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5 Amazing Ways to Increase the Square Footage of Your Home

There are several ways to increase the square footage of your home, without having to buy an entirely new one. When you buy a home, you may love all the space you may have. However, as your family grows, it can suddenly feel a little snug! While moving is an option, sometimes letting a home go is impossible due to commitments, jobs, and other obligations.

If done correctly, it can also increase your home’s ROI when it is time to sell. We have five amazing options that can work with what you already have in your home. Read on to learn five amazing ways you can increase the square footage of your home while making it more enjoyable for your family.

Add a Bump Out

The term “bump out” might not sound so appealing, but it offers a great way to increase square footage in spaces where you can use it. What exactly is a bump out? Unlike a home addition, a bump out is a small extension of pre-existing space. It might not be as large as a home addition, but it provides a little breathing room for spaces that really need it.

Areas that people typically consider bump-outs are the kitchen, bathroom, and laundry area. These areas are high traffic within a home and as your family grows, what was once a spacious room could become cluttered as everyone gathers for breakfast in the kitchen or needs to use the bathroom vanity at the same time. With a bump-out, you can allow for more space and mobility in your existing space.

bump out home addition Oakland


For some, it is just an extension or expansion; for others, this small space can be its own little room. Consider the mudroom: an exterior facing room with an entry that allows people to remove dirtied clothing items before treading further into the home! A bump-out to the laundry room can allow you to add this adorable space to your own home.

Pros Cons
● It doesn’t cost as much as a full-on addition.

● As it is a small adjustment to your home’s square footage, you won’t have to worry if your current HVAC needs updating to accommodate the change!


● Depending on the age of your home and wear, it can be tricky to find the same materials and paints that you had for the original portion of the home to match your new section.

● This may lead to you purchasing brand new paint colors and new flooring to get a universal look.


Rework Your Patio, Deck, or Porch

While not on your home’s inside, the porch, patio, and deck are still parts of your home and square footage and can greatly expand the living space of your home. Adding onto these spaces can give you more room for leisure and entertainment, especially with a moderate climate like here in The Bay Area. On top of that, these unfinished spaces can allow you to change them however you want.

Whether you are looking for an expansion or you want to wall it in, you get the increased square footage you want for your home. As it is also facing your backyard, front yard, or landscape, you have the ability to ensure that your new space has the best view.

Pros Cons
● You get an additional place to relax in an aesthetically pleasing setting.

● More room for more guests and entertaining!

● You can highlight and provide a better vantage area for the beauty of the landscape and your backyard.

● This option can be a more affordable way to add space if it’s done right.


● Wear and tear of natural materials used in these areas can require more maintenance.

● If not matched to existing architecture, it may look out of place to potential buyers when you go to sell in the future.

High end deck patio

Turn It into a Sunroom

If you really want an inside space to increase your home’s space, a sunroom can be just the thing. Adapting your outside patio, porch, or deck and turning it into a sunroom can give you a room in your home full of natural light, cut off from the elements while you can still look out upon the greenery.

This room is typically made of glass windows, with a roof extension and an exterior door. You can even add skylights into the roofing area to increase the natural light of this room. While you may have seen sunrooms on the sides or back of homes, you can really put them where you like.

On top of being an appealing place to relax, they have a great effect on your home’s resale value and ROI. Many home buyers love the sight of a sunroom as it is a luxury for a home to have. A big downside, however, is that these can be costly, with some of the closest costs being within the twenty thousand dollar range.

Add on to Your Space

Adding on to your patio, deck, or porch is mostly a horizontal move, but you can also extend out your roof to improve the comfort of the space overall. This means you have a great area to relax and take in the outdoors and are shielded from the elements. What other considerations can you make with these specific areas?

With a porch or patio, you may consider making a wrap-around extension! Typically seen on farm-style homes, this porch or patio gives greater space for walking, relaxation and evokes a more simple time.

For decks, on the other hand, you can consider doing a vertical extension! Decks have the ability, as long as they are stable, to go higher or lower along with a home. This means you can have a two-story deck if you so desire, allowing you to take advantage of the vertical space of a two-story home.

basement bedroom

Finish Unfinished Spaces

Have you ever looked at your attic and thought, “If only this were a finished space, I could do so much with it?” If you look around your home, there are several spaces like this that lead to the “what if” sort of thinking. This is where conversions come in! Conversions are a great way to finish off unfinished spaces and turn them into fully livable spaces.

Along with the attic, some other spaces typically considered for conversion are garages and basements. Because they are basically already on the home, they mostly just lack the finish that the rest of your homes have! With a little bit of elbow grease and some contractors, before you know it, you have a brand new room to fill.

There are some drawbacks to consider, however. Because these are unfinished spaces, there may be some key livable elements they lack, such as HVAC comforts, full electrical capacity, or insulation. During conversion, it might be necessary to contact additional contractors to handle these aspects of conversion.


Whether you live in an HOA or not, there may be some building regulations and permits required to get the conversion ball rolling. Once those are all set up, the final hurdle is the wait. Good construction takes time and so you might have to wait a long period of time for the final product to be ready for use.

Pros Cons
● Space can be turned into a separate apartment for renting, providing you with additional income.

● Once you finish the room, it can be anything you want, from a game room to a bedroom! The versatility gives you endless opportunities.


● Full-on conversions like this can be lengthy in terms of construction work.

● Due to the largeness of these newly converted spaces, you may have to have electrics and HVAC work done.

● There may be building codes and HOA codes that you have to adhere to.

Basement Conversion

Typically, many people simply use basements as a utility room for all of their appliances or laundry needs. However, with a little conversion, there are some fantastic uses for a basement! Of course, be very careful of any building regulations that may affect your basement conversion. Check with your local HOA or government to read up before you start!

Because of the ample space a basement typically provides, many people turn these into entertaining areas, such as dens or bars. It virtually provides you with a second living room for friends to come over and relax in. Game rooms are also a great idea for those looking for a place to house a pool table and more.

If you have a teenager, they may also be keen on having the basement bedroom idea. It’s a great way for them to envision living on their own before they grow up. If you go this route, once the teen grows up, you can also offer out this space as a single apartment for renters, giving you an extra source of income.

Attic Conversion

Attics don’t have to be that spooky place that props up your roof. With a conversion, you can turn it into a wonderful small additional room in your home. While the sloping ceiling prevents it from having the height or utility of a standard room, it offers a ton of inspiration for more cozy hideaways.

Some ideas you can turn your finished attic into are a playroom, a loft bedroom, a study, or a reading nook. Because of the versatility of this space, it can be virtually anything your family needs. Loft rooms are great for those who have company regularly, becoming a spare bedroom. With a simple skylight inclusion, you can give the room natural light for a more spacious feeling.

For families with kids, having a playroom lets them have space just for the kids to play, allowing the reduction of clutter throughout the home. It can be the kid’s special hideaway where they can escape and imagine cool adventures with their toys. Again, this space is so versatile. It can be anything you need.

Garage Conversion

Somewhere between the attic and the basement, the garage is a decently sized space that can be easily converted to a whole full room attached to your home. The size lends itself well to building a study, a bedroom, or a personal hobby space.

If you have your mindset on a specific room, you can speak with your contractor to add additional touches like a built-in bookshelf of workspace!

For some, sacrificing their car and tool storage is less than ideal. If considering a garage conversion, consider what you will use more and whether the conversion is worth it to you. Because this room is mostly finished, it can be ideal for conversion if you absolutely need room.

home addition Oakland

Build-on Home Additions

At the start, we mentioned single-room home additions. While this is in the same vein, build-on home additions are larger in scale and can greatly increase the square footage of your home. Instead of simply adding one room on, you could consider adding an entire second-story extension to your one-story home or even a full apartment over your garage!

Even if your garage is detached, it still counts as additional square footage for your home in the documentation. While both of these are massive projects, they are a surefire way to increase the available space of your home for living. On top of that, since it’s a new built, you can set it up however you need.

Of course, the biggest drawback here is that the size of the project means a more intensive construction job. Before you get started, always check the materials used in your homes, such as flooring, paints, tiles, siding, and more. Also, ensure you work with a contractor you trust and have seen work from before.

A big concern with a new addition such as this is that it needs to be a seamless addition. A quality contractor will be able to make this happen, and if your home’s materials or look-alikes are available, so much the better.

Pros Cons
● This can provide you with considerable living space!

● Due to it being new, it offers you a great deal of versatility for your family’s personal needs.

● Due to the fact it is, in essence, a new space, you will need an electrician to step in as well as a contractor.

● Factors such as the age of home and contractor’s skills can lead to a less than seamless integration into the original building.

● This is a more expensive option.

roof dormer installation Oakland

Consider a Roof Dormer

A dormer is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when people consider square footage additions. That is because it’s not the most commonly heard aspect of a roof. If you are aware of a dormer, you might think of a little bump in a roof where a window sits. However, it can be so much more.

Roof dormers can be made bigger and literally extend out your roof, allowing for additional room in your home. While not as massive as a conversion or home addition, this little bit of extra room can be anything you need, from an additional bathroom to a small bedroom space for the kids.

Depending on the style of your home frame, it may not be possible to install one of these. However, if it is, another added bonus is that it increases curb appeal. Most modern homes follow a specific style and look all too similar. With a roof dormer add-on, you can improve the architecture of your home and increase the square footage all in one.

Pros Cons
● Increases the pre-established space you have above your home.

● It can increase curb appeal due to architectural uniqueness.

● It could be an additional room or even a small study cubby!

● If your home is truss frame style, you might not have the space for this.

● With more windows, you have more maintenance needs in your home.

● If not sealed correctly, it can be exposed during wetter times of the year, creating a water damage issue for your home.


Which Option is Right for You?

When you need square footage, you don’t have to settle on just the old single-room home addition standby. There is a world of possibilities open for you, depending on your budget and needs. These five ways to increase home square footage are just the tip of the iceberg, as the only limits to the possibilities are your imagination and building regulations.

How do you know which one is the right one for you? Consider your family’s needs first and foremost. If your family is growing, you may want to plan ahead for the possibilities that could occur. If your family is done growing, consider what you want from the addition. Are you looking to rent out space later or just want a room for your personal use?

Once you have considered your needs, it can narrow the field and allow you to find the best options for your home. As always, make sure you speak with a trusted, reliable contractor to help you get the project started. Increase your home square footage and let your family stretch their legs — without bumping into each other.

Element Home Remodeling East Bay is a remodeling contractor serving the Oakland-San Francisco area. Our Design Build experts can design and create the remodeling project you’ve been dreaming of. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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