We have had an unusual number of requests to add a second story onto homes this year. Some have been an entire addition – 2 story additions built onto the side of a house, for instance. Most, however have been partial second floors, such as building up over a garage.
Those who have outgrown their home find that staying in the same neighborhood, keeping the same schools and remaining with the same neighbors is less expensive and less stressful than selling and buying a larger home. So what is involved in going up, as opposed to expanding square footage on the ground floor?
Budget is the first item in any remodel addition; lists are a great help here, before you even approach a contractor. What you need vs. what you would like, are the two column headings to start with.
Selecting a reliable contractor is the next item on the list. A good, experienced, licensed contractor can help with nailing down the estimate for that addition.
One of the first things the contractor will do is bring in a structural engineer. After all, the joists in your attic were designed for what generally goes in an attic – insulation and maybe a few boxes, not the walls, plumbing and furniture that will be in the addition.
Building and energy code requirements are familiar to a contractor, and they will be able to guide you through the process to get through permitting. Not to forget – the staircase; they will be able to help you design the staircase per code requirements! Ceiling heights, stair widths, minimum room sizes; these and many more details must be done to meet the local building codes.