8 Living Room Addition Ideas
Living room additions are a great way to not only expand the square footage of your home, but also improve the comfort and design aesthetic of your interior.
Family room and living room additions have become incredibly popular over the last several years, so there are many different ways to execute a living room addition in your own home. Here are our eight favorite living room ideas.
1. Standard Addition
The easiest way to get started with a living room addition is with a standard room addition.
Although it’s a room addition (opposed to a more robust home extension), this is a major construction project that involves creating an additional building structure and integrating it with the rest of the home. Average costs run anywhere from $80 to $200 per square foot. A standard addition can cost you anywhere between $21,026 and $64,985, with the average national cost of adding a room at $42,058.
To begin with your standard room addition, start simple by first taking a look at your property (and your property lines) to determine where it makes sense to add your new room. Next, determine a budget that you can work with for your addition. Don’t forget to include to cost of hiring both a contractor and an architect or designer who can help you design the addition of your dreams. Working with an architect will especially help to make sure the addition design is cohesive with the rest of your home, and enhance the resale value, should that be your end goal. The last step before work on your home extension begins is to have detailed descriptions of the materials and the scope of the work to be done.
There are a few ways to add a standard room addition to your home, but they pretty much can fall into the categories of building out or building.
Building out typically involves adding a room at ground level, which is one of the most popular types of additions. If you want to expand your living space without increasing the footprint of your home, building up is a great option. For this type of addition, you add a room to the second story, or you could add an entire second story onto a one story home. For living room additions, building out is typically the more popular option.
2. Small Room Addition/Bump Out
Another popular option for living room addition ideas is a small room addition, like a bump out.
Full-scale, multi-room additions get most of the attention in the additions world, but bump-outs are a highly viable option for adding more living room space to your home without the cost of a full-scale addition. Room bump-outs are “less expensive than full-on additions: less square footage, less electrical, less (or even no) plumbing or HVAC”.
Typically, a bump-out is an extra space that is far smaller than a full addition. Bump-outs can extend as far as 10 to 15 feet from the house, but they can also be tiny “pop-outs” as short as 2 feet long. Although, if you’re looking to add or expand on your living room, you’ll likely need at least 5-10 additional feet out extension.
An advantage of bump out living room additions is that, due to their size, they do not substantially alter the exterior appearance of your home. They offer more of a seamless transition for homeowners.
Especially if you already have a workable living room that is positioned on your property with viable room for an expansion into the surrounding yard, a bump-out living room addition may be an excellent option for your needs.
3. Unique Shapes
If you’re looking to use your living room addition for a space that’s more “fun” than “functional,” consider a many-sided living room addition. In recent years, uniquely-shaped additions, such as hexagon-shaped (six walls) or octagon-shaped (eight walls) living rooms have become a popular choice among homeowners.
These multi-walled living room additions are excellent choices for homeowners who want to show off their lawn or garden, as the extra walls allow for beautiful, plentiful windows that look out onto your property. If you’re looking to create a truly unique space for entertaining and lounging, a hexagon or octagon-shaped living room addition may be the perfect fit.
One thing to note about these unique-shaped additions is that due to the use of space, they have to be build as true “modular” additions, meaning they extend completely off the existing property. If you do not have a lot of yard space to build into, they may not be the best option for your home.
Another classic, visually appealing option for a living room addition is a sunroom. A sunroom is a glassed-in living space typically attached to the house and accessible from indoors. While typically regarded as being a fit for warmer weather climates, today’s sunrooms can be constructed to four-season-room standards for year-round use.
Three-season rooms are simpler to install, but since they are made out of just aluminum and thin glass, they may be too cold to use in winter months. Nowadays, prefabricated sunrooms, with thermal-resistant glass and better temperature have evolved and are more readily available for homeowners today. Even aluminum frames for sunrooms have become more structurally sound.
Another benefit of choosing a four-season-sunroom for your living room addition, aside from the obvious aesthetic value, is that they are highly energy efficient.
In general, sunroom additions have a lower square footage cost than regular additions, but you can still expect to pay at least $11,000 for a well-made sunroom of around 150 square feet.
Conservatories are very similar to sunrooms, but they are differentiated by a specific focus on showcasing flora, and usually a glass roof (in addition to walls). Conservatories are a variety of sunroom but tend to be pricier than sunrooms. If you have a lovely backyard or garden to emphasize, a conservatory may be an excellent home addition choice for you.
Conservatories can be “dressed up” or “dressed down,” depending on the vibe and aesthetic that you are going for. For example, this Pennsylvania home conservatory is very formal, with all-glazed timber windows, doors and roof. In contrast, this fun conservatory borrows from beach style to create a fresh, relaxed, coastal look.
There are lots of different directions you can go if you choose to add a conservatory to your home.
6. High or Vaulted Ceilings
Another way to make maximum impact with your living room addition is to opt for high or vaulted ceilings. Large, open spaces are very attractive in homes and can definitely help with buyer appeals and resale value down the road.
It’s a well-known fact that high ceilings carry the benefit of making a room look bigger than it actually is. So, you can get away with a smaller addition by square footage, but build up to visually make the room look more spacious.
If you’ve always wanted to have a home with vaulted ceilings, building a room addition may be the perfect solution. Building a new addition as opposed to trying to make room for vaulted ceilings in your current home tends to be an easier option. When homeowners try to build vaulted ceilings within their existing homes, there are so many issues that may arise; they have inspect the attic (where they’d be building into) to looks for roof framing (rafters are good), trusses (which make building vaulted ceilings much more difficult and can cost 20-40% more), any chimney infringement (pretty much a deal-breaker), or any plumbing or ductwork that needs to be adjusted. For all these reasons and more, living room additions provide the perfect opportunity to install vaulted ceilings in your home.
One detracting factor of high or vaulted ceilings is that the extra space may in turn cost extra money to heat and cool. High ceilings are also more difficult to clean than standard-height ceilings.
A fireplace can provide an excellent focal point for your new living room addition, especially if your house does not currently have a fireplace. If you are looking to make your living room addition into a true “hub” for your family, nothing makes a house feel quite like a home like a fireplace does.
A fireplace focused living room addition can also work well if you already have an area in your house that you consider to be a “living room.” Perhaps the existing living room can become a place to watch TV where the kids can play, and the living room addition can serve as more of a “formal” sitting and relaxation room. The choices are endless!
8. Green Home Addition
Another great use of a living room addition is to build a green or eco-friendly room addition. Especially considering the initial cost of building a living room addition, making your new room highly energy efficient will help offset added costs of the new space down the road.
There are a couple ways to make your living room addition “green.” For example, installing solar panels on the addition can not only help with powering the addition itself, but also the rest of your house. You can also make a choice to use only natural and/or sustainable materials to craft your living room addition. Don’t overlook paint choice (both for the interior and exterior of your addition) as an opportunity to reduce toxins and improve environmental-friendliness.
Insulating the foundation by using concrete or a floating cement slab as a base for your addition will prevent cold air from seeping up from the ground into the building, which will help keep home temperatures moderate and prevent crazy heating or cooling costs.
For the walls, opting for engineered lumber or composite wood will leave a lighter carbon footprint. This is because engineered lumber is harvested from trees that regenerate quickly, where supply is easy to find. The same can be suggested to siding on the exterior of the addition – engineered wood siding is eco-friendly, lighter and easier to use than fiber cement siding.
These are just of the few directions you can go with your living room addition remodel. Regardless of your budget, desired aesthetic or family size, there’s an option for every home!