beautiful bathroom design bay area

The Most Popular Home Home Additions In The Bay Area

Making home improvements or housing additions has become a common theme in the Bay Area. Since 2019, the San Francisco and San Jose areas have led the nation in the amount spent on home renovations, according to

From full-home remodels and simple DIY projects and, Bay Area residents are making upgrades to their homes. These renovations can bring new life to property and drive up value if you plan on selling your home one day.

If you plan on adding and addition on to your home, make sure you do some thorough research. Find a budget you are comfortable with and what you want to accomplish, and how it can truly benefit you.


Popular Home Additions in the Bay Area

The housing market in the Bay Area has vastly changed over the years, becoming one of the more expensive places to live globally. So, if you plan on selling your home one day, then you should consider making a wise addition or remodel that could pay you back one day. Think about how much money you could make off the remodel, besides worrying about the aesthetics of the remodel.

If you want to do something simple as an add-on to your kitchen or something more complicated such as building a second story, these renovations could make your house’s resell value skyrocket.

Home addition ideas:

  • Minor kitchen remodel
  • Adding a wooden deck
  • Adding stone veneer
  • Putting in an additional bathroom
  • Another bedroom
  • Adding a room above the garage

Adding on an additional bedroom would turn out to be the simplest and cheapest addition to your home. An extra bedroom could turn into an office space, or you could rent out the room to someone. If you went the route of an additional bedroom, you would probably want to add another bathroom. Adding a new bathroom could also add up to 8.7 percent in value, according to a 2020 Cost Versus Value report. And an upfront investment can cost you from $3,000 to $25,000.

If you want to add something simple to your home, adding a room above your garage would do the trick. The foundation is already in place, and all you’ll simply need is some walls and a roof. And after it’s done, you could rent out the area as an extra bedroom or just an extra room for office space.

A kitchen remodel could open more space for cooking and add more area between the living room, dining area, and the kitchen. However, kitchen additions could cost more than a remodel. When thinking about a remodel, you’ll have to factor in the cost for plumbers, electricians, interior finishes, and cabinetry.

Putting in a stone veneer in your home would be a great aesthetic move and will pay off in the future and is among the popular additions in the Bay Area. Stone veneers not only give your home a sophisticated look but also adds value to your house. A 2016 Cost vs. Value report showed you could recoup 93 percent of the value of natural stone veneer.

garage conversions bay area

Average Cost for Home Additions

Before you begin any remodel or addition, the first step should be figuring out what the budget is for your project. Determine if making some upgrades to your home are worth the hassle because you don’t want to end up losing money if you plan on selling your house in the future.

Most expensive home additions:

  • Refacing cabinets
  • Building a deck
  • Installing a new roof
  • Bathroom remodel
  • Kitchen remodel

Although no renovation job is always expected to recoup all of its costs, keep in mind the location you’re in when doing upgrades. The Bay Area has one of the most high-priced markets in the world, and it costs even more to do renovations. To estimate how much a home improvement will cost, has a handy tool to give you a guideline. Simply put in your zip code, and it will give you an idea of how much to expect to spend.

The typical home addition in the United States costs between $80-$200 square foot, significantly cheaper than the Bay Area. The cost to do a little adding or constructing is almost the same as brand new construction. On average, home addition in the Bay Area costs $350-$500 per square foot. A bathroom addition can cost you the same, and everything could add up to around $67,000 for 150 square feet.

Renovating or upgrading your kitchen comes with the lowest return on investment in the Bay Area. Remodeling a kitchen only offers a 68.3 percent return on profit in Santa Rosa and an 80.1 percent return in San Francisco. If you were looking to add a second story to your house,  that could run you anywhere between $60,000-$600,000. However, it will add significant square footage and resale value to your home. Search for a builder or contractor to examine your home to make sure it can handle a second story.

To guarantee you’ll make a profit on a home addition, consider adding stone veneer. According to a report, this home improvement product recoups 233 percent of its $8,954 cost in the San Jose area. Home additions that won’t cost you a fortune would be simple projects, but the cost of labor, utilities, plus other site work can drive up costs.


How To Pay for Home Additions

There are a few different ways you could go about paying for your home addition. Each option is going to come with advantages and disadvantages. Study through each option and find out what is best for you.

One of the newer popular home loans is a RenoFi loan. It’s different from usual home equity loans because RenoFi loans calculate what your home will be worth after the work has been finished.

Different loan options:

  • Construction loan
  • RenoFi loan
  • Personal loan
  • Cash-out refinance
  • Home equity loan

Loan amounts can range from $20k to $500k with low-interest rates and repayment terms up to 20 years. If you’re not comfortable with that type of loan, then you could consider a personal loan. Personal loans can be a bit easier to get. However, they can come with high-interest rates and limited borrowing power.

Using a construction loan can also be another option. These loans were originally intended to fund new homes but can also be used to fund home additions. The closing costs for a construction loan can usually be higher and based on the new value of your mortgage. Lender fees can also add up and cost you a lot of money in the long run.

A cash-out refinance requires you to refinance your entire mortgage, which could cost you a lot of money in the long run. It replaces your existing mortgage with a loan for a higher amount, and you’re free to use the excess money to fund your home project. But it requires that you have generated a large amount of equity in your property, and the loan is usually capped at 80 percent of your home’s current value.


Most Common Home Additions

The typical home additions are considered full or traditional. It includes adding extra rooms spaces to your current property and expanding the square footage. These types of additions usually take the longest to complete and usually cost the most.

Instead of making or adding a new room, micro additions can suffice. It’s the process of extending your existing room. Micro additions can be a simpler and easier option for homeowners that don’t want or feel they need extra space.

Second story additions can also be a great option for adding extra space. Building vertically can be simpler and provide more space in your home.

beautiful bedroom bay area

Why Add On to Your Home

Even though renovations may cost you a lot in the long run, they could pay dividends in the future. A simple remodel or addition could spike up your home’s value, giving you a nice return on investment in the future. You can’t expect to recoup all of your home improvement costs, but expect to get a decent amount back. In 2018, the average home improvement job recouped 64 percent of its costs.

Reasons to upgrade your home:

  • Increases resale value
  • More space inside your home
  • Saves some money
  • It’s your creation

An underrated factor with doing a home addition is that you could save money in the long run. Instead of moving to a bigger house, it could be cheaper just to make an addition to your home. You’ll save money on moving costs and any potential upgrades or maintenance needed for your new home.

However, if you’re in the business of making money and having a solid investment, consider these additions. According to Cost Versus Value 2020 Report, adding a wooden deck would be the biggest return on investment. The typical wood deck costs nearly $20,000, and the average increased market value is $20,533 for a 102.8 percent return on investment.

The housing investment with the lowest return on investment is adding an upper master suite. It’ll cost a homeowner around $343,000 with a return of $243,000, which leaves you with a $100,000 net loss.


Cons of Home Additions

There are a few drawbacks to adding to your home. For one, you aren’t guaranteed a higher resale value. More space in the house can also lead to higher heating and cooling costs, more windows to clean, and increased property taxes. You might not recover from the entire cost of doing a home addition, which is why it’s often seen as a gamble.

Least profitable home additions:

  • Living room adjustments
  • Closest renovations
  • New front door
  • Exterior updates

Doing a home addition also increases the chances you lose yard space. Once you make a ground-level house addition, you will never get that space back. If you have kids, getting rid of that space can take away from their play area outside.

The time it takes for your home addition to be completed could also be emotionally taxing and disruptive. Your family would have to deal with a lot of noise and rumble for weeks, maybe even months. Or you might have to temporarily move away from your home, which can get uncomfortable for you and your family.


Consider Cost Risks

Whatever your motivating factor is for adding on to your home, take time to analyze any possible risk factors. You don’t want to waste your money, do some market research before making any important housing move.

More importantly, map out what your end game will be. Do you want to resale your house soon, or are you just making improvements and additions for yourself? Those are the important questions.  Element Home Remodeling of Walnut Creek is a Bay Area home addition contractor specializing in modern and beautiful home addition designs.  Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *