The Space You Crave

When most people think about remodeling, they envision adding a number of new rooms and lots of square footage to assure they don’t feel cramped. Yet, sometimes all that is needed to improve the flow and function of a space is a simple bump-out. Keep reading to find out more about the five basic types of additions and how one or more might work for your home.

Entry Bump-Out

A bump-out is ideal for introducing more light and elbowroom into a cramped space. A well-designed bump-out can host an entry, dining area, home office, or homework nook. A bump-out is relatively quick to build and requires little foundation work. It’s important to assure that it doesn’t look tacked on, especially when viewed from the home’s front. In the photo above, the entry bump-out is the only square footage added to this whole house remodel, but it has a big impact on the home’s function. It provides a place to transition from the exterior to the interior and allows the main living area to remain separate from the process of entering.

Bumping Up

A bump-up, adds architectural interest and can boost the function and usable floor space of upper level rooms. Raising the ceiling height and adding a clerestory can also add light and the feeling of spaciousness to small spaces.


Adding square footage to an existing room or rooms can increase the usability of the area(s) and often is less expense than whole room additions in that the new area can use the existing HVAC system. The challenge with this type of addition is to assure that it does not distort the home’s original shape and creates a seamless transition between the two spaces.

Single Room Addition

A single room addition can increase a home’s livability and resale value, however linking new and old spaces requires care and creativity. In the Silicon Valley, as homeowners outgrew their ranch homes, they sought ways to inexpensively add square footage to their ranchers. A popular option was to create a second floor addition, only over the existing garage. While cost-effective, these additions distorted the home’s proportions and style. Many cities now prohibit the building of a “box” addition on top of an existing home without also making design modifications that create a more pleasing roofline.

Multiple Rooms Addition

In this type of addition, significant square footage and functional spaces are added, sometimes on multiple levels. While typically more expensive than other types of additions, because a new heating and cooling system may be required, this type of addition has the power to transform the functionality of the entire home. As in all additions, it is important that the design of the new space is integrated with the existing structure to produce not only a functional but aesthetic remodel.

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