Should You Build Up or Build Out?

September 26, 2018
Should You Build Up or Build Out

One of the biggest questions when it comes to remodeling your home in the Columbus, Ohio area isn’t what flooring you should go with or what window trim will look best in your home. The biggest decision comes down to whether you want to build “up” or “out”. Deciding whether to build horizontally or vertically can depend on a few factors. Sometimes, it depends on the purpose of the addition. Other times, it may depend on your existing space and how your project is designed to fit that space. No matter which route you choose, there are advantages and disadvantages to each. Talk to your home remodeler, do research of your own, and consult friends or family that have undertaken similar projects before coming to a decision.

Building Up

Building “up” is a means of creating more living space in your home, typically without adding any square footage to your home. There are the remodeling projects that involve removing the roof and expanding your home vertically, but often building “up” means that you are finishing or remodeling an area that was previously not lived in (attic, unfinished upstairs room etc.). This is also a highly recommended option because typically, no additional foundation work is necessary unless the space being remodeled or finished needs a “point load”, which is strengthening the foundation in certain places if your space wasn’t meant to carry the load your remodel will put on it. We believe in doing every custom project the right way. If that means adding time onto your remodel to give you the proper foundation necessary for your dream project, we will take the time to do it.


If you have zoning restrictions, you may avoid any trouble with floor-to-area ratio limits by building vertically. In most cases, you also won’t lose any yard space. It is also a cost-effective option because typically, you are remodeling or finishing a space that you already had in your home.


Some areas limit the allowable height for houses. Also, if your foundation needs strengthening, that may mean tearing apart the walls and ceilings of the below floors.

Building Out

Building “out” is the process of increasing the footprint of your home by expanding the ground-level floor. This is the most common room addition in the Columbus, Ohio area because many people choose to expand their kitchen, living room, or add an outdoor living area.

The steps involved with building out are fairly straightforward. Your home remodeler will dig up a portion of your property and install a new foundation/slab for the new addition. They will then begin construction on the new space. Typically, once the structure has been set in place and there a controlled, dry environment, your existing exterior walls will be opened up to link your new space with your current one.


Depending on the scale of your remodel, you may be able to live relatively disruption-free while the remodeling takes place.


You may lose some of your yard or outdoor living space if you opt to build out. Additionally, if your area has a floor-to-area ratio rating, which sets limitations on how much of your property can be built on.

Planning an addition project is a very exciting time in any homeowner’s life. You are creating more space to be around the people you love and creating memories that will last a lifetime. Whether you decide to build up or out, it is important to think about all your options. Consult your family and friends, talk to a home remodeler, and make a wish list for your project to create your dream home.

For more information on room additions, contact us today.