If you find that your cozy home is bursting at the seams, you might be thinking about adding a second story. An additional floor on your home contributes a significant amount of space, without significantly affecting the size of your yard. With these tips, you can avoid some of the common problems in the design and construction of your home addition. You will reap the benefits of a great home improvement project that is useful and improves your home’s resale value.
1. Consider Your Options
When you want to add a completely new second story to your home, there are a few different ways you can approach it. Many people assume that they have to trash the existing roof, but this is not necessarily true. It is a choice, but it tends to be quite a bit more expensive. If you are going to build your second story on the entire footprint of the first floor, you might consider simply severing the roof and then placing it on top of the second story once you are done. Other options include adding a floor above one part of your home, such as the garage or porch.
2. Think Holistically
Building an entire home from scratch requires you think about the whole structure. While you are not doing the same thing, you still need to conceive of the project in the same way. Too many people make the mistake of adding a new floor or a bonus room and patching all the electrical, plumbing and mechanical components as an afterthought. This might technically work, but it is far from efficient. Think about your home as it is, and what changes you may need to make for the whole structure to work effectively with a second story.
3. Stay Structurally Sound
You will be adding a significant amount of weight to the structure, and you must make sure that it will hold. This is particularly true for older homes that may have a faulty, damaged or poorly-built foundation. Add structural support into the walls on the main floor to ensure that they will hold the increased weight.
4. Use Efficiency in Design
If your current home does not have any stairs, you may not really understand the amount of space that staircases will take on both floors. You may long for that grand staircase look, but it could take up a room’s worth of space on the second floor. Consider various designs for the second story and the placement of the stairs. Do not forget about adding storage options on your ground floor, such as a pantry or coat closet under the new staircase. That way, you maximize the space you lose on the ground floor, as well as the space you gain on the second.
5. Be Consistent With Layout
You have seen many homes with a second story that was added in a less-than-professional fashion. They look like the second floor was slapped on without much thought of the cohesive whole. It is your home, and so you should get the design you like. However, should you plan to sell the home sometime in the future, you will want the second story to appear to belong with the original home. If there are structural or design features of the existing exterior of the home that you do not like and do not want to replicate, invest a little more time and money into fixing them so that the entire home looks pleasant.
No one wants to embark on a home improvement project that is doomed to fail. That is why you should try to make the right decisions from the very start, so that your second story addition is a delight to you and a benefit to the neighborhood.