More Space: Family Room Addition

Danny Lipford in front of competed new addition to home.
Danny Lipford in front of the competed addition.

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The addition we built on the existing home of a young family in need of more living space included a family room, dining room, and bonus room.

Foundation Work

Our addition project began with excavating next to the house for the foundation, then wooden forms were constructed to support a poured concrete slab. The layout and construction of concrete forms is important, since they have to hold back the weight of the concrete and provide a level top to screed the surface smooth after it’s poured.

When the concrete had set, pressure treated wall plates were bolted to the slab. Since the house is in a hurricane prone area, threaded rods were also installed from the slab through the top of each wall to provide continuous tie down support.

Smoothing the recently poured concrete slab for the addition.
Smoothing the recently poured concrete slab for the addition.

Wall and Roof Framing

Next the walls were framed up on the ground, then lifted in place and toenailed to the bottom wall plates. The ridge board from the existing roof was extended out over the addition, and the rafters nailed to it.

Plywood roof sheathing was nailed to the rafters, then covered with 15-pound building felt to keep water out of the addition until the roofing could be installed. The exterior walls of the addition were also covered with plywood sheathing followed by housewrap.

Working on framing the roof for the addition.
Working on framing the roof for the addition.

Matching Wood Trim and Bricks

To match the addition to the existing house, the same rough sawn cedar was used for the soffit, fascia, and board and batten gables as is on the existing house. The wood was then stained to match the rest of the house.

Matching the bricks and mortar color on an addition to the existing house can be difficult, if the bricks are not readily available. It may require trips to several brickyards and salvage stores to find a match.

Finishing the drywall in the new family room addition.
Finishing the drywall in the new family room addition.

Interior Construction

Next, the crew began work on the interior. After the electrician had roughed in the wiring and insulation was installed in the walls, the drywall was hung and finished.

Next came the trim molding and installation of the interior door units, followed by laying 12”x12” tile floors throughout the addition.

Foundation Drainage

The floor on one end of the addition was below the grade of the lot, so a retaining wall was built and the area next to the house sloped downhill to prevent water from seeping into the addition.

Perforated drainage pipes were installed next to the house and covered with landscape fabric and limestone gravel. The buried pipes run down to the street to channel any rainwater away from the house.

Completed family room in new addition.
Completed family room in new addition.

Finished Addition Project

The finished addition is a big improvement to the house. The new dining room, family room, and bonus room—which serves as a guest bedroom and home office—add much needed living space to the home.

Due to our careful matching of bricks and trim, the exterior of the addition blends perfectly with the existing house.

Further Information

  • Family Addition Project (video)

Other Tips from This Episode

Simple Solutions with Joe Truini:
Tile Drilling Trick

Tile Drilling Trick

Drilling into tile with a carbide tipped masonry drill bit can be difficult since the bit tends to wander on the slick, glazed tile surface. Before drilling into tile, start by applying two overlapping pieces of painter’s masking tape to the tile in an “X” pattern. The rough surface of the masking tape will give the drill bit something to grab onto, and prevent it from wandering while drilling.

Best New Products with Danny Lipford:
Levolor Magnetic Café Curtain Rods

Levolor Magnetic Café Curtain Rods

Attaching curtain rods to cover the glass on a metal entry used to require drilling into the door to attach the rod, but thanks to Levolor magnetic café curtain rods, it just got a lot easier. Simply thread the curtain on the rod, position the rod where you want it on the door above and below the glass, and the powerful magnets on the rod do the rest. Levolor magnetic café curtain rods are available at The Home Depot.

Around the Yard with Tricia Craven Worley:
Hot Water Weed Killer

Hot Water Weed Killer

Pouring boiling hot water over weeds in cracks on driveways and sidewalks is a chemical free way of ridding hard surfaces in your yard of weeds. Simply heat the water to boiling in a pot, then pour it over the weeds. Hot water can cause less damage to surrounding plants than chemical week killers, which can run off and kill grass and other plants. Don’t use hot water to kill weeds in your yard, however, since it may kill any grass or plants around the weed as well.


  1. Hi. we have a small 2/2 beach house in Crystal Beach, FL. we are interested in adding an addition for a family room 15×16 but FEMA rules only allow us to add on 1/2 of the houses worth (not including the lot). We are limited to $40,000. Would you use a “Pre-fab” room for this, and how much would a pre-fab room cost?


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