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How Much Does a Home Addition Cost in Chicago’s Northwest Suburbs? [2020]

There comes a point at which rearranging furniture just doesn’t cut it. Whether your family is growing, you’re welcoming parents, in-laws, or adult children into your living space and you need an extra bathroom or bedroom, or you’re just trying to find room to set up your at-home office for remote work, there are several reasons why you might feel cramped in your house and why organizational tactics just aren’t giving you the space you need.

So let’s face it: you need more room. One option is to move into an upsized home, but another possibility is that a simple modification to your existing structure could solve your problems. If you love your home and your neighborhood, and if you don’t want to disrupt your work commute or jeopardize your access to local schools or community amenities, it’s time to consider an addition. 

Just how much does an addition cost? The answer depends on your geographical location, as well as the size, scope, and nature of your project. To help you get started, we’ve compiled estimates specific to the Chicago area for two of the most practical and common home additions - an upscale master suite addition and an upscale bathroom addition - as well as general estimates for a second story addition and a basement addition. 

Upscale Master Suite Addition

According to the Remodeling 2020 Cost vs. Value Report (www.cost vs value.com), an upscale master suite addition costs approximately $353,801 for a cost recoup of 48.7%. This number is based on a 32 by 20-foot addition over a crawlspace and includes a sleeping area, a sitting room, and a master bath. Custom work like built-in storage is included in this estimate, along with high-end features like a gas fireplace with a custom mantle. A walk-in closet is also budgeted in.

The master bathroom has two sinks with custom vanities and high-end countertops. A walk-in shower, freestanding soaker tub, and partitioned area for the toilet are included. Also featured is a bar sink with custom cabinetry and small appliances like an undercounter refrigerator and microwave. In-floor heating and multiple lighting features are covered as well.

Upscale Bathroom Addition

Again according to the Remodeling 2020 Cost vs. Value Report (www.cost vs value.com), an upscale bathroom addition costs $114,281 for a cost recoup of 49.8%. This estimate is based on a new, 100-square-foot addition built over a crawlspace. It includes two sinks with stone countertops and mirrored medicine cabinets, as well as a frameless glass shower, a freestanding soaker tub, and a partitioned-off area for the toilet. In-floor heating, high-end lighting, large ceramic floor tiles, and other features like cabinetry with a custom base are included.

(Please note: © 2020 Hanley Wood Media Inc. Complete data from the Remodeling 2020 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at www.costvsvalue.com.)

Second Story Addition 

According to Home Advisor’s Additions and Remodeling Cost Guides, vertical additions (adding a second story) are generally less expensive than horizontal additions (expanding your square footage out into your property). This report lists an average addition cost that ranges from $100 to $300 per square foot and up to $500 per square foot. The higher number reflects higher quality materials and more complex project requirements. (Please note that these numbers are not specific to the Chicago area.)

Basement Addition

If structural or local restrictions don’t allow you to build up or out, you may want to consider a basement addition. Home Advisor’s report quotes a basement addition that costs between $10,000 and $175,000. This range reflects several factors like whether the basement addition will be used for storage or whether the homeowner wants a fully finished basement. Other important factors include the soil condition, the home’s location, and the shape and footprint of the house.

Other Expense Factors

As you prep your pocketbook for your home addition, be sure to factor in costs that aren’t directly related to construction. For example, if you’re planning a major addition - especially a basement addition or second story addition - it may be more comfortable for you to move out of your house during construction. Because of this, you’ll need to consider costs related to finding a temporary living arrangement while you’re waiting for your home upgrades to be completed.

Closing Considerations for Planning Your Addition

Zoning Restrictions

Whenever planning an addition, there are a few checkboxes you need to tick before you progress too far in your planning. In residential areas like Chicago and its suburbs, there are usually zoning restrictions that limit where you can build, how tall your new structures can be, etc. Because of this, you should always check what you are and aren’t able to do with your local building department. If you’re working with a builder who has experience building additions, you can also utilize their expertise to ensure you’ve checked all of the necessary boxes for a successful project. 

Matching Style

You’ll also want to take into account stylistic and architectural continuity between your existing structure and your new addition. It can be tempting to think of an addition as a blank slate to experiment, but the most successful additions consider the aesthetic congruity of the spaces. For this reason, it is wise to partner with an experienced design build remodeler who can help inform and enhance your vision, adding square footage and modern convenience while integrating your new addition seamlessly into your home’s existing structure.

Home, Kitchen, & Bathroom Remodeling Costs by Neighborhood

If you found this post on home additions helpful and are interested in viewing more remodeling costs for your home, bathroom, or kitchen, we invite you to download our premium guide below. You'll get access to remodeling costs by neighborhood in Chicago's northwest suburbs to help you plan the best renovation for your unique home!

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Written By Katie Finn