All you Need to Know About Second Floor Additions
A second floor addition is a highly considered way to add space to your home, maximize potential square footage and living space, and raise the overall value of your home. In city homes, a second storey addition is often the only way to build, as the overall lot size is much smaller and most owners don’t wish to sacrifice what little yard space they have. However, adding a second storey is often a much more difficult process than people expect, when taking in the limitations of their current home. In addition, poorly executed second floor additions will make your home look strange and tacky. This is why it is imperative to consider all the possibilities before renovation, and to always take the time to find a good firm or contractors who will take the time to make the structure look like it was always a multi-level one. Here are some factors to take into account when considering a second storey:
The Structural Requirements and Limitations of your Current Home
Any good engineer will tell you that adding a second floor is no easy feat. The extra weight added will require structural strengthening measures to be added to your first floor, often times including support such as adding plywood and steel connections at main-level walls, as well as down into the foundation to meet code requirements. In areas where weather activity or often earthquakes pose a risk, this is particularly important. Some homes will be incapable of holding extra weight at all, without serious renovation. It’s always important to talk over the possibilities with an engineer as well as a group of contractors.
It seems like such a simple idea, but most don’t bother to consider the extra space that putting in stairs will take up. Overtop an existing set of stairs going to the basement, or over an unused spot that gets no traffic is usually the best bet, however, sometimes a little more thought needs to be put into the endeavour. An architect will help you think through the plan and offer some creative solutions where they are necessary.
The Outside of Your Home
Obviously, you’re going to need to remove the roof in order to add a second floor. This aspect of home addition projects is often the most deterring to people, as it will require you to vacate your home for a few days, or weeks. In addition, the outside of your home is an important factor to consider. Will you match your current siding? Start over and go for a completely different design? Mix and match? Creating an aesthetic that will leave you happy and will make the second floor addition look more natural is imperative. Consult a designer who will be able to suggest what would be best for your home.
Mechanical Aspects, as Well as Chimneys
The added square footage to your home will man that maintaining heating and cooling systems, as well as sewage, will be much different. You will need to calculate how much more energy and water your expanded home will be using, and replace or upgrade your boiler and furnace to match the new size. The same goes for your electrical fixtures. Generally, electric panels will need to be upgraded upon resizing. If you have an existing fireplace, you will need to figure out how to design your upper floor so that the chimney doesn’t make too much of an impact, and isn’t a safety hazard.
Overall, a second storey addition can be a massive project. However, in comparison to switching homes or building a new one, it’s a worthy endeavour that will save you money and provide you with the extra space you need to live comfortably. Always remember to consult the necessary professionals before undertaking any projects of this scale.