As we move through 2023, one of the most noticeable trends in home remodeling has been a huge increase in home additions. With the real estate market in it’s current state, many homeowners are looking to add a little much-needed living space, but without the drastic change and amount of work purchasing a new home requires. Whether you’re looking to bump-out a room, build up a second story addition, add dormers, or add an in-law apartment, addition projects are much wider in scope than most remodels, and working alongside a design + build contractor or construction management firm is your best bet for making sure every small detail is attended to.

In this blog, we’ll run though some average timelines for different addition projects, give tips on planning your home addition, and give some general tips any homeowner should know ahead of hiring a home addition contractor.

Planning Your Home Addition

The first step when planning a home addition is determining your goals, space needs, and budget. Consider how much space your family needs now and in the future. With clear goals, you can design an addition that truly enhances your lifestyle.

  • Will you need an extra bedroom, bathroom, family room, or home office?
  • What is your target budget and preferred addition style? (Traditional, contemporary, or matching your existing home?)
  • How quickly do you need your project finished? (This can limit the scope of work you can accomplish.)

Permits and Approvals

One of the largest causes of delays in any renovation, but especially additions, is waiting on permits to be pulled or released by your local building department. This is one of the biggest pros of having a dedicated construction manager or contracting team: They are likely already familiar with local building departments and codes, and will be able to manage this process for you without having to repeatedly check in on permits and applications.

Zoning Approval

Most municipalities require zoning approval before you can obtain a building permit. Zoning laws regulate the size, height, placement, and use of home additions. Your contractor can advise if your proposed addition meets zoning requirements or if you’ll need to request zoning variances. The zoning review process usually takes 2-4 weeks.

Building Permits

After zoning approval, you’ll need to apply for local building permits. This ensures your addition plans meet building codes for safety, construction materials, and energy efficiency. The permit process involves filing detailed plans, forms, fees, and inspections. It typically takes 4-6 weeks to obtain a permit.

Hiring a Contractor

Finding an Addition Contractor

There are a few different kinds of contracting companies out there, and while most of them will happily quote your addition, you should be wary of hiring a smaller company that may have issues accommodating contingencies and changes throughout the project. Here’s a few types of contracting companies more suited to additions we recommend researching:

  • Design + Build Firms – These firms are often larger than regular general contracting firms. They usually have their own architectural or design services in-house, which can save costs by cutting out external firms where plans are required. Most Design + Build firms are all-inclusive, and handle design, material purchases, labor, and management.
  • Construction Management Companies – For homeowners looking to act as their own General Contractor or Project Manager, construction management companies act as a consultant and  backup team, giving you the resources provided by hiring a contractor, but retaining the power to hire your own subcontractors, use external architects or designers, and overall have much more control over your project.
  • General Contractors – GCs come in a variety of forms, usually mid-sized companies larger than a handyman service that may or may not have their own in-house labor, or use subcontractors. It’s important to get a feel for how large of a company a GC is, how their internal teams are made up, and what their limitations might be. Not all general contractors will be able to provide design or architectural planning services.

Bidding and Estimates

Once your addition plans are complete, you can solicit bids from general contractors. Provide each contractor the same set of plans to ensure equal, competitive bids. Contractors will estimate costs for time, materials, labor, fees, and profit margin. Compare at least three itemized bids before selecting a contractor.

It’s rare for contractors to give a transparent, itemized list on a free site visit, and oftentimes more thorough quotes will come with a small charge attached. While paying upfront for a quote might seem daunting, it ensures the quote you receive was accurately priced based on material and labor costs, and not a general ballpark estimate the company might struggle to meet.

Signing a Contract

Once you’ve selected a contractor and worked out your plans, it’s important to define your projects scope, timeline, and budget in a detailed contract. Some of the things laid out in the contract should include payment terms (how often you pay, and how much,) plans for addressing delays, and detailed information about how unexpected occurrences will be handled.

Design and Engineering

Architectural Drawings

An architect can create detailed drawings and plans for your addition if the scope is large or complex. Architectural plans ensure your addition blends nicely with your home. When using an independent architectural firm, expect to pay at least $100-$200 per hour and allow 2-4 weeks for complete drawings. Working with a Design + Build Contractor or Construction Management firm increases the chances these drawings can be done in-house, which lowers costs, eases communication issues, and ensures everyone involved is on the same page.

Structural Engineering

A structural engineer ensures the addition is designed properly to handle expected loads. This includes items like weight-bearing walls, roof trusses, foundations, beams, and post/lintel openings. Their review takes 1-2 weeks and typically costs $1,000-$3,000. Again, many larger companies can accomplish this in-house at lower costs.

Site Preparation


If your home addition involves demolishing an existing structure like a garage or porch, plan for an extra week and $5,000-$10,000 for demolition costs. Professionals will disconnect utilities, obtain permits, and properly dispose of debris.

Excavation and Foundation

Excavating, pouring footings, and building foundation walls takes 2-4 weeks. Excavation equipment is used to dig down to undisturbed soil and create a solid base. Forms are erected, steel reinforcing bars inserted, and concrete poured to create a sturdy foundation.

Framing and Roofing


Wall frames, floors, and roof trusses will be constructed next, taking 2-3 weeks. The wood-framed structure will be erected and sheathed with plywood or OSB. Expect inspections of rough electrical, plumbing, and framing before moving forward.


Shingles, metal roofing, or other roof materials will be overlaid onto the roof framing and sheathing. Flashing is installed and roof vents/skylights added. Scaffolding is used to access the roof safely. Roofing typically takes 1-2 weeks.

Exterior Finishes

Windows and Doors

Energy-efficient windows and exterior doors are installed into the framed rough openings. This weatherproofs the addition and takes 1-2 weeks to complete. Allow extra time if custom-sized windows or doors are required.

Siding and Trim

Vinyl, wood, or other siding is applied over the weather barrier and sheathing. Decorative trim pieces are added around windows, corners, fascia, and other accents. Allow 2-3 weeks for siding and trim installation.

Interior Finishes

Drywall and Paint

Drywall sheets are fastened to the wall framing and finished over several weeks with joint compound, sanding, and painting. Expect 2-3 paint coats in your preferred colors. Painting alone can take a week or more.

Trim and Flooring

Wood trim is applied around doors, windows, and flooring. Hardwood, tile, carpet, or other flooring is laid after major construction is done. Trim and flooring together take 2-3 weeks to complete.

Utilities and Furnishings

Electrical, Plumbing and HVAC

Electricians, plumbers, and HVAC technicians will rough-in and finish installing wiring, fixtures, pipes, vents, and ductwork over several weeks. Countertops and other fixtures are also secured.

Appliances and Furniture

Installation of cabinets, appliances, lighting fixtures, and furniture finishes your addition. Place appliances and furniture accordingly. Caulk, install trim, and put finishing touches on the space.

Inspections and Completion

Throughout the project, inspectors will verify the addition’s structural integrity, safety, and compliance with building codes. When everything passes final inspection, obtain an occupancy permit. Thoroughly clean the addition, address any punch list items, get signed lien waivers, and celebrate your new space!

Common Addition Terminology:

  • Site survey – Survey of the property to identify boundaries, topography, trees, and any issues impacting construction.
  • IRC codes – International Residential Code contains building codes for safe construction of homes and additions.
  • Header – Horizontal structural member over window and door openings to carry weight above.
  • Shear wall – Reinforced wall that resists lateral forces from wind and earthquakes.
  • Joists – Horizontal boards that support floors and ceilings.
  • Construction loan – Short term loan for financing construction costs, converts to regular mortgage after completion.
  • Retaining wall – Holds back soil on slopes and elevations changes.
  • Mechanicals – Systems like HVAC, plumbing, and electrical.
  • Change order – Document to modify the project scope, timeline, or budget.
  • Lien waiver – Release protecting homeowner if contractor fails to pay subcontractor or supplier.
  • As-builts – Revised drawings showing changes made during construction.
  • Site drainage – Grading and systems to divert rain runoff away from the addition.
  • ADA compliance – Following codes for handicap accessibility like ramps and door clearances.
  • Greywater systems – Using sink and shower drainage for irrigation and flushing toilets.


How long does it take to build an ADU in Connecticut?2024-02-06T19:43:07+00:00

On average, 6 to 12 months, but this can vary based on the project’s complexity and other factors.

Can I use my ADU as a rental property?2024-02-06T19:42:59+00:00

Yes, many homeowners build ADUs to generate rental income. Be sure to comply with local regulations regarding rentals.

Do I need to hire an architect for my ADU project?2024-02-06T19:42:48+00:00

While not always required, hiring an architect can ensure your ADU meets all design and regulatory requirements.

Can I rent out my ADU in Connecticut?2024-02-02T16:03:28+00:00

Yes, many homeowners build ADUs to generate rental income, but be sure to understand the legal and zoning requirements for renters.

How much does it cost to build an ADU in Connecticut?2024-02-02T16:03:15+00:00

Typically, the cost to build an ADU can range from $100,000 to over $300,000, depending on factors like design complexity, materials, and labor costs. Usual costs range from between $300 to $600 per square foot, depending on whether you’re building an addition or new structure, and the scope of needed plumbing and electrical work.

Are ADUs legal in Connecticut?2024-02-02T16:02:58+00:00

Yes, ADUs are legal, but regulations vary by local zoning laws, so it’s important to check your local ordinances.

What is an ADU?2024-02-02T16:02:47+00:00

An Accessory Dwelling Unit, or ADU, is like a mini-home that shares the same land as a bigger house. ADUs come in many forms, including garage conversions, basement apartments, and backyard cottages. They offer numerous benefits, such as additional rental income, increased property value, and flexible living space.

Are home office additions tax-deductible?2023-11-10T20:02:24+00:00

Generally, home office additions are not directly tax-deductible. However, you may be eligible for tax benefits if the home office is exclusively used for business purposes and meets specific criteria. It’s recommended to consult with a tax professional to determine your eligibility and understand the applicable tax regulations in your jurisdiction.

What are the differences between a custom and pre-built sunroom?2023-10-16T19:28:40+00:00

Custom sunrooms offer full design flexibility, allowing homeowners to create a unique, tailored space that integrates seamlessly with their home’s architecture. This customization, however, comes at a higher cost and involves a longer construction timeline. Pre-built sunrooms, in contrast, come in standardized designs with limited customization options, making them a cost-effective and quicker solution for those looking for a sunroom addition.

What is the difference between a 3 and 4 season room?2023-10-16T19:26:44+00:00

The primary difference between three-season rooms and four-season rooms is their year-round usability and insulation. Three-season rooms are designed for mild weather, while four-season rooms are built to offer comfort in all seasons, making them suitable for colder climates like Connecticut.

How long does a sun room addition take?2023-10-16T19:25:59+00:00

On average, the construction of a typical sunroom in Connecticut can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. A three-season sunroom might be completed in a shorter timeframe, while a four-season sunroom with additional features and complex design may take longer. It’s essential to discuss the estimated construction timeline with your chosen sunroom contractor. They can provide a more accurate schedule based on your specific project’s requirements and circumstances.

How much does it cost to add on a sunroom?2023-10-16T19:25:32+00:00

The cost of constructing a sunroom can vary widely depending on various factors, including the type of sunroom, its size, materials, design, and any additional features or amenities. On average, you can expect to invest between $10,000 to $70,000 or more for a sunroom addition in Connecticut.

How much does a second story addition cost?2023-10-16T17:07:23+00:00

The price of adding a second story to a home varies, but the average cost in Connecticut is around $145,000 including labor, materials, permitting, and inspections. Second story additions range from as low as 500$ a square foot, to up to 800$ a square foot. Additions with plumbing and electrical work such as those that contain kitchens and bedrooms tend to be more expensive.

What are the first steps to planning a second story addition?2023-10-16T16:57:14+00:00

The initial steps include evaluating your available space, defining your needs, establishing a budget, and consulting with professionals such as architects and contractors to create a comprehensive plan for the project.

How does a second story addition affect my home’s property value?2023-10-16T16:56:56+00:00

The average return on investment for a two-story addition is about 83%. If you are considering selling your home in the future, this could financially benefit you.

Can my existing foundation support a second story addition?2023-10-16T16:56:09+00:00

The existing foundation’s capacity to support a second story addition depends on its strength and condition. Consult with professionals, such as structural engineers, to assess and reinforce the foundation as needed.

Are there any restrictions on the use of in-law suites?2023-10-16T14:11:15+00:00

Restrictions on in-law suites vary from town to town in Connecticut. Common restrictions may include occupancy limits, rental limitations, parking requirements, accessory structure size constraints, health and safety code compliance, and potential homeowner’s association (HOA) restrictions. It’s important to consult your local zoning and building department to understand the specific restrictions and requirements that apply to in-law suites in your area to ensure compliance and avoid potential legal issues or fines.

Can I build an In-law suite on my property?2023-10-16T14:10:25+00:00

In Connecticut, you can generally build a mother-in-law suite on your property, subject to local zoning regulations and building codes, which vary by municipality. To determine your eligibility and specific requirements, it’s crucial to consult with your local zoning and building department. Consider factors such as zoning regulations, size, design, permits, occupancy limits, health and safety codes, utilities, and potential homeowner’s association (HOA) restrictions. Consulting local authorities and professionals familiar with local regulations is essential to ensure compliance and a successful project.

Do I need a separate entrance for an in-law suite?2023-10-16T14:08:38+00:00

While a separate entrance can offer more privacy, it’s not always necessary. The design should align with the preferences and needs of your family members.

What is the difference between an in-law suite and an accessory dwelling unit (ADU)?2023-10-16T14:08:15+00:00

An in-law suite is typically an addition to the main home, while an ADU is a separate, self-contained unit on the same property.

What is the average cost of building an in-law suite addition?2024-04-09T17:16:35+00:00

The cost of building an in-law suite can vary widely depending on factors such as size, location, materials, and local labor costs. On average, it can range from $50,000 to $250,000 or more.

How much does converting a garage to living space typically cost?2023-10-06T18:00:13+00:00

Converting an attached single garage typically runs $25,000-$45,000. It costs $5,000-$10,000 just to redo the garage door into a regular entrance. Upgrades quickly increase costs.

What’s better for resale value, an addition or remodel?2023-10-06T17:59:34+00:00

Additions generally bring in 75-100% ROI. Remodels average 50-75% ROI. Updates modernizing kitchens, baths and finishes help maximize value too. Additions may make the home more marketable.

How can I reduce the costs of my kitchen or bathroom addition?2023-10-04T15:02:48+00:00

Use stock cabinets and neutral countertops like quartz instead of natural stone. Look for fixture and appliance sale prices and rebates.

How accurate are the initial cost estimates for my home addition?2023-10-04T15:02:20+00:00

Initial quotes may vary 10-20% from final costs due to unforeseen issues. Build in a buffer to your budget to cover unexpected expenses.

What is the most budget-friendly type of home addition?2023-10-04T15:02:00+00:00

Finishing a basement is typically one of the most affordable ways to add living space, along with simpler bump-outs like a mudroom or enclosed entryway.

How much does a home addition cost?2023-09-26T13:18:41+00:00

Home additions cost $100-$300 per square foot on average. Simple additions start around $50,000 while upscale master suites can cost $250,000 or more. The size, materials, contractor rates, permitting fees all impact the total cost.

What are some common home addition types?2023-09-26T13:18:12+00:00

Some of the most popular home additions include master suites, expanded kitchens, family rooms, attic conversions, bathrooms, sunrooms, attached garages, mudrooms, accessory dwelling units, and bump-out extensions.


How long does a home addition take?2023-09-26T13:17:51+00:00

A typical home addition takes 4-6 months to complete. Smaller projects may take 2-3 months, while larger additions can take over a year. The total timeline depends on the project scope, permitting, weather, contractor availability, and inspections.

What are the steps in the home addition process?2023-09-20T14:14:44+00:00

Main steps are design, permitting, contractor selection, financing, demolition, foundation/framing, roofing, utilities, interior finishings and inspections.

Should I use the same contractor for design and construction?2023-09-20T14:14:28+00:00

Yes, using an architect, designer, and contractor within the same firm eases communication difficulties and makes managing your project easier.

How long does a home addition take?2023-09-20T14:13:41+00:00

Depending on scope, an addition often takes 4-6 months with larger additions over 6+ months. Make sure your contractor provides a detailed timeline. Waiting on permits and materials can drastically increase the time required.

Should I act as my own general contractor?2023-09-20T14:13:11+00:00

Being your own GC can save money but requires extensive time and knowledge. Most advise hiring a qualified general contractor to manage your remodel or addition. If you want more control over your project than a GC allows, a Construction Management company may be a better fit.

What are signs of a shady contractor for a home addition?2023-09-20T14:12:37+00:00

Demanding full payment upfront, no written contract, no fixed pricing, high pressure sales tactics, lack of license and insurance are red flags.

What design work is needed for a home addition?2023-09-20T14:11:58+00:00

Hire an architect to create preliminary drawings for the addition layout, look and feel. They can also help with permitting and contractor selection.

How do I know if my house is suitable for an addition?2023-09-20T14:11:42+00:00

A contractor can assess if your home’s structure, foundation, roof, siding etc. can support an addition. Zoning laws also determine allowed addition size.

What permits are needed to add on to a house?2023-09-20T14:11:30+00:00

Common permits include building, electrical, plumbing, mechanical, zoning approval. Your contractor will usually pull the needed permits, but check with your local permitting office.

Should I get multiple quotes for a home addition?2023-09-20T14:11:06+00:00

Yes, it’s recommended to get quotes from 3-4 contractors to compare pricing and visions for the project. Make sure all bids cover the same scope of work.

What questions to ask when hiring a home addition contractor?2023-09-20T14:10:51+00:00

Key questions include their years of experience, examples of past work, license and insurance info, project timeline and communication style. Always check references too.

How much does it cost to add on a room?2024-04-09T17:16:45+00:00

The cost to add on a room can range from $25,000 to $250,000 depending on the size and features. Factors like permitting, foundation work, plumbing and HVAC can significantly impact the final cost. Rooms with plumbing and electrical such as bathrooms and kitchens tend to be more expensive than adding a bedroom or office.

Published On: September 26th, 2023 / Categories: Home Additions, Home Improvement Contractor, Home Remodeling, Uncategorized /

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