10 Best Home Addition Ideas with the Best Return on Investment

This year, there’s been a 58% increase in home improvement projects as millions of Americans have invested in home additions to enhance their living space. Adding a room to a house, or multiple for that matter, is often cheaper than moving, increases property value, and provides much-needed extra space, whether it’s a bedroom for a newborn, a new office, additional bathroom, playroom, or storage area.

From grand second-story to small additions that enlarge the size of a master bedroom, there are many unique additions to suit different household needs and budgets. As leading home addition designers and builders in Des Moines, we know the following popular house addition ideas will maximize the investment in your home and enhance your living space.

#1. Get a Dream Kitchen Addition

Kitchen Addition Home Investments

Kitchens are still major selling points in the housing market and are often the make-or-break feature of a home. An addition can provide room for an island for food preparation that doubles up as a seating nook or perhaps a walk-in pantry. Kitchen additions are great if you need a little extra room for additional appliances or storage space.

Some homeowners opt to build an entirely new kitchen and remodel their existing one into a mudroom or incorporate it as part of an open plan design. Plumbing, new appliances, and countertops can make this more costly than a simple addition, but an experienced contractor can advise you on the most economic, durable, and efficient way to get the most from your new design.

#2. Add a Mudroom

Mudrooms are like buffer areas and act as transitional spaces from the outside to the inside. Having a dedicated area to store shoes, bags, coats, and do the laundry keeps a house tidy and organized. Traditionally located adjacent to a home’s entry, these versatile rooms can be used to wash pets or even store bedding and towels — the possibilities are endless!

As a high-traffic area, you want to create a space filled with smart organizing solutions, like customized built-ins and ample hanging space to designate a room for everyone’s daily go-to’s. Mudrooms are also great if you have kids, as they can keep their sports and school equipment together in one place.

#3. Think About an Addition

Additions don’t only apply to kitchens; they also perfect room ideas for small homes. Perhaps your living room feels a bit cramped, or you want a little more space in your master bedroom; an addition can easily resolve this common home issue. It’s a great and affordable way to expand your home without affecting nearby rooms.

For some rooms, like bathrooms, an extra couple of sq. ft can produce a complete transformation. You can add a bath, additional vanity, or increase the shower size. Additions are an affordable option for many homeowners as they don’t connect to the house’s foundation since they’re cantilevered, making them less expensive and time-consuming.

#4. Build a Livable Space Over the Garage

Garage Additions

We know how to add square footage to a house without encroaching on yard space; build up! While the most obvious benefit of a garage addition is extra storage, it can offer you so much more than a place to keep boxes. A livable room over your garage can serve as an office, hobby room, or an entire apartment that’s attached or separate to your home.

If properly equipped, a second-story room addition over your garage can be rented out to tenants for additional revenue, or used as a guest suite for elderly parents. It’s also one of the best home additions if you’re self-employed, as it allows you to create a workspace away from the hubbub of home.

#5. Plan a Second Story

Ambitious home addition ideas like building a second story are best for those who wish to stay in their home long-term but desperately need more space. Second stories can cover the expanse of the first floor or part of it, depending on your needs. Occasionally, a family doesn’t want to relocate and would prefer to build additional rooms upstairs instead of taking up yard space.

Adding a second story space allows you to preserve as much open space for outdoor living — whether it’s for an outdoor entertainment area or garden, and increases home resale value. You’ll also have more living space without encroaching on your neighbors, providing a better sense of privacy.

#6. Add a Dormer to the Attic

There’s no doubt that dormers add curb appeal to homes. They also provide more light to dark attic or loft areas, increased space, and improve interior ventilation. With dormers, you can utilize your loft or attic in a new way by creating a reading nook or enough space for a spare bedroom.

If you’re already using your attic for storage, why not transform it completely into another room? You can still store things, but with the added benefit of office space, a rec room, guest, or an entertainment area. Installing dormers will make the space habitable and beautify your home. It’s also one of the cheapest ways to increase the market value of your property.

#7. Turn Your Porch Into a Sunroom

Sunroom Additions

Common living room expansion ideas include converting porches into sunrooms. If you want to get more use out of your patio, a glass sunroom will provide better protection against the heat and elements and extend the time you can spend “outside” during the year. Perhaps the best part about sunrooms is their versatility.

Sunrooms are ideal for breakfast nooks, workout spaces, playrooms, informal living rooms, offices, and indoor gardens. Glass sunrooms let in copious amounts of natural light, creating a warm, balmy atmosphere and pleasant living environment. They can feel like both an extension of the indoors and outdoors.

#8. Get an In-Law Suite for Your Senior Members

An in-law suite is one of the best house additions for families facing the issues of managing living arrangements and health concerns for aging loved ones. In-law suites resemble small apartments, with a bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen area. They allow senior families to enjoy privacy, independence, and improved quality of life in a safe environment.

Additionally, this intergenerational living arrangement can make it easier to provide care for younger children, too. In-law suites can be built as stand-alone structures or as an extension of an existing home. Beyond practicality, these accessory dwelling units add immense resale value to homes.

#9. Add an Extra Bedroom for Your Guests

A lounge or study with a sleeper couch commonly solves the issue of providing a bed for a guest, but there are other advantages to adding an extra room to your house. Some homeowners Airbnb their spare rooms during peak season, while others use them as double-up hobby rooms or offices.

For families that are expecting, additional square footage is always useful. An extra guest room can be used to store things you want to keep close at hand. Having a dedicated space for family and friends when they stop by eliminates the need to disrupt other living spaces, especially if they are staying over for long periods of time.

#10. Expand the Bathroom

Bathroom Addition

Instead of moving because you need a bigger bathroom, you could just remodel your existing one and add a few extra square feet to this essential room. House expansion ideas like these seem small but have a big impact. A bathroom micro-addition can provide room for two vanities, a larger shower, or a bathtub.

This is especially useful for families with kids, as bathtubs are more useful than showers, and having two sinks to brush teeth and wash faces can make getting ready a lot easier. Some homeowners use the additional space for washing machines and tumble dryers too.


Expanding your house is a surefire way to get the most from your home investment. There are endless room addition ideas that bring you great satisfaction and increased enjoyment of your lovely home. The wonderful thing about remodeling is that it can be done incrementally as your needs change.  

At Zenith Design + Build, we provide a range of remodeling services; whether it’s making your grand living room addition ideas a reality or building a simple bathroom bump-out, our experienced team can make it happen. Contact us today to discuss your home addition project with us.


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