Renovations5 Things You Should Know About Building A Second Story Home Addition

Second story home additions are a simple solution that add floor space to your home when you are restricted by the size of your lot or if you don’t want to sacrifice other area space like your garden or garage. 

It’s a viable, small lot solution that can increase the value of your home without losing valuable space. There are a few things you should be aware of, though, before you begin building a second story home addition. 

1: What Are The Building Benefits of Adding a Second Story?

Is the ceiling too low? Adding a second floor offers the opportunity to turn seven-foot ceilings into 10-foot ceilings. Does the roof need to be repaired? Adding a second story takes care of this. Have you always wanted a room with a view? This provides the opportunity to wake up and see the snow on the mountains. Concerned about rising heating costs? A second story is easier to keep warm than an extension. 

2: Have You Looked Into Zoning And Permits?

When building a second story, it is important to check the local zoning laws. The by-laws vary from one area of the city to another, and you may be restricted from building up. Check into the zoning and development by-laws for your area.  

3: What Are The Cost Considerations?

The cost of adding a second story varies depending on design and construction. You will need to make sure the soil, foundation and exterior walls of the house can support a second story. If not, your contractor will have to strengthen the existing build which will add to your overall costs. If your roof is in good shape, it can be raised and replaced. This will cost less than a new one. 

4: Are The Design Details Taken Care Of?

When it comes to designing the second story, there are a few other details to consider such as matching the windows and the architectural design, adding a stairwell, including sound insulation and connecting the new plumbing and electrical wiring to the existing system.

5: Have You Considered Disruption And Duration?

Building up is a disruptive process and you may need to find temporary accommodation for the duration of the build. Alternatively, it might be possible to block off a portion of the house to protect it from dust and debris. On the bright side of building up, it is usually faster than building out. 

In major cities around the world – from Boston to Beijing – space is at a premium. Even though  Vancouver is a relatively young city, it continues to grow at a rapid pace. But while the trend in London, England is to dig down, those of us on the west coast much prefer our fresh air and scenic views. To achieve this, sometimes the best option may be to “reach for the sky” and build up. When designing a second story, the options can be creative, comfortable, practical, spacious and welcoming.

To learn how we can help you build a second story addition, contact us for more information.