Can You Put An Addition On A Split Level Home? [Including Adding A Master Suite]

Does your split-level house need a fresh look? Are you trying to add extra space and wondering if you can put an addition on a split-level home? The answer is not a simple yes or no, so we’ve dug into every consideration to give you the best information for determining how to remodel your split-level. 

While you can definitely put an addition on a split-level home, there are several factors to consider beforehand. You will need guidance from someone who understands these types of structures and can give you the right options for your addition. Some types of additions best suited for split-level homes include:

  • Garage addition/remodel
  • Kitchen addition
  • Sunroom addition
  • Master suite addition

There are several renovations that will be easier and cheaper than others, depending on your specific needs. We will discuss those in more detail below, so keep reading to find the best ways to extend your split-level home. 

Typical Split Level Home, Can You Put An Addition On A Split Level Home? [Including Adding A Master Suite]

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Adding On To Your Split-Level Home

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Since split-level houses were popular in the 1940s and 1950s,  it’s likely that it doesn’t quite fit your style. If you find yourself in need of a fresh look, you can create an addition for your split-level home. There are several options, but you will first need to understand the structure of your house. 


Adding on to split-level houses is not as simple as adding on to regular homes. Staircase placement and roofing alignment can make it difficult when changing the structure of the home. Therefore, it is best to work around those features when remodeling. When building up, you may need to adjust the roofing alignment. When building out, make sure to add windows along the way, making it look as natural as possible. 

Types of Home Additions 

Whether you are making additions because you need more space or because you want to change the look of your home, the following additions are fairly easy and cost-effective. 

Garage Remodel

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Is your garage full of junk? Could it be better utilized as living space rather than for parking your cars? If you need an easy addition to your split-level house, maybe it’s time to start parking your vehicles in the driveway and using your garage as an extra bedroom or office. 

This type of addition will not disrupt the structure of your home. You can remodel the inside and even add water hookups for an extra bathroom or laundry area. 

Maybe you don’t want to park your cars outside. In this case, you can add an extra room to the top of the garage. This could be perfect for guests, teenagers, or even as a rental unit. 

Kitchen Addition

Is your kitchen too close to your dining room? Perhaps you just don’t have enough pantry and cabinet space. If you have a hallway nearby, you can knock it out to make extra space for your dining room, adding a bar or seating booth. You can then build additional cabinets for pots, pans, and dish storage and a pantry for extra food storage. 

Sunroom Addition

Adding a sunroom to your split-level home can serve many different purposes. With the number of staircases these types of homes usually include, family space may be limited. A sunroom makes a nice gathering place and is also great for entertaining purposes. If you don’t have a big enough dining space after adding on to your kitchen, the sunroom can serve as a dining area as well. If made large enough, the sunroom can even double as a playroom for young children. 

Master Suite Addition

This is one of the most common additions to split-level houses. The bedrooms are typically small; therefore, many couples decide to add a master suite to their home. Usually, the master suite is added to the existing master bedroom.

The next-door bedroom is utilized by removing the walls and joining it with the master bedroom, adding much needed space. Next, a bathroom suite is installed along with extra closet space. If you need to replace the bedroom that was combined into the master suite, you can add another room to the house when time and budget permit. 

What is a Good Size for a Master Suite?

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When considering a master suite, you may be wondering what size would be best. While there is no right or wrong answer, many master bedrooms are approximately 14 feet by 16 feet, not including the bathroom. Before deciding, consider what size bed you want and how much furniture you need. If you want plenty of furniture space, extra sitting room, closet space, and a nice-sized bathroom, you may want to go with 20 feet by 22 feet. 

How Much Value Does a Second Master Suite Add?

A master suite addition isn’t just beneficial to you while you’re living in your home. It will add value to it as well. Think about it this way; if you’re in the market for a new house, wouldn’t a master bedroom with lots of space and a luxury bathroom be more appealing than a regular master bedroom? According to Home Advisor, your master suite addition could be worth 63% more than you paid to have it built when putting your house on the market. 

Can You Build Up On a Split-Level House?

Building up on a split-level house is actually the best option. It is usually easier and more cost effective to build up than it is to build out on a split-level home. When building out, homeowners must decide which side of the house to extend, and the construction team will have to be careful not to mess up the original structure of the home. 

This is not an issue when building up. Depending on the layout of the house, it may look a little uneven when you build an extra level to the top. However, this can be easily fixed by adjusting the roof on the house. 

How Do You Tell if a Wall is Load-Bearing On a Split-Level?

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Remember when we told you that it would be important to understand the structure of your home before making additions? Knowing whether a wall is load-bearing or not is a prime example. You don’t want to tear down a wall that will send the rest of the house crumbling to the ground. 

What is a Load-Bearing Wall?

A load-bearing wall is not just there for looks or to separate one room from the next. It is a supporting wall that holds up another floor or roof. If you remove this wall, it is extremely important to replace it with something that is strong enough to brace whatever it was holding up in the first place. 

What is a Non-Load-Bearing Wall?

A non-load-bearing wall is not important to the structure of the building. It doesn’t support anything except itself and can be removed without causing structural damage. 

How Can You Tell the Difference?

While it’s best to consult a professional, you may need to know which walls are important, so you can decide which adjustments you would like to make. If you aren’t ready to call a contractor just yet, there are a couple of easy ways to tell if a wall is load-bearing or non-load-bearing. 

Most of the time, exterior walls are load-bearing. If you want to check the inside walls, one of the best techniques is to check the floor joists above the wall in question. If the wall is parallel to the floor joists at the top, you can assume that it’s non-load-bearing. However, if it is perpendicular to the above wall, it probably is load-bearing.


Typical Split Level Home, Can You Put An Addition On A Split Level Home? [Including Adding A Master Suite]

Split-level homes are outdated and may not have the space you need. Don’t put it on the market just yet. You can put an addition on your split-level home, making it more spacious and ideal for you and your family. Later on, if you decide to sell, that addition will add more value to your house and make it easier to sell. 

Looking for more inspiration for your split-level house? Check out our related articles: 

21 Awesome Split Level House Ideas – Inside And Out

Do Split Level Houses Have Basements?

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