Home Renovations vs. Home Additions

Home Renovations vs. Home Additions

You know you want to improve your house. You're just not sure which the best option is. Should you renovate the rooms you have or add on to your house?

Let's take a look.


Renovations can be the most straightforward way to improve your home's aesthetics and amenities.

A direct renovation is when you keep the current floorplan of the room and just replace the finishes. For a kitchen, this means keeping the walls and appliances in their current locations, and replacing the cabinets, countertops, and other finishes. For a bathroom, it would mean keeping the toilet, tub, and shower in their current locations, and replacing the fixtures and finishes, like the plumbing hardware and the vanity.

One benefit of a direct renovation is that it is the most cost-effective way to update your space. By keeping the appliances and fixtures in their current locations, you're not incurring the costs of moving the utilities like gas, water, electric, or sewer lines. A direct renovation gives you a fresh, new space for the lowest buy-in possible.

You can renovate spaces beyond a direct renovation, too. You can change the layout of your current home to be nearly anything you desire.

For example, we are currently converting a large master bedroom into a master bed and bath suite. We have built a wall across the large bedroom to create an en-suite bathroom. In the bathroom, we are adding a shower, tub, water closet, and his and hers sinks. This requires adding the plumbing to support these amenities. To put plumbing in places where there are not already fixtures, we have opened up the walls and installed the appropriate piping. The work has included retrofitting the existing framing to support the new fixtures, and to allow the plumbing and electrical roughing to run through the walls to the new amenities.

Framing a new plumbing wall by J. Campoli & Sons in Demarest, NJ

This renovation has added new amenities in places they didn't previously exist, unlike a direct renovation. It requires more work, but has a greater end result.

All of this renovation work has been additive. It's added a ton of value to the home by creating a modern luxury master bath en-suite, and has all been created within the footprint of the original home.

If you're thinking you need more space than you already have, you're in the market for an addition.


Additions are just that - when you add on to the existing structure of your home. Because you're expanding your home, additions provide the most utility of any of the options discussed here.

The key benefit of an addition is that you are making your home larger, and are able to build the new space exactly as you like it. You can add on a bedroom and bathroom to a home for a luxurious master suite, or for more comfortable single floor living. If you feel constrained by your home's current layout, you can add on a living room with high ceilings for space to relax with your family, or a luxurious setting to entertain your friends.

Residential addition by J. Campoli & Sons in Cresskill, NJ

The costs of an addition may go beyond that of a renovation, for a few reasons. One of this is because you will likely do more structural work than necessary in other renovations. Depending on the size and location of your addition, you will likely need to add on to the foundation of your home, because you are expanding the footprint. If your addition is on the second floor, going above the existing first floor space, you may need structural work.

Additions might incur some additional costs on the administrative side, as well, because you may require some additional work for it to be designed by your architect and approved by the town you live in. For example, by expanding the footprint of your home, you will need to provide a survey of your lot and existing lot coverage, along with the proposed lot coverage after the addition. This is required so that the town may confirm you are not building beyond what is allowed by current codes.

Renovations and additions are each powerful ways to improve your home. Each project is as unique as its homeowner, and at J. Campoli & Sons, we are here to help you get the results you want in the home you have. We have built thousands of additions and renovations for homeowners in Bergen County and the surrounding areas, and we are available to help you. See our residential construction page to learn more.

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