new bathroom toronto

Three Major Home Addition Mistakes To Avoid 

The right  home addition will provide more living space to your dwelling and can end up being a profitable move down the road if you ever sell the home as it typically adds value to it. It’s basically a no-lose situation as you’ll enjoy the added space and quality of life and will generally recoup your costs at a later date.

However, you need to be aware that it’s certainly not a foolproof remodeling venture as costly mistakes can be made along the way if you’re not careful.  

Below are three major mistakes that you should try to avoid while planning a home addition.


Keep the existing aesthetic in mind

When adding on to a home or specific room the end result should be seamless. This means you shouldn’t really be able to spot where the addition begins and the original structure comes to an end. Therefore you need a comprehensive plan and make sure your selection of materials doesn’t result in something that’s obtrusive to your eyes. 

It’s important to design the addition with the structure’s current aesthetic being adhered to. If not, the home addition may be noticeable for all the wrong reasons and it won’t add much value to the home. Also, the home addition needs to blend in well with the existing landscape. A good design build contractor can visit the property to get an overall feel for the existing style of the home and the landscape and try to retain it.


Don’t underestimate the costs

Before jumping feet first into your remodeling project it’s important to establish a financial budget and try to stick with it. It’s true that a home addition will typically upgrade the value of your home, but you need to realize you’ll need to lay out some cash to get it done. To put it bluntly, a home addition can cost a considerable amount of money. However, you can consider this to be an investment in most cases. This doesn’t mean you should search for the least-expensive materials and contractor though as you don’t want the quality to suffer. Be sure to carefully budget the project from the beginning and haven’t overlooked any aspect of it. If you decide to add a story or room to your home, it’s not something you can easily back out of so it’s imperative that all details have been carefully taken care of.

Don’t be tempted into cutting corners or deviating from your plans along the way to try and cut costs as you may not be happy with the end results. A few alterations to the original plan and design could be inevitable though during the building process but be aware that change orders will add to your costs and typically extend the timeline for construction. You may want to add an extra 15 to 20 percent of your original budget to cover any unforeseen events during the renovation. An experienced contractor can provide realistic estimates since they are aware of hidden costs you may not have considered.


Be sure to find an experienced contractor

Regardless of the size of your renovation or remodeling projects, it’s important to find and work with an experienced contractor who’s fully equipped and able to handle the job. The contractor you hire will determine the success or failure of the project. It’s important to spend a good amount of time researching and selecting the right contractor for your project. Ask friends for referrals and also search Google to read customer reviews for contractors in your area.

You’ll also need to obtain the right permits for your location and comply with the municipality’s zoning regulations. The contractor needs to know exactly what’s required and how to plan, carry out and oversee the work. It’s a good idea to meet with a few potential contractors for quotes and don’t be afraid to ask questions and for references and a portfolio of previous jobs. It’s not really a good idea to go with a contractor who has never dealt with a home addition before as remodeling a home is quite different than constructing an addition.   Also consider going with a design build contractor as they bring all of the processes and people involved in the project together and manage them all for you in a streamlined process.


About Novacon Construction

Novacon Construction is a design build contractor located in Toronto.  We specialize in custom home building as well as large home addition and renovation projects. We are one of the highest rated contractors in Toronto and have a reputation for delivering exceptional workmanship along with award winning customer service.  Contact us today for a free consultation.

Ranch Home Kitchen and Home Renovation Toronto

How Much Does It Cost to Put a Second Story Addition on a Ranch House?

Many families simply outgrow their homes and find the need for additional living space. However, most people don’t want to leave their beloved dwellings and are faced with a bit of a conundrum – do I move to a larger home or add an addition to my existing home?

If you’d like a bigger home but don’t want to move then the best solution could be to add a second story to your existing ranch style house.

Cost Of a Second Story Addition On a Ranch Home

The cost of adding a story to a ranch house will depend on the size and your specific needs but it will increase the value of your home when all is said and done. You also need to factor in your location, the quality of materials used and the hours of labour needed. In general though, the cost is typically anywhere from $250 to $300+ per square-foot. This may increase if you plan on adding another bathroom to the upper level while building it.

You’ll be able to save some time & money if you can hire a Design-Build contractor that is licensed and fully-insured. These “all in one” companies can take care of all the requirements such as permits, architectural, structural engineering, plumbing, electrical and carpentry etc.

Building Up Our Out

If you decide to build out rather than build upward you’d need to extend the perimeter of the home outward which means a new foundation needs to be poured. In addition, you’d lose some of your existing property and yard space and you may need to get zoning permission for the project.  Here in Toronto, lot sizes tend to be small and the popular option is to usually go up rather than you when possible.

Building a second story on a ranch house is typically less expensive even if you do need to build a staircase. You may also need to have the home’s existing foundation strengthened to support the additional weight is a second story addition.

The more rooms you add in your upper story will also affect the overall price. Of course, more rooms means more walls, doors and possibly windows etc. And as previously mentioned, if you plan on adding a bathroom this could add a considerable amount to your final bill.

Since an additional story to a ranch house adds a significant amount of weight to the home, an engineer is required to come up with a set of detailed plans and this could cost $10,000 or more. This isn’t much though considering the average cost of an additional story on a 2,000 square-foot home can cost anywhere from $500,000 to $700,000+.

The existing roof needs to be demolished and the plumbing, heating and air conditioning need to be altered during the project as well. In many cases, you may also need to relocate while the construction is taking place as your home may not be livable.

Find a Quality Home Addition Contractor

Since adding a second story to a ranch house is a complicated task you’ll need to find a home addition contractor who’s experienced in this type of work. Structural walls need to be knocked out and the new story needs to be tied into existing mechanical systems.

When searching for a suitable, skilled contractor be sure the firm has certifications in construction and remodeling. You should verify that the company is licensed and insured and ask for references and a portfolio of their prior work. It’s important to ask if they use subcontractors and if they do, how do they screen and select them. You also need to find out how long the project will take and have all estimates etc. put in writing. It’s also a good idea to agree on a payment schedule before the work begins.

No matter how well you’ve planned and organized things, you may find that everything doesn’t always go according to plan. Ask about the builder’s change-order policy in case you change your mind about specific details during the project.


About Novacon Construction

Novacon Construction is an award winning  Design-Build contracting company based in Toronto. We specialize in large scale home additions and custom homes and manage all details of the construction process,  from the conceptual design phase, pre-construction planning/interior design, right through to the hands-on construction of the project. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.

Laneway Homes Toronto

How Much Does It Cost To Build a Laneway House in Toronto?

The average house price in Toronto recently reached the million dollar mark in 2021 and if you’re looking to increase your value even more you may want to think about adding a laneway home on your existing property. A laneway house typically faces onto an alley and is an ideal way to earn income by renting it out or to use as an in-law suite or for visiting guests and family etc. Of course, you can always live in the laneway house yourself and then rent your main home.

However, you can’t simply start erecting your own small laneway house on your land as you need to go through the proper channels.

Permits and Fees

The first thing you need to do is find out if laneway houses are allowed in your area of the GTA since they’re not permitted in all locations. If these types of buildings are legal in your neighbourhood you’ll then need to obtain a proper building permit. The cost of this permit will generally depend on the size of home you’re planning to build but the current base rate is approximately $20.00 per square metre.

In addition, you’ll need to pay additional fees for a residential unit and for certification of plans. On average, the permit cost and fees on a 500 square-foot laneway house in Toronto would be close to $1000.

Laneway Home Builders in Toronto

Architecture and Engineering Costs

Unless you’re an experienced architecture and/or engineer you’ll need to hire the services of pros and this could cost as much as $10-15,000 to come up with feasible plans for the home. You can’t really bypass this either since you need to be sure the house will be structurally sound. If you work with a Design-Build contractor then they will manage all of this for you.


Construction Costs

There will be a base construction fee for the house as well as several other costs involved. A 500 square-foot laneway house will run you around $200,000-250,000. The costs vary according to design and style and will also vary from contractor to contractor. The roof is typically an additional cost.


Survey Costs

The land could need to be properly surveyed before you can begin building as some contractors will require you do so before they start. The average price of a survey is approximately $2500 in Toronto.



Unless the laneway house is going to be used in the summer only, you’ll need to have a heating system installed and this could cost about $5,000 to $10,000+. There are different heating options and while one may be less expensive to install it could cost more in the long run to operate it due to the monthly bills.

Custom Laneway Home Designs Toronto


A laneway house needs an electrical system which is independent from your main residence. If a new system is installed the cost could be as high as $20,000.


Water and Sewer

Another necessity in a laneway house is water and sewer and again, this needs to be independent from the main home. A simple system is approximately $7,500 while a  more-complicated and larger one may be as high as $30,000.



When your Toronto laneway home has been built you’ll then need to outfit it with appliances and furnishings if you want to make it a livable habitat. This means you’ll need a refrigerator/freezer, oven, sink, toilet, shower/bathtub etc. You may also decide on a dishwasher and washer/dryer, which would enable you to collect a higher rental fee.



If you have the time, room, energy and money, you may also want to perform a little landscaping work around the building. This is especially true if you’re trying to attract potential renters. Of course, you may wish to do this on your own or you may decide to hire professional landscapers for an additional cost.

While a laneway house may seem like a small and simple home it’s no small task to build one though though. It’s basically a smaller version of a regular Toronto home and requires most of the same amenities, fees and costs etc. Whatever you can think of as a cost for a regular-sized home will more or less need to be included for a laneway house.


About Novacon Construction

Novacon Construction is a custom home builder and home addition contractor in Toronto. We specialize in large scale home renovation projects as well as laneway home construction. Contact us today to learn more about laneway homes and to schedule a free consultation.

Novacon Home Additions - Living Room

5 Popular Home Additions in Toronto

Home additions are popular in Toronto due to the lack of available inventory and high real estate prices. Toronto homeowners interested in increasing their living space without having to move usually do so by choosing one of five popular options listed below. Each of these additions will enable you to add usable square footage to your existing residence. Increasing your living space will typically increase the value of your home as well if you should decide to sell later on.

Before you begin with plans for a home addition, be sure to inquire about the local laws in Toronto concerning building codes, permits and zoning ordinances etc. An experienced home addition contractor can help you navigate the rules and regulations to ensure your home addition project is up to code.


Second Story Addition

Second Story Additions Toronto Contractor


The biggest and costliest home addition is to add a second story as it adds a significant amount of extra square footage and value to the home. This involves building upwards and the project usually allows you to add several rooms to your home such as a new bathroom and bedrooms. You’ll also need a stairway to access the living area and a second-storey can only be added if the home’s foundation and structure can handle the additional weight. Ranch style homes on smaller lots make the perfect candidate for adding a full second story to the home.


Family Room Addition

family room designs toronto

If you’re looking to add a family room to your home, many homeowners will do so by finishing their basements or converting another area of their home. However, you can also construct an additional room to the side of your house. The size of a family room addition will generally be dictated by the size of your property as well as your budget. A family room addition can be used in any way you choose as you can also add a wet bar and/or fireplace etc.


In-Law Suite Addition

In-Law Suite Contractors in Toronto

In-Law suites are quite popular in the Greater Toronto Area as they allow you to live under the same roof as your family but with everybody still enjoying their own privacy.  These multi-generation units are ideal for in-laws as well as elderly parents and grown children. Your existing space can often be used to create an in-law suite such as converting the attic or garage, finishing the basement or transforming an office or other unused room. Additions can also be built in your backyard. Many in-law suites contain their own bathing, living and cooking quarters as they’re similar to installing a separate apartment to your existing home or property.

Garage Addition

How Difficult Is It To Add a Second Story To a Home?

When it comes to garage additions, this generally means constructing extra living quarters or an apartment above the built-in garage. This provides privacy and independence for in-laws, grown children and visiting guests etc or could even be used as a rental unit. When planning an addition over the garage you may want to install a kitchenette, bathroom and separate entrance to make it a fully independent and livable space. Since the foundation is in place already, you just need to construct the walls and a roof. The space could also be used as a gym, studio or office etc.  


Sunroom Addition


Adding a sunroom with heating will allow you to increase your living area by enjoying the addition all year long. Depending on the layout of your property, a sunroom can be added to your existing home and can be used as a family room, office, games room or exercise room etc. You can also transform an existing porch or patio into a sunroom. However, in an area such as Toronto, it’s important to make sure the roof and walls are capable of supporting heavy amounts of snow. 

In general, these five home additions can usually be created in a variety of sizes and can be used for a multitude of different purposes. However, you will need to contact a professional contractor to make sure all of your ideas and plans can realistically be achieved and are allowed under your local zoning regulations and bylaws.  To learn more about your home addition options in Toronto, contact Novacon today for a free consultation.

How Difficult Is It To Add a Second Story To a Home?

How Difficult Is It To Add a Second Story To a Home?

Toronto has one of the most expensive real estate markets in North America. Land is at a premium and most residential lots are on the smaller side.

There's a benefit of adding living space vertically especially if you live on a relatively small lot. You'll be adding space above you rather than outwards so the addition won't affect the size of your garden and yard etc. At the same time you'll have the chance to increase the height of your first-floor ceilings.

Options For Adding a Second Story

Adding a second story addition to a home isn't an easy job but most homeowners have a few options if they're interested in adding some living space above them.

You can tear the roof off your home and build an upper level from scratch or you can also expand a new level across a current one-story section such as a porch or flat-roof garage.

Cost Factors

The cost and length of time the project will take all depends on the method you choose and if any foundation work needs to be performed. The foundation will need to be inspected to make sure it can handle the additional weight of a second story. You'll also need to inquire about building codes, possible height restrictions and permits and find out exactly what you need before proceeding.

If your existing foundation won't be able to handle the additional weight of another story you'll need to add structural support somewhere or have the foundation strengthened. Also, be aware that rafters in single-story homes aren't typically strong enough to be used as second-story floor joists. This is why it's important to have your home's foundation evaluated by a professional structural engineer. Detailed plans including things such as beam sizes need to be developed with an engineer approving them.

When you add a second level you'll want to make sure the style matches the rest of the home, including window shape and size. Other individual elements such as shutters, trim, eaves, dormers and columns also need to be in proportion.

There's a good chance you'll need to move out of your home and find somewhere else to live while the work's going on to add a new story. So that should also be taken into consideration. The time frame of adding a new level could be between four and six months if you add in all of the planning and details etc. However, you should be able to remain in your home if you're adding a partial second story on top of a garage.

Other things that need to be considered include insulation, plumbing, electrical work, the HVAC system and the addition of stairs.

Hiring a Professional

Adding a second story requires the assistance of experienced professionals as it's not a do-it-yourself job. You'll need to find a person or company with the necessary skill and experience to handle this type of project. They'll need to know how to knock out structural walls as well as tie into the existing mechanical system.

The cost of a second story typically depends on the style and size of your home as well as its location and the quality of materials you plan on using. However, you should plan on spending at least $200,000 to 300,000 these days.

About Novacon Construction

Novacon Construction is a home addition contractor in Toronto and has been providing award winning Design-Build construction services within the GTA since 2004. For more information on adding a second story to your home please contact us at Novacon Construction Inc.