5 Considerations for making a second-storey addition

5 Considerations for making a second-storey addition

Building up, or adding a second storey is usually a preferred way to increase your living space without having to move. Whether you want to remain closer to the city and your work, or to enjoy plenty of sunshine and mild weather on an ocean view drive, building up has more benefits than building out.

While more disruptive than building external additions, a second storey has greater financial and space benefits to it. Apart from increasing the value of your home, an upward extension can also boost the quality of life by opening up potential views that add to the living experience. To make the most out of it, here are some expert points to consider.  

1. Plan long-term

Before you start, ask yourself how long you are planning to live in the same location. If you don’t intend to move at all, you should invest more in your vertical addition to make it more time proof. In this sense, you want to use durable and quality materials that can stand up to the elements.

Long-term considerations also include possibilities like expanding your family or accommodating more people under your roof. On the other hand, if the addition is planned only as a bridge solution until you relocate, you should consult your contractor. Honest professionals will advise you on how to make the most out of your investment.

2.Have your foundation checked

In both cases, however, you need to make sure your home’s foundation will support the weight of a second storey, which goes along with checking all applicable building codes. At this point, you may realize that your foundation may only support a partial second storey, as opposed to a full addition. By making this decision early on, you can shape your expectations around your home’s limits. Also, make sure that your second-storey extension follows all the local building codes and the corresponding permits. Your home improvement contractor may do it for you, and it’s much less complicated than it sounds.

3.Offset the addition

By incorporating various roof features and windows, you’ll be able to avoid a boxy look of your addition and make your house fit into the residential row more easily, without becoming an eyesore. While you probably don’t want to double up on the same look with the same features on top, if you’ve always wanted a widow’s peak or a skylight, now is the time to add them. 

Also, consider the roofing material, especially if your existing roof is ripe for an overhaul. Fiberglass asphalt shingles come in a full range of styles and colours that complement any home’s architectural features, while their waterproof coating is topped with ceramic granules that reflect harmful UV rays. You should consider the layout and design of your second storey even more carefully if you live in an area frequented by violent storms.

5.Employ work-effective solutions

Adding a second floor and the roof on top requires a lot of work on heights, which is a whole new level, pardon the pun. While workers can always use ladders, they’re far from efficient and perhaps even not tall enough to reach all the areas safely, not to mention the limited amount of materials and tools an individual construction worker can carry. Instead, consider reaching out to a trusted scissor lift hire company.

A scissor lift has a lot of advantages over a cherry picker or a boom lift since its platform can accommodate from 3 to 5 workers at height, allowing for multiple tasks and to be completed at the same time. When compared to scaffolds, scissor lifts provide much more stable and safer platform than trestles and planks, while their tracked chassis allows quick relocation even in the extended position.   

6.Consider timeline and disruption

Adding a second level to a home is a long process that depends on several facts that include the scope, as in full or partial extension, inspection requirements, and time needed to obtain various permits.

The architectural planning might take from 30 to 45 days, while the construction phase may take from 90 to 120 days. During that period, individual construction projects might cause major stress and inconvenience to the household, especially those related to footprint alterations and roof removal. Apart from finding ways to deal with noise and dust, you need to make sure that the modifications made to the existing attic utilities like HVAC, plumbing, and electrical outlets, don’t disrupt the utility systems downstairs. 

With no shortage of information on residential home renovation, many people fail to realize that what goes on in the TV realities is not even close to the reality of the actual renovation site. Far from seamlessly transitioned phases, real-world vertical extensions have their challenges, and remembering the important points is the only way of getting ahead of the curve.

Mike Johnston is an avid writer and blogger from Sydney. He is a regular writer at Smooth Decorator. He has also contributed to numerous business, lifestyle, real estate and environmental online magazines. Mike's goal is to create and share meaningful content that helps and inspires people.

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