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Up or Out: How to Extend your Living Space

Up or Out: How to Extend your Living Space

Advice on home renovations from the expert renovators at Accent Renovations in Kelowna

Adding living space is more popular than ever, with Canadians spending a record $53 billion on renovations in 2015. This means that, for the first time, Canadians will spend as much money renovating old homes as building new ones. But many people start their renovation project without doing the proper research. To build up or extend out – it’s a vital question concerning your next renovation. We could all do with more space in our home, so whether it’s extending up by building a second (or third) story or extending out by adding a room or addition, here are the factors to consider.

Renovation COST

Cost is the first consideration for anyone planning a renovation. You need to come up with a budget and then realistically ascertain what you can achieve within the confines of that budget. Going over-budget on your renovation is an all too common occurrence. If you have a lower budget, we recommend you extend out; if your budget is more robust, you can consider building up, which will always be the more expensive option because it requires serious structural work to be completed on the home. For example, the roof will need to be removed, the second (or third) story built, extra strengthening applied to the structure to absorb the additional weight, and then the roof replaced. Even with support strengthening, some homes will just not be suitable for an additional story build.


Unless you own a home with a big backyard or you live on an acreage, you will always save more space extending up than extending out. Moving up means you’re occupying the same space; moving out means you’re covering more space, which is rarely an option for those living in the city or more crowded spaces. However, even if you’re in suburbia or a rural property, you may have to contend with losing a more spacious backyard or garden with the addition of space. Also, you just may not have enough space for that ideal deck, or you may need to curtail your ambitions to make it work.


You have to think of what is most convenient for you. If you’re building up, you’ll need to remove the roof, so chances are you’ll have to move out and live elsewhere while the renovation is in progress. This will clearly add more cost and require a higher budget than if you could remain in your home during an extension out renovation, which, although less disruptive, will still require you to adapt to noise and nuisance while the renovation is in progress.

Added VALUE to your home

An extension will add value to your home. Yes, it costs money to build it, but the extension will pay for that (and often much more) in the additional value added to your home. More space, more value. You have to also decide what looks best. For example, your home may simply be more suitable to an extension up than and extension out, or vice versa. Much will depend not only on your personal preference but on the street you live on and its natural surroundings.


We all want a room with a view (especially in Kelowna!), and it’s a necessary component to any extension. Not only is a wonderful view desirable, it can also add value to your home. You don’t want an extension looking out at a parking lot, brick wall, or into the neighbour’s bathroom. You may want an extension with a view beyond the street, or above the other houses and overlooking a lake, park or other pleasant natural site.

If you’re considering a renovation you’ll need to weigh up your budget, your circumstances, the parcel of land and your existing home to work out which option suits your situation the best. Just remember, this is your home, and it’s worth spending the time to get what you want. (And what you want to keep).

Call Accent Renovations in Kelowna today for an estimate on your next renovation. We are a cutting-edge, environmentally-conscious, multi-award-winning renovations specialist located in the beautiful Okanagan Valley.

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