Up or Out: Which Home Addition Is Right for You?

If your needs are changing or your family is growing but you love your home and neighborhood, a home addition is a worthwhile endeavor. We’re exploring the key considerations for building up vs. building out to help you determine which option suits you and your family. 

When you work with COCOON for your home expansion, you get an experienced partner who will ensure your new space elevates your daily routine. 

Evaluating Your Home Addition Options

If you’re interested in a home addition, there are generally two options — you can either build up or out. 

Building Up

Building up involves adding another story to your home or expanding a second story over a one-story dwelling, like a garage or porch. 

These additions must be well-supported by the existing foundation, so they usually require more time to complete to ensure everything is structurally sound and ready for the additional weight. They can also cause a greater disruption to your living space during construction because it all happens overhead. However, building up allows homeowners to maximize their space without compromising any lawn square footage. It’s especially beneficial in areas where land is limited. 

Building Out

Building out typically involves adding another room or space to a house’s ground level. The construction process tends to be less disruptive and more flexible. These expansion remodels are excellent for families looking to future-proof their property and make it more conducive for aging in place or accommodating certain physical limitations. A potential downside of building out your home addition is reducing your useable outdoor space. 

The experts at COCOON will help you every step along the way, from planning to construction, ensuring you understand your property’s vast possibilities and achieve the results your family wants.

Key Considerations for Making Your Remodeling Decision

The following are important factors to keep in mind when determining whether to build up or out for your home addition:


Your budget will determine the scale of your home addition. The overall costs of your addition will vary based on the size, materials and complexity of your addition. 

Building up is often more expensive than building out, especially if your house requires additional structural modifications. Either way, adding square footage to your home or making your space more functional can add value to your property.

Zoning Laws

You must learn about the applicable zoning laws and regulations in your specific township or municipality before planning your home addition. 

These rules often outline acceptable building heights and property footprints, which can directly impact what is possible for your unique home, whether building up or out. COCOON is well-versed in local zoning codes and permits and will ensure we have the green light to start working on your home addition. 

Land Availability

When building home additions outward, you must ensure you have adequate available land to accommodate the new indoor space. You’ll need to consider the size of your yard, the distance from neighboring houses and any other functional implications for your outdoor area. 


Among the most important considerations for building up or out is your house’s functionality. How are you going to use the additional space? Are you looking to fulfill growing or changing family needs? Do you want a new home office? How will you anticipate your future needs? The way you plan to utilize your new room or area will impact which design plans and architectural blueprints best suit your specific requirements. 

Design Style

Also, be sure to consider how your home addition will transform your home’s overall look and feel. When you work with COCOON, you can feel good knowing our experienced designers will help your property look its best with cohesive, high-quality materials that enhance your curb appeal and look fantastic from every angle. 

Partnering With COCOON for Your Home Addition

At COCOON, we offer home remodeling services for Pennsylvania homeowners in Chester, Montgomery, Bucks, Delaware, Berks and New Castle Counties. We follow a simple 3-stage plan to ensure our clients feel supported and get the results they’re looking for. Learn more about each stage below. 

Stage 1: Space Planning

The first stage involves planning your remodel with tailored designs suited to your unique vision and budget. 

The architectural designers at COCOON will provide three potential layouts for your new space at three different price points so you can get an idea of what’s possible for your home. 

Stage 2: Design Selections

Once you choose a floor plan that excites you and makes sense with your property, it is time to dive into design choices. Our interior design experts will help you with everything from the temperature of your lights to the undertones of your flooring. Personalized design choices help you create a space that feels uniquely yours. 

Stage 3: Construction

The final stage is construction and making the magic happen. At COCOON, we take on all the logistics and will prioritize interfering with your busy life as little as possible throughout the process. We’ll keep you informed every step of the way and bring your design plans to life so you and your family can start enjoying your brand-new space!

Frequently Asked Questions About Building an Addition Onto a House

Explore some of the most commonly asked questions about home additions.

Is It Cheaper to Extend Out or Up?

Ultimately, the cost of your home addition will depend on the scope of your remodel and your property’s unique requirements. You can generally expect building up to be more expensive than building out. 

Should You Invest in a Home Addition or a New House?

If you love your home and neighborhood but want to accommodate your lifestyle better, a home addition is the perfect solution. You can expand your living space without uprooting your family or scouring for a new house. 

Does It Take Longer to Build Out or Up?

Many different factors will impact the timeline for your home addition. Any plans requiring major structural modifications will likely take longer to complete. 

Start Your Home Addition Journey With COCOON

If you’re interested in transforming your home and increasing the functionality of your living space, turn to COCOON for your home addition. We can help you build up or out to expand your living space and make your home more conducive to your household.

When you partner with us for your home remodel, we guide you through our 3-stage process to ensure you get the updates that your family needs. We’ll reimagine your space together and provide you with the most seamless experience possible. 

Reach out to COCOON to kickstart your home addition today!

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