Home Additions vs Accessory Buildings

Home additions and accessory buildings each have their advantages for certain applications.

Home additions and accessory buildings each have their advantages for certain applications.

You’ve got some money set aside for a renovation project and you’ve started interviewing Kelowna construction companies to manage it. The question is: do you add on to your home, or do you go with a standalone building?

Each option has its advantages, and your choice will depend on a range of factors, including:

  • Budget
  • Lot size
  • Intended use

This article will help you determine where your money will be better spent.


Building Permits

In the City of Kelowna, home additions and any accessory building measuring more than 10 square metres (107 square feet) will require a building permit. This ensures your proposed development meets the city’s building bylaws, as well as the BC building code. 

Permits typically take a couple of weeks to process once your general contractor has submitted your building plans and accompanying forms. 

If all you’re looking for is a little extra storage space, a 10x10-foot shed might serve your needs without having to acquire a permit. However, you’ll still need to ensure it complies with zoning setbacks. 

It’s worth noting that zoning regulations limit the total number of outbuildings you can have on a property. If you’re already at the limit, then an addition might be your only option.


Intended Use

The way you intend to use your addition will help determine whether it should be attached to your home, or serve as a standalone structure. For example, if you want to add an extra bedroom or bathroom, a house addition would make a lot of sense.

On the other hand, an accessory building might be the better option for:

  • Workshops to house tools and loud equipment
  • Storing your pool equipment
  • Parking vehicles


For more on this, read: Organizing Your Property With an Accessory Building.


Rafter4K Accessory Building

Building Cost

Whether you’re adding on to your home or constructing a separate building, it will require a significant investment. Discussing your options with (and getting quotes from) a handful of Kelowna construction companies should help you determine the most cost-effective option.

With home additions, you incur costs for exposing exterior walls and integrating your expansion with the existing structure. However, this might be offset, as it’s often easier to connect your addition to the home’s existing services, such as: 

  • Heating
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical

If your accessory building requires these services, it will increase the building cost.


Property Value

As long as they’re done to a professional standard, house additions and accessory buildings will add to your property value. To maximize your investment, they should:

  • Compliment the aesthetics of your home and property
  • Perform as expected
  • Provide years of worry-free use

The more important thing to consider is whether these renovations will address your lifestyle needs, and whether you feel they present value for your hard-earned money.


As one of the top Kelowna construction companies, you can count on Rafter 4K Contracting to manage your renovation project with integrity and professionalism. Call us to discuss your renovation goals.


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