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Moving on Up: What to Consider With a Second-Story Addition

By Guest Author | September 11, 2015

No matter how big your house is, it is sometimes not enough – you may have too many stuff, or your child needs a bigger room or you want a home theater and a gym. The easiest way to do this is move into a new home, but it is not always the cheapest and most sensible solution.

Moving on Up What to Consider With a Second-Story Addition

Therefore, many people embark on a different project: residential additions This may sound hard at first, but is actually not as un-doable as it may seem. Here are a couple of things you need to consider during this process.

The Effect

You cannot add another story without considering the overall image it will bring to your house – because it will not be your house any more, but a completely new one. In order to make this addition look natural and be financially viable, you need to think in advance and consider the costs. Also, make sure you hire experts with experience in second-story additions.

All about the Base

Probably the most important question you need to ask your contractors is whether your foundation is going to withstand a new story. Just imagine all the things that will occupy this new space and you will realize that they are going to be rather heavy, so your current foundation may not be strong enough to support them. Actually, one of the reasons a number of second-story additions are prevented by planning boards is due to this.

What you need to do is hire a structural engineer who will evaluate the premise. If the foundation is poor, consider installing additional structural support and underpinning. This includes replacing foundation blocks and may be costly, but is necessary. Moreover, do not forget plywood and steel connections between your existing and new stories as they are quite heavy and burdening as well.

Staircase Ideas

Staircase: How and Where?

Another thing a two-story house needs is a staircase you probably did not previously have – but how should you build it and where should it be placed?

In case you already have a staircase to your attic, the easiest thing to do is replace is with a new set at the exact same place. That way, the position, size and organization of other rooms remains intact. Just be sure you have high quality material, say people from ACG Building, and you are good to go.

In case there is no staircase already present, you need to consult an architect and interior designer who will suggest how to avoid sacrificing too much space presently occupied by the rooms. The ideal situation is adding staircase outside of the house and accessing second story from the back yard, but this is possible only in places with adequate weather conditions.

The Perks

A second story does not just double your house’s size, but also positively affects its value – if you ever decide to sell it, the additional earnings will surely surpass the investments. If not, on the other hand, you will be left with much more space and a freshened-up home!

About the author: Lana Hawkins is a student of architecture from Sydney, Australia. She regularly writes about landscaping and home décor. Also, she enjoys cooking and spending time in nature.

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