What You Need To Know About Adding A Second Story To A House

After adding a second story to a house

If you’re considering adding a second story to your home, you’re not alone. A second-story addition is a great way to add value and extra living space to your home. But before you get started, there are a few things you need to know about the process.

What You Need To Know About Adding a Second Story to a House

So, you’re thinking about a second-story addition to your existing house. Whether you’re wanting to increase your living space, add value to your home, or just want a new project to tackle, there are a few things you should know before taking on such a large home addition project.

In this blog post, we’ll cover what to know from common mistakes to avoid, considerations to keep in mind, and the home addition cost of adding a second story.

So whether you’re just starting to think about a second story or are ready to start construction, read on for what you need to know!

Options For Second Story Additions

Closeup of gray second story addition

When it comes to adding a second story, you have 3 main options: a full-fledged second story, a partial second story, or a modular second story.

Full-fledged second story: A full-fledged second story is just what it sounds like. It’s an addition that adds a full story addition to your home, complete with walls, windows, and a staircase.

Partial second story: A partial second story is a smaller addition that only adds one or two rooms of new space to the second floor of your home. This includes attic conversions or a partial second-story addition over a garage or other home addition structure.

Modular second story: A modular second-story unit is built off-site and then brought to the site and craned into place. This can be a less invasive option than traditional construction, and it may also be less expensive. Modular units have size limits that may not work with the layout of all homes.

Cost Of Adding A Second Story

Second-story additions are big projects with a lot of moving parts. In addition to the obvious costs of materials and labor, you also have to factor in the cost of permits, inspections, and any necessary structural repairs. 

According to PropertyClub, most homeowners should expect to pay between $150,000 and $300,000 for a second-story addition. Of course, this is just a ballpark estimate. The actual cost will vary depending on the specific details of your project. 

Variables include the size and layout of your home, as well as the materials and finishes you select. If you’re considering adding a second story to your home, be sure to consult with a qualified contractor to get an accurate estimate of the costs involved.

Benefits Of Adding A Second Story

White house with second story addition

There are many benefits to adding a second story to your home.

Increase your home’s value: Adding a second story can significantly increase the overall value of your property. When you design your second-story addition, consider strategies for marketing your home to future homebuyers, particularly if you adopt an unconventional layout. If done right, a second story can be a real game-changer for your home, both aesthetically and financially. 

More living space without moving: Adding a second story can provide you with more space without having to go through the hassle and expense of moving to a new home. This can be especially important if you have kids who want to stay in their current school or if you want to maintain your current work commute.

Improve energy efficiency: Adding a second story can help to reduce heat loss in the winter and keep your home cooler in the summer. The added insulation and thermal mass of the second story will help to stabilize temperatures, making your home more comfortable and saving you money on your energy bills.

Preserve your yard: Adding a second story to your home will give you more space without taking up yard space. In fact, adding an upper level can actually help to preserve your yard by providing additional shade and protection from the elements. Second-story additions also give you the opportunity to add an upper-level deck or balcony, creating a more private outdoor oasis away from the noise and bustle of the street. If you choose to add a deck or balcony, you’ll be able to enjoy even more time outdoors, taking in the fresh air and soaking up the sun.

Create a multi-purpose living space: There are many reasons why people choose to add a second story to their home. Here are some of the most common:

  • Additional bedrooms for a growing family
  • An in-law suite for multi-generational families
  • A home office or studio
  • Recreational space for family members who spend more time at home

Second Story Considerations

Second story with dormer roof windows

Adding a second story to your home can be a great way to increase your living space and add value to your property. However, there are a few things you need to consider before taking on such a project.

Foundation: You’ll need to make sure your existing foundation is strong enough to support the additional weight of a second floor. If you’re not sure about the condition of your foundation, it’s always best to consult with a structural engineer before making any decisions.

Interior design: When adding a second story to a home, it’s important to consider the interior design of the new space. The layout of the rooms, the placement of windows and doors, and the overall flow of the floor plan can have a big impact on the feel of the finished space. In short, the layout of the second floor should complement the first and flow well. You may want to work with an experienced designer in order to avoid any awkward design pitfalls.

Exterior design: When it comes to second-story additions, it’s important to consider the exterior design. The style of the home, the placement of windows, and the roofline all play a role in the overall look of the house. If you’re not careful, you can end up with a mismatched design that looks out of place. By taking the time to plan ahead, you can ensure that your second floor complements the first and gives your home a polished look.

Height restrictions: Building codes vary from region to region, but most places have a maximum height limit for new construction. If your home exceeds this limit, you may need to obtain a variance from your local zoning board. As a result, it’s essential to check with your local building department before you start adding a second story to your home. You’ll also need to get HOA approval (if applicable) before getting started.

Temporary living arrangements: Adding a second story to your home is a big undertaking. Besides the cost and the disruption to your daily life, you also need to consider where you will live during the construction process. If you have the square footage and the resources, you may be able to stay in your home while the work is being done. However, this is not always possible, and it can be a stressful experience. Therefore, it is important to consider your temporary living arrangements before you begin any construction work.

Second-story additions can be well worth it in terms of both practicality and resale value—just be sure to do your homework first.

Mistakes To Avoid When Adding A Second Story

It’s no secret that second-story additions are a big undertaking. Not only is it a significant financial investment, but it also has the potential to cause major disruptions to your daily routine. With so much at stake, it’s important to avoid making any mistakes that could jeopardize the success of your project.

Here are 4 mistakes to avoid when adding a second story:

1. Failing to obtain the necessary permits: Before you start any construction, be sure to check with your local municipality to see what permits are required. Failing to obtain the proper permits could result in expensive fines or even cause your project to be shut down.

2. Underestimating the scope of the project: A second-story addition is not a small project. In addition to the actual construction work, there will be plenty of other things to take into consideration, such as repointing exterior brickwork or adding new stairs and railings. Be sure to factor in all aspects of the project when estimating the cost and timeline.

3. Skimping on insulation: Insulation is an essential component of any home, but it’s especially important in a second-story addition. Without adequate insulation, your home will be susceptible to drafts and excessive noise from outside. Be sure to consult with a professional to determine the best insulation for your project.

4. Hiring an inexperienced contractor: Hiring a qualified and experienced contractor is one of the most important decisions you’ll make during your project. Be sure to do your research and get references before hiring anyone to work on your home.

Take Your Second Story Addition to a New Level with Wise Choice Construction

So there you have it—what you need to know about adding a second story to your home. With this guide in hand, you should feel confident taking on this project with a professional contractor.

If you’re still not sure whether a second story is right for your home or if you need help getting started, don’t hesitate to reach out to us, we’d love to chat with you about your unique situation. Just fill out our contact form today and we’ll be in touch soon.

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a gray house with white trim and windows.