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Finished Bonus Room or Guest Suite

Is it worth the cost to add a finished bonus room or guest suite to your house or when building a new home?

There are many reasons people consider adding a finished bonus room or guest suite to their house or new home construction project.

  1. They are about to build a new home and it is cost effective to add the additional space.
  2. They have an existing home but need more space or want to add to the resale value of the home.
  3. They need an another bedroom/bathroom to accommodate additional family members such as a new child, older kids moving back home or aging parents.
  4. One or more persons work from home and need a large office with plenty of storage.

These are just a few of the many reasons you may want to add on to your existing home or include a finished bonus room when building a new home. So, how do you know if it’s worth the cost to add a finished bonus room or guest suite to your home?

A bonus room is generally built in the attic, often over the garage, in a house that has a steep roof pitch to allow for living space to be built. A guest suite is generally added to the first floor of a home and requires additional foundation and exterior walls making it a more expensive option.

Existing Home

If you are adding a finished second or third floor bonus room or a guest suite to an existing home it’s important to consider whether you plan to resell the home in the near future. If the additional square footage and cost makes your home larger and more expensive than most of the other homes in your neighborhood, it might make it difficult to sell, or you may not recover the cost for the addition. However if you plan on staying in the home over a long period of time, and you need the space, it would probably cost less to add to your home than to sell it and buy a larger home.

Bonus room additions are generally more affordable than adding a guest suite because there is no foundation work involved. And since they don’t increase the footprint of the home, they provide a better option in areas where variances would need to be granted for first floor expansion.

Another thing to consider with a guest suite is if you have a septic system or sewer. If you have a septic system, adding an additional bedroom/bathroom might mean having to increase the size of the septic tank and leach field which would add quite a bit to the cost of the project and to your investment in the home.

New Construction

If you are building a new home the cost to finish a second or third floor bonus room or guest suite is going to be less than adding it to an existing home, and the work can be done during the construction of the house, so no mess and inconvenience while living in the home.

With a bonus room you also have the option of putting in the plumbing for a bath and having the walls framed, but leaving it unfinished until you need the space, to save money initially. It doesn’t cost that much to get the rough plumbing and framing done while the house is being built and it will save a lot of money later on if you end up finishing the space. If you’re handy with that sort of thing, you can even finish it off yourself.

Talk with your builder, selections coordinator and lender to find out if it’s worth the extra cost to add the additional square footage to your home before you begin building a new home. If your home is one of the smaller homes in the neighborhood, it is probably a good idea to add a finished second or third floor bonus room or first floor guest suite which would give you more space for a growing family and probably make the home easier to sell if the need arises.


McKee Homes is the New Home Builder of Choice in North Carolina
At McKee Homes, we realize that our most important asset is our customers. We have created processes for home construction, selections, and closings that include as many touch points with our home buyers as possible.  We are currently building new homes in  Fayetteville, Pinehurst, Raleigh and Wilmington NC.

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McKee Homes online marketing manager

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