Adding a Second Story to a Home

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Adding a room to a house increases living space, but expanding often means making sacrifices. Adding a room either involves renovating a garage or losing valuable yard space. Some people look upwards instead of outwards when adding a room, and opt for second story additions.

Considerations for Second Story Additions

Before you start adding second story additions you need to determine if local zoning laws permit building up. Most residential zones have a maximum height allowance for buildings. For suburban areas this maximum height usually ranges from 35 to 45 feet, but it may be lower in some areas. Check with your local building permit office or housing authority.

You also need to consider your neighbors. Will adding a story to your home block a neighbor's light? If neighborhood homes are almost all bungalows, other residents may feel that adding a second story disrupts the feel of the neighborhood. Neighbors are more likely to accept a second story if you ensure that the exterior appearance of your addition matches the feel of the neighborhood.

Questions to Ask before Adding a Story

Adding a story to a home raises some important structural questions. Most of these questions can only be answered by an experienced architect.

Questions to ask before adding a story include:

  • How will new plumbing connect to the old system?
  • Is the existing electrical system capable of handling the extra demand of new rooms?
  • Is the foundation strong enough to support the extra weight?
  • Where will the staircase be located, and how will this affect the old floor plan?
  • Will existing load-bearing walls support the new story?
  • Will you need a separate heating and cooling system for the second story addition?

Costs of Adding Second Story Rooms

Adding a room to a home is always an expensive proposition. Adding second story additions is even more expensive. Most people will need to secure a large loan before adding a story to their home. Consider costs carefully: Sometimes moving to a new home is cheaper than adding second story additions.

Permit offices will insist that plans for adding a story be approved by a licensed architect. The expense of hiring an architect may be up to 20 percent of the total project cost.

Find a Home Remodeling Professional

Adding a second story to your home can be a way to expand your living space without compromising other aspects of your home. If you need a home remodeling professional to help you make decisions about house renovation plans like a second story addition, LendingTree Home Pros can help.

The good news is that LendingTree Home Pros maintains a directory of home service professionals and can match you with a home pro in your area. All the home pros listed in the LendingTree Home Pros directory are properly licensed and insured and are backed by a $10,000 money-back guarantee!

Let LendingTree Home Pros help you find a home remodeling professional today.


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