Living in a bungalow offers a variety of unique benefits. For instance, when your one story living space becomes cramped you have the option of building up. Second story home additions are a popular and smart way to utilize the space and structure you have to gain more living area.
And the concept of second story additions is not limited to bungalows. If your two story home has a single story garage or another portion with space for vertical additions, you can also consider building up instead of building out when a home addition is in the works.
Benefits of Second Story Additions
One of the largest benefits of this type of addition is the use of space. No yard will be eaten up, meaning that all of the permanent exterior fixtures such as sheds, patios, fences and driveways can remain the same. The elevation of your home may change, but that's not necessarily so and is entirely up to the designer. Second story additions might actually be the only choice for those with a small lot and the need for a larger home.
Having a second story instead of a sprawling single story may also cost less to live in day to day. Heating and cooling costs would be cheaper in a two story expansion and the amount of plumbing and electrical wire needed is often less. Take the time to consider the most efficient placements of all the rooms in the new second story to minimize the distance that pipe or wire need to run.
Concerns About Second Story Additions
Despite the fact that you are borrowing the structure of the first floor, second story additions are generally more expensive and intrusive than the other type. They can actually cost 30 to 50 percent more than a standard room addition.
Also, when you raise the roof of the house to begin the addition your family will need to move out. Unless the work is being done in a targeted, out of the way area you will not be able to live with the roof gone or in a certain stage of construction. This can add to the cost of the project and definitely affects the level of convenience.
Before You Make Up Your Mind
Contact the local building department to be sure that you can actually build up on your property. Sometimes local by laws do not allow a second story addition based on whether it will shade the neighbor's home or alter the skyline of the area.
Have a footing or foundation expert come and test your foundation. This is very important to ensure the existing foundation is built properly and will support the weight of another storey. An inspector or engineer will be able to inspect the area and tests will determine how much weight the structure will take.
With some designs, sketches and a lot of discussion about what you want in an addition you can more accurately decide whether a second storey will meet your needs. If it will, be sure to hire a contractor with a portfolio of this type of work for you to browse through. You'll need experienced and qualified workers to do this extensive project.