Will My Room Addition Require a Foundation?

Whether your family is growing, you’re now working from home full-time, or an aging loved one is moving in with you, a room addition can be the perfect solution when you need to add extra living space to your home. When considering a room addition, you have basically two options: building up or building out. Below, we discuss these two approaches and explain whether they require building a foundation.

Building Up

Building up involves adding space to your home vertically. You could build another story on top of your existing home, install dormers in a pitched roof to expand the space on an existing top floor, or create extra living space above your porch or garage.

In many cases, adding another story or extra rooms on top of your home doesn’t require a new foundation. However, it’s essential to know ahead of time whether your home’s existing foundation can support the extra weight. A room addition often adds a significant load to the structure underneath it, so your contractor may have to expose and strengthen your existing foundation as well as the wall structure under your new space to ensure there’s necessary support for the added weight.

Building Out

Building out means you’re adding space to your home horizontally. In almost every case, this type of room addition will require building a new masonry foundation. Without it, your new room isn’t likely to stay standing for very long because temperature changes cause soil to expand and contract constantly, rain and frost can cause the ground to lose stability, and terrain can shift. If your addition doesn’t have a solid foundation, these types of issues could cause the structure to lurch or even collapse completely. In addition to carrying the weight of your new room, the foundation will resist the movement of the soil underneath it, keep out moisture, and provide insulation that resists weather conditions.

Types of Foundations

A suitable foundation must be carefully planned and built to ensure it’s structurally sound, meets local building codes, and will last a long time. When discussing alternatives with their room additions contractors, San Diego homeowners will have several foundations options to consider, including these common choices:

  • Post and beam foundation – This is one of the most affordable options, and it’s especially well-suited for screened porches, sunrooms, and additions to living rooms. Similar to a support system used for a deck, this system uses concrete as footings for posts that hold up the structure, providing protection against moisture and flooding.
  • Cinder block foundation – One of the most popular and least expensive types of foundations, this is constructed using poured concrete. A well-built cinder block foundation will prevent mold and mildew by keeping out excess moisture. This type of foundation is appropriate for several different types of home additions, including bathrooms, extra bedrooms, and even outdoor kitchens.
  • Full basement – This is the most expensive type of foundation because it involves more materials and labor. Even if you’re building an unfinished basement, your contractor will have to excavate the soil and remove any obstacles such as water supply lines, sewers, and underground gas lines. Then the crew will place footings beneath the frost line and pour a concrete slab to create your new floor. Your contractor may also have to break through the existing foundation of your home to connect the new foundation with it.

The Forever Builders team will assist you through every step of your room addition. San Diego homeowners rely on us to provide the most affordable home remodeling services and ensure their visions become reality. From design to completion, we’ll help you create the room addition you’ve always wanted, meeting all your expectations while keeping your costs within budget. To find out more about our exceptional remodeling services, give one of our friendly team members a call today at (833) 243-5624.

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