What You Need to Know Prior to Adding a Second Story

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As time passes, you’ll likely get the urge to remodel your one-story house—the most drastic change you can make is to add a second story. Adding that second story to your existing house is a major undertaking that should not be decided on a whim. Several factors should be considered before you decide whether to move forward with a second-story addition.

In this article:

  • Benefits of a Second Story Addition
  • Second Story Addition Laws and Other Considerations
  • Cost to Build a Second Story Addition

What are the Benefits Of A Full Story Addition?

Add a second story and start to experience the benefits of more square footage. A new story could be exactly what you’re looking for while considering renovating your own house.

More Space for Activities

The number one reason you should think about adding a second story is because you’ll get more square footage. You may have bought a one-story home because it was more than big enough at the time, but does it still fit your life today? Ensure you have more than enough space and add a whole new story to your forever home.

There’s No Need to Sacrifice Your Yard

Many homeowners take great pride in their beautiful backyards. Some are willing to go all out when beautifying their yard and they will not hesitate to hire professional landscape designers to create something truly spectacular. Unfortunately, some homeowners may need to make a difficult decision—choosing between either giving up their well-maintained yard space or squeezing into a living space that’s no longer big enough to accommodate their growing family. Talk about a difficult decision, right?

The beauty of adding a second story to your home is that you can obtain that space you need without giving up your yard. It’s the option that keeps everyone comfortable and happy.

You Can Redesign the First Story of Your Home

It’s frustrating when you see something about your home you don’t like only after it was already built. Sometimes addressing that annoying feature can be costly and inconvenient. Should you decide to have a second story added to your home, you will have a chance to rectify that mistake. Whether it’s a light fixture you don’t like or a ceiling that’s too low, you can opt to have that addressed when you have the second story built—killing two birds with one stone.

The Value of Your Home Increases

When you’re first contemplating the idea of building a second story, the only thing that may stay on your mind is the cost of the actual project. We don’t blame you, however, the money spent to execute a second-story addition could be more than worth it, once the project is completed.

According to The Nest, it’s difficult to guarantee that you will get a 100 percent return on the money you spend on your home’s second story but you could wind up increasing the value of your property significantly. Don’t gloss over the possibility that your home will also become more appealing with that second story. If your home is located somewhere with a bunch of other sellers, you could attract more buyers faster if you have a bigger structure built on your property.

Is Adding a Second Story an Option for You?

The benefits of having a second story added to your home are undeniably tempting, but before you decide to spend, it’s worth asking if this project is even possible for you.

Zoning Laws in Your Area

First off, you need to check if a second story is in line with the zoning laws in your neighborhood. In some areas, there are limits placed on how tall your home can be. You don’t want to start the project only to find out later that you’re running afoul of some zoning laws. Instead of building your dream home, you may end up receiving a fine for your troubles. Eco Minded Solutions guides our clients throughout the permitting process, ensuring that designs are acceptable under local restrictions.

Cost and Structural Considerations

We can’t talk about the cost of having that second story added without considering the structure of your home. You need to remember that the foundation and frame of your home will now need to support two floors and may need to be reinforced.

Houzz also reminds you to consider your heating system and wiring before you proceed with this remodeling project. They will need to rewire them so that they can continue to work for your second floor. What about accessing your second floor? You will need a staircase, and that means remodeling your lower floor at least a little bit.

How Much Will Adding a Second Story to a House Cost?

We’ve been referencing it throughout this article, but now it’s time to finally put a number on the total project cost.

Home Advisor offers an estimate of how much that second level may cost. According to the site, a second-story addition can cost somewhere between $100 to $300 per square foot. That is still not considering the changes you need to apply to the lower floor of your home. All in all, you may still spend somewhere close to $140,000 to safely add that second story. If you want premium materials used to create the second story of your home, you may need to pay more.

Your general contractor will let you know how long the project may take—make sure that you have a place to stay during that time and don’t forget to add the cost of staying in your temporary home to your final list of expenses. Remember that you are getting a ton of new space, making everyone in your home more comfortable, and upping the value of your property by completing a second-floor addition. The cost is steep but you can argue that a new construction may be the benefits are more than worth it.

What Are Your Options if You Want a Second Floor?

According to Better Home & Gardens, you have at least four options to choose from when it comes to adding a second story. Eco Minded Solutions works with clients to determine the best method for your project.

  1. Have the addition built off-site first: This option is quite appealing if you want to limit the amount of time you spend out of your home. You could also end up saving more money if you go down this route.
  2. Opt to expand an upper level into a full-fledged story: Homeowners may save money by doing this, but not all of them may be eligible because they lack the existing level.
  3. Removing your original roof and reinstalling: They will build the addition, and once they finish, the roof can be put back in place.
  4. Removing your original roof and building a new one: They will build the addition, and once they finish, a new roof will be constructed for the full second story.

In many cases, you can’t choose from all four options detailed above. The layout of your home may force you to go with one option over the others. Eco Minded Solutions can help you decide what the best option is for your property.

What Are Other Steps You Need to Take Before Starting Work on the Second Story Addition?

Earlier in this article, we already noted the importance of securing a place for you to stay in while the construction is ongoing. So, how long should you plan to stay in that temporary home? Some projects of this nature can take over a year if they are elaborate. However, that usually includes the amount of time you’ll need to spend discussing plans with an architect and hiring the people for the job.

According to this article from Quicken Loans, the actual construction of the second story may take at least five months, but you should prepare to be out of your home longer than that. The long construction time is another reason you may request the workers to build the second story off-site first so that you can reduce the amount of time you spend away from home.

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