The latest trend of building large on small properties is caused by the increase of property prices. However, if you still want to add space to your home without sacrificing your beautiful garden, the only way to go is up. Adding another story can double the useful living space, and your family will love it. Still, there are a few things to consider before getting this remodelling project underway.
Check the legal aspect
Talk to your chosen renovator if local zoning and health regulations interfere with your plans. There are rules and regulations like allowable floor area ratios, lot coverage and those considering the general building contractor (B100) that you need to study before you start designing and building.
Inspect the foundation and structure
As the case might be, your home’s foundation and framing might be designed to support only the weight of the ground and the first floor. Before you decide to increase the load, ask your contractor to examine the foundation and the current supporting structure and see if additional structural reinforcements need to be installed.
Determine the size of addition
You may add a full second story to your home or make just a partial addition, including another bedroom and a few dormers. What you will decide depends on your space needs, budget or both. If your current budget doesn’t cover the full story, and you expect that you will need more space in the future, build the second story area and finish only as much as you can. It is much easier and more affordable to make the structural work all at once and finish the rooms later.
Discuss changes with the designer
When you add a second story to your home, it will unavoidably make changes to the main floor. You will probably move one or more bedrooms upstairs, so you need to plan what to do with the free space. You can even knock down some walls and create a larger space or extend an existing area like the kitchen. And then, there is a question of the added staircase and how it will impact the current arrangement. Ask your designer for advice if you aren’t sure what to do. Aside from adding more space, a second story makes you think about changes in the rest of the house.
Clean the house
Adding a second floor means that the builder will need to literally raise the roof in order to extend the supporting walls. That means that you need to clean out your attic as it will be fully exposed to the elements, dust, debris, etc. Give yourself enough time to sort through these items. If you lack room in your basement or a garage, you can always rent a storage unit during the construction. It will keep your possessions protected with no need to stuff the remainder of the house. On the other hand, this might be a good opportunity to discard a lot of items that would otherwise clutter the added space, too.
Know where you’ll stay
It depends on the scope of work that needs to be done, but parts of your house may not be habitable during the construction phase. Discuss with your renovator how long you will need to be away and find a place to stay. It is also good to know that certain extension builders can even complete the entire project with no need for you to move out or vacate the house.
Upgrading your home with a second story is a major remodelling endeavour, and as such requires careful planning and preparing your home for such a big step. On the other hand, it is the cheapest and the most effective way of providing your family with additional living space.