If you need extra space because of a growing family, or for whatever other reason, you may need to rip off the roof of your home to add a second story. It can be cheaper than building a new and larger home and you can continue to stay in your favorite neighborhood for longer. It can seem a daunting task, however, and here we make the task easier by going into the process of 2nd story home additions in some detail.
The Options Available To You
There are three ways you could expand your home to a second story. You could either tear the roof off entirely and redesign the upper level, or temporarily sever the edges and lift only to replace it after the new story has been built. You could also extend the second story over your garage or other first-floor structure, without having to tear off the roof.
What Will It Cost You?
Depending on the kind of rebuilding you’re doing, the costs will be different, of course. If you’re simply adding up on existing rooms, you will be spending the least. There is no foundation work involved with this type of extension, which is usually the major part of vertical extension costs. You will still have to get the existing foundation checked to see if they can take the extra weight you’ll add on. But overall, building on top of existing rooms is the best option if you’re on a tight budget.
If you’re building a new story altogether, you can save money by reusing the existing roof. Simply hire a crane to lift off the existing roof in sections, and replace it over the new story. This will be cheaper than rebuilding the roof.
Building over the current footprint of your home will take a shorter time than extending beyond it. The new floor will take only a few days to settle in and weather. You can then do up the rooms yourself. Depending on how much money you are willing to spend on this story, you can take your time with it, DIY style, or get it done immediately.
With a little planning and some research in cheap materials and paints, you can come up with a far cheaper alternative to making ground-level additions. It is easy to double your home’s footprint in a few days with vertical building, at as little as half the cost of extending your home at the same level.
Tips To Ensure A Successful Job
· Prepare for height restrictions
Check your local building codes to see if there are height restrictions for ridgelines. This step is very important and should be done before you have the plans drawn. You can find out these restrictions from the city council.
· Provide enough support for new structures
Before you build the second story, you need to find out if the foundation of your home will be able to support a second story. Some houses aren’t built with planning for future vertical extensions. Your home’s foundation may not be able to support multilevel structures over it. You also need to check if the rafters can hold up the floors of the second story. You need to get an evaluation of your home done by a structural engineer before you go ahead with planning.
· Keep the proportions pleasing
When you plan, be sure to avoid making your home look boxy with extensions above the plain, rectangular existing building. You can add trim details, porches and roof pitches to break up the potential boxy appearance. You should also maintain the proportions of eaves, windows, shutters etc. to a size that pleases the eye once the home has been extended. These existing elements may turn out to look too tiny once the new floor has been added. Use new window trims or contrasting colors to bring a better balance.
· Keep the New Elements Consistent
This means your new windows, doors, roof trims, etc. should be consistent with the existing elements on the first floor. The end result should be pleasing to the eye, proportionate, consistent and look like a natural extension of the original home.
Expanding your home vertically is a good idea when you have a small property and you want to preserve as much outdoor space as possible. If there are new kids on the way, or if you want extra space for guest rooms or storage, you don’t have to leave your neighborhood and move to a new home. Simply add on another level or a few rooms over existing ones, and you can open up enough additional space.