot. The price will be higher if the addition will use a full foundation.

Do I need an architect for a home addition?

Small home additions require a building permit before construction. You need to submit plans for your addition drawn by an architect according to building standards set by your municipality.

Find the best contractors for home additions in Ontario

You need the best contractors for your home addition in Ontario to complete your home renovation successfully.

Our vast network of general contractors, home addition specialists, architects, and other professionals can guarantee the best return on your investment.

Our renovation partners serve all of Ontario for home additions in:

·         Ottawa

·         Toronto

·         Richmond Hill

·         Mississauga

·         Hamilton

·         London

·         Kingston

·         Windsor

·         Greater Sudbury

·         And many more!

Our partners have undergone a rigorous verification process to ensure a stress-free home renovation for you! They will be happy to provide you with competitive and transparent quotes based on the details of your project, free of charge!

Just fill out the form on this page to compare offers with no obligation on your part!

With reliable contractors by your side, you can be sure that your home addition will be a complete success!

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