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Question DetailsAsked on 1/27/2015

Is it better to build out (1st floor addition) or build up (2nd floor addition)?

I live in a ranch house in Crofton, MD. My family needs approximately 400-600 sqft more space in our house. We have the option to build out; adding two bedrooms and bath (with a bonus garage expansion from 1 car to 2 cars). However, the usual foundation, walls, new roof, etc. would be required. This addition would be added to the back of our 1 car garage, thus, it would only make sense to expand the garage with it. However, garage expansion is not something that we absolutely need.

On the other hand, we have the ability to add about 400 sqft to our attic space (without changing the roof). However, this would require structurally strengthening the 1st floor 2x3 load bearing walls and the 2x6 attic floor joists, as well as adding a stairway. This would allow for 2 bedrooms and a bath as well (with no garage expansion).

Which is a better cost option? In both cases I would like to have professionals do the heavy structural stuff, and I would finish off everything else. Thanks

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