It’s time for a renovation! You’ve made the most of the space that already exists, but there’s still something more you want out of your home. Perhaps you’ve started your own business and you need an office. Or, surprise! You’ve got another baby on the way and want a master bedroom upgrade. Maybe you’re suffering the dreaded empty nest syndrome and want a home gym or entertainment center. 

It could be that you have a garage/basement/attic you never use, or tons of extra room on your property. Whatever the case, you still have options as to how you create this new space. Three, to be precise. You have the choice between adding on to the rest of your home, converting an unused room, or (thanks to new California law) an additional dwelling unit. It’s time for a renovation face-off.

Adding On

If you’ve got a large lot of land, but it’s mostly yard and you don’t mind giving up said yard space, then adding on to your existing house seems like a great idea, right? In some respects, yes. Rather than sacrificing a room in your house to some other purpose (after all, they may all be in use) adding on allows you to add to your property. Plus, who doesn’t love all things new?

Well, there lies the actual problem. The biggest challenges you’re going to face are with consistency; from the foundation to the roof, building an addition that fits in with the rest of the house is tricky. You may not be bothered by it, but if it ever comes time to sell your home, drastic difference in the two sections can negatively affect its sale. It shouldn’t feel like walking into a completely different building. While there’s no getting around the newness of it, you can match structural style and compliment the design aesthetics.


When it comes to not having enough space, or putting unused space to better use, conversions are quite fantastic. Be it your garage, attic, basement, or guest bedroom, converting a space is a little less of a hassle than adding on. For starters, you don’t have to match foundation with a home that has settled. You may or may not have to add or move utilities around, it depends on the room you’re converting and what you’re morphing it into. 

Additional Dwelling Units

Let’s say you need an extra space, but adding on to the original house is proving to be a difficult challenge. In many cases, ADUs are often a better alternative to adding to a house. With additions you have demolition and construction. An ADU is its own separate structure. They’re gaining in popularity as more families are living, multi-generationally, in the same home. This is so common, these types of structures have earned themselves the nickname “The Granny Shack”. But they’re also great for a gym, office, or workshop. You have the convenience of having these things close by without them actually being part of your home. 

Every situation is unique when it comes to home improvement. Luckily, you aren’t stuck in a corner with limited options.