A very popular practice in the construction industry, and a cost-effective one for families in need of bigger homes, is known as building an “addition” or “extension”. Read more →


Additions versus Extensions

Addition, as the name implies, involves adding square footage to the existing living space of a home. This is typically done by building out from the home on the main floor or building a second story.

Usually “addition projects” come to mind when a family is growing in size, but they do not wish to sell their home and move into something bigger. It’s often due to financial, sentimental, and preferred location reasons.

An extension means the same thing as an addition except it’s usually only used for main floor expansion rather than adding more floors.

Addition or extension projects offer additional necessary space for home occupants and can provide more or bigger bedrooms, closets & storage, additional washrooms, showers or tubs, chef-friendly kitchens, bigger living spaces, or a combination of all.

While an Addition project is underway, you may also be upgrading your electrical, plumbing, and HVAC capacities to service the new space, as well as ensuring your home meets the current building codes.

Years Established

Completed Projects



Addition/Extension projects are well regulated by municipalities and have certain limitations and strict guidelines that must be carefully studied and followed. Obtaining the permit is an inseparable part of every addition/extension project. Like a new build project, your City or town will expect contractors to register for stage inspections. Contractors must make sure that they do not bypass any of the stages before the city inspector visits, including passing the previous stage. Bylaws also impose limitations on how much living space you can add. Limitations exist for width, height, length, and maximum square footage, similar to new construction requirements. The limitations will vary depending on lot size, proximity to neighbours and municipality regulations in effect for the area.


A structure must be capable of handling the extra weight imposed by adding a second or third floor. For this type of Addition, the existing footing and foundations must be reinforced (underpinned) if what’s existing isn’t strong enough. Therefore, consultation with a structural engineer is the first step to take before any architectural plans are prepared. The structural engineer may have to expose a part or parts of existing footings to determine if the footing is safe for the addition project or not. If the addition is only involving an extension of the main floor, there might be no need to examine the old footing. A new footing must be poured for the newly built part of the house, deep enough to pass the area’s frost line. This requirement will vary depending on the weather conditions of the area where the house is located. For colder environments like Toronto, a minimum of four feet is necessary to ensure frost line requirements are met whereas for warm climates like that of Florida a concrete slab would be sufficient. You may opt to extend your basement while you are adding to your main floor total area, although excavation and soil removal will require a bigger budget. Proximity to adjacent homes plays an important role in a basement extension operation. The closer the homes are to each other, the more dangerous it is to dig deeper. Your engineer may advise you to perform shoring to help safeguard the neighbouring property from dangers arising from excavating close to their foundation. This would also represent an impact on your budget.


Framing, insulation, wiring, plumbing, HVAC, and all operations must follow the most updated building code requirements. Smart homeowners will take advantage of the time their home is undergoing an addition or extension to also upgrade the existing part of their homes.

If old wiring is found that no longer meets code it’s important to update it to current standards throughout your home to avoid electrical fires. Some people choose to replace all their old copper plumbing with flexible tubing and their water heaters with tankless heating systems. Others reinsulate while their walls are open. If you are thinking of adding to your home space, we are always available to give you expert consultation. Please contact us and leave a message and we shall get back to you within 48 hours.