A Home Addition Makes A Great House Even Better

There comes a time when even the greatest house needs a change. You have options: move, remodel or expand with a home addition. When you love your neighborhood in Madison WI, moving isn’t the first choice, is it? Even a whole house remodel might not get to the root of the problem – you can only do so much within the existing footprint.

Rather than going through the disruption of finding a location with schools, neighbors and atmosphere coming close to what you’ve enjoyed for years, home remodeling makes sense. You’re attached to your home. Why toss it away and find something new when you can work with the professionals at Westring Construction LLC to bring it to full potential?

Instead of looking at new home listings, review these home addition possibilities:

  • Build upward – if you’re in a 60s-era ranch-style home you can add a second story. Even in a Cape Cod or Craftsman bungalow there’s often room for additional “upstairs” space.
  • Expand outward – when your property and local zoning laws allow you can add a new room, a whole wing or additional garage space. The popular “bump-out” provides a lot of useable space you never thought possible.
  • Create from within – many older homes lend themselves to the latest open concept interior designs. Changing traffic patterns, sightlines and overall efficiency with a whole house renovation is like building your house over again from the inside out.

I was great working with James Wesring and architect Ed Kuharski as they designed and built a first floor addition to our house to provide a first-floor bath and laundry rooms, an expanded eating area in the kitchen, and a deck.

Mary &.

Home Addition Planning 

Why your home needs a change? Common answers are:

  • My family is changing – blended families with more children, elderly parents moving in or “empty nesters.”
  • There a special needs among family members.
  • The floorplan is out of date and inefficient.
  • I want to upgrade to modern appliances, fixtures and cabinetry – I need more space.
  • Lifestyle changes dictate adding function – a home office, first floor laundry, expanded bathrooms, etc.

Once you’ve set your goals it’s time to consult a professional remodeling contractor with an eye toward what can and cannot be done. Westring Construction, with its decades of home addition experience, brings skill and a unique perspective to every project. We see what’s there. We see what is possible. And, we see the best route to getting there. We’ll get answers to the three “what if” questions

  • What if we expand within the existing footprint?
  • If we build “out” how will it fit the house’s style, the neighborhood and property?
  • What if we want to expand upward, can it be done?

Before shopping for flooring and new paint colors, your remodeling contractor will review the true “nuts and bolts” of any project of this size. Throughout Dane County, including Madison, there are very strict and specific zoning regulations, building codes and local restrictions. They dictate what can and cannot be built on residential property. You might see a vision of your dream house in your mind, but translating it to reality isn’t always easy.

Veteran contractors work with local, regional and state rules and regulations every day. The process begins with an understanding of:

  • Minimum/Maximum setback distances from the street.
  • Minimum space allowed between any structure and the lot line.
  • Concerns for expanding near a wetland or in a flood-prone neighborhood.
  • Height restrictions – both legal and physical.

Small Home Additions Are Great, Too

Turning a 1960s rambling ranch into a contemporary two-story is a great accomplishment. It’s like creating a totally new house. If it fits within your budget and local laws allow, why not? Building upward is literally a big step. It takes skill, experience and commitment. Doing it right means creating an addition the looks as if it’s been there for years. It belongs. There are a lot of elements to take into account: windows, roof lines, shingles, siding and overall architecture. Not to mention everything underneath it takes to be sure the lower walls will support all the added weight. If you can add a second floor addition the benefits include:

  • Great usable space without giving up any outdoor living area.
  • Now worries over setbacks or lot line encroachments.
  • A totally new look and curb appeal.
  • Higher resale value.

Adding space for a bathroom remodel or kitchen remodel is best done by expanding outside the existing footprint or by “stealing” space from somewhere that already exists inside. You can knock out walls but there’s only so much you can do – inside you cannot add space where none exists.


If you already live in a two-story home an upward expansion option is impractical. Expanding the blueprint outward is the way to go.

When you’re in need of a bathroom remodel to add space or a kitchen remodel for a better traffic pattern knocking down and outside wall makes sense. Instead of rearranging space you can really add on to it. Adding a few square feet to accommodate a bedroom, family room or laundry room update is worthy of attention. You don’t have to add or remodel an entire floor to get huge results.

The Beauty Of The Bump-out

Moving an exterior wall further into the yard is an amazing way to gain useable space in any room. Known as a “bump-out” the technique proves great results are achieved through relatively small actions. If you’re trying to expand your home’s usable space within a reasonable budget and without extended disruptions, does a small but impactful project sound good?

Consider what a basic bump-out does for your home:

  • Expands usable space without additional foundation work.
  • Blends neatly with existing styling.
  • A possible option for multi-level houses.
  • Fits nicely in an existing open floor plan.
  • Immediate visual and physical impact inside and outside.
  • Less disruption to daily routine because work is restricted to smaller spaces.
  • Can be accomplished any time of year because most prep work is complete before the outside wall opens up.

This small addition isn’t a perfect solution. It does take up some yard space and zoning restrictions might apply depending on where you want it.

Porches Extend Outdoor Pleasures, Value

From coast to coast, realtors report requests from home-buyers for porches out-pace requests for decks and patios. Not only do porches add value to your home, they increase your family’s enjoyment of its surroundings.

If you’re considering adding a porch to your house – or expanding and existing structure – take into account these recommendations for a porch addition:

  • Plenty of space – go as big as possible, leaving plenty of room for furnishings to seat guests, dining, etc.
  • Lighting – the roof of a porch blocks natural light so appropriate lighting extends the hours you can enjoy the structure.
  • Convenience – provide electrical outlets for additional lights, TV, stereo, etc. Consider building in access to entertainment systems – make sure your wireless network reaches the new structure.
  • Airflow – consider adding a ceiling fan to move warm, mid-summer air away from the roof.
  • Low maintenance – weather-resistant flooring, pet-proof doors and windows, etc.

Porches come in several categories:

  • Traditional “front porches.”
  • Well-known features known as “back porches.”
  • Wrap-around porches.

Each of these three designs can be created as screened porches. And, with advanced planning and professional designs they can incorporate specialty windows and seasonal insulation making them ideal three-season porches.

Madison has great, but unpredictable weather. Intense sunshine, periodic showers and bugs get in the way of enjoying even the best deck or patio. At the same time, screened porches are comfortable and safe. Relaxing on a 3-season porch in late fall or early spring would allow you to enjoy your yard so much more, wouldn’t it?

 When you want to get more enjoyment from the outdoor space we already have, consider adding a porch… or two!

Commit To Your Home Additions

Your dream home is within reach – you may be living in it already! Making the decision to go ahead takes commitment. You’re committing time, money and your family’s daily routine – a remodeling project impacts everything.

People like to say: “Don’t sweat the small stuff.” When it comes to home renovations and a home addition “small stuff” can quickly become “big stuff” without attention to detail. Westring Construction “sweats the small stuff” so you don’t have to.

We excel at every aspect of the home remodeling process and bring years of experience plus craftsmanship to every job. Most homeowners do not understand all of the expertise applied to home additions.

It’s our role to introduce unique, distinct ideas and solutions to moving your dream to reality. Call or email Westring Construction LLC today. See how we bring vision to life and add a unique flair to each home addition completed in the Madison WI area.