Thoughts of starting a home addition project rise when your living space becomes cramped and crowded. But are traditional Virginia additions the most affordable option? Or would a bump-out be the best choice for your family? Consider the differences between these home improvement projects before deciding which investment to make.
What Is a Bump-Out?
Bump outs are generally constructed on the ground floor. Instead of building an entirely new section of the house, or raising the roof for a second or third floor addition, bump outs simply extend the footprint of your home by a few feet in one direction.
Limited work is done to the existing roof line, and most often bump outs do not require a concrete footing. The existing foundation offers support for the new flooring, thanks to a cantilever design, or smaller concrete piers/pads are poured to provide the adequate support.
Advantages of Planning for a Bump-Out
If the current layout and design of your home works, bump-outs offer an ideal, affordable solution to extend your living space. Because demolition and renovation work are limited in this type of design, the overall cost and time spent on the project are significantly less.
Bump-outs still allow you to add more windows for natural light or redesign your kitchen. Bump one wall of your first floor out by only three or four feet and you’ll gain sixty to eighty square feet, providing plenty of flexibility for your home renovation design.
Limitations of Bump-Outs
Virginia additions often include new plumbing and mechanical fixtures, allowing you to add a bathroom or completely redesign the kitchen. Bump-out designs tend to avoid plumbing and HVAC, concentrating more on simply extending the floor space and adding windows and doors.
Bump-outs won’t work for second story additions either, unless the house design provides the necessary support underneath the area to be “bumped out.” In most cases a contractor will recommend traditional additions on the second story or above the garage. But for smaller main floor addition plans, bump-outs can provide the space and adaptability you’re looking for.
Consider your lot lines when planning to build a bump-out. Your house may be designed to maximize area, and any extensions to the footprint may encroach on lot lines. Your contractor will help with the building permit application, and any lot line discrepancies will be dealt with at that time. But be aware of the allowable building space beforehand to ensure you avoid disappointment and additional costs.
You’re also limited in size when planning a bump-out. Think about how much additional space your family actually needs before deciding which type of home addition to invest in. Bump-outs may be cheaper to build, but if this design doesn’t provide the living space required, you’ll end up wasting your money.
Talk to an experienced Virginia contractor about the best design for your home addition project. Bump-outs provide many benefits, cost less to build and can be completed in a shorter period of time. But many families need the space and features offered by traditional Virginia additions, making them a smarter investment in the long run.