Primary Suite Addition: Return on Investment

Master Suite Addition Adds Value To Your House
Image: Shorelines Interiors by Gregory/Ryann Ford Photography

A master suite addition is a very popular — and very expensive — home improvement. Some homeowners will recoup more of their investment than others.

This bed-and-bath retreat for the primary occupants of the house has a national median cost of $172,500, according to the "Remodeling Impact Report" from the National Association of REALTORS®. Although you'll luxuriate in your new private space, you'll only get back about 56% of your investment when you sell your home -- one of the lowest returns in the "Report."

Nevertheless, most homeowners in the same survey gave their project a big thumbs-up with a Joy Score of 9.5 out of 10 -- a rating based on those who said they were happy or satisfied with their project.

Keep Up (or Down) with the Joneses

Payback on a primary suite addition depends more on how it compares with other houses on the block. If your neighborhood is filled with empty nesters with two-bedroom houses, you probably won’t recoup your investment in a luxury primary suite. But if primary suites additions are common in your area, you’ll recoup more.

Related: Evaluate Your House for a Primary Suite Addition

Transform Existing Space

If you add a primary suite onto your first floor, you’ll spend a chunk of the budget on site excavation and foundation pouring. If you can take advantage of existing space -- such as building over a garage or converting an unfinished attic or basement -- you can save between 20% and 60% on construction, and increase your return.

But turning a profit shouldn’t be your motivation for adding a primary suite, or for doing any large home improvement. Do the work because it improves your quality of life, and only if you plan to stay put for at least three to five years.

20-foot-by-20-foot Bedroom Suite

  • National Median Project Cost: $172,500
  • Cost Recovered: $100,000
  • Percentage Recovered: 56%
  • Joy Score: 9.5
Oliver Marks

Oliver Marks A former carpenter and newspaper reporter, Oliver Marks has been writing about home improvements for 16 years. He's currently restoring his second fixer-upper with a mix of big hired projects and small do-it-himself jobs.