In home improvement

There are various reasons to do home additions. When it comes to adding a second floor to a home, the reason is often about space.

Adding a second story is a good project if you need space and don’t have enough to build out. It lets you stay at the same address while adding functionality to your home. Not everyone can or should do this, though.


First of all, there is the matter of cost. Then, you also have to think about local building codes, prevalent home designs in your neighborhood and the capacity of your home to support a second floor.

Before you swing the hammer, it’s best to take these factors into account:

Where Will You Position the Stairs?

It takes careful planning and calculations to determine where the stairs leading up to the second floor should be. You also have to consider every occupant. For example, will it be easy for the occupants to use stairs? Talk to your contractor if you need to install equipment to make stair use convenient and safe for members of your household with mobility challenges.

How Will You Protect Your Interiors During the Work?

Planning should also include what you can do to protect your home in case rain or snow falls before your project is completed. Don’t forget that your home will be exposed at this time.

How Can You Prevent Damage to the Rest of the House?

When you build a second story, the roof rafters will be removed. Your ceiling will lack support, so there is a real danger of collapse. Talk to your contractor about installing temporary walls for support.

Will You Be Working on a Remodel, Too?

If you are, you should also talk to your contractor about which project should come first. If you’re working on a kitchen remodel, for example, how will you protect the kitchen area while the second-floor construction is underway?

Have You Included Attic Utilities in Your Plan?

There are vents, wires, ductwork and, maybe, some plumbing in your attic. Some of those you may have to extend to accommodate the new floor while some you might have to remove. Don’t forget about your fireplace and chimney. There are codes that determine their placement and height. Include such things in your plan because they will be affected.

Can Your Home’s Structure Support the Weight?

This is perhaps the most important: you need to determine whether your home’s current structure can support the permanent weight of the new floor. For this, you’ll need an architect to come up with the design and a structural engineer to determine whether it’s feasible and what could be done if it isn’t. They’ll need to work closely with your contractor.

What Upgrades Should You Expect?

Your existing plumbing, HVAC and electrical systems will be affected by the new addition. You and your contractor may have to work with engineers and other professionals to make sure proper adjustments and upgrades are made.

Work with Cottage Industries to ensure a professional second-floor addition to your home. We can also help you with historic restorations. Call us now at 610-557-3724.