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Second Story Additions: Are They Worth It?

From the need to have a home office, accommodate a growing family, or even upgrade your home, “more space” is a refrain that most homeowners find themselves chanting at some point. A second-story addition rather than a separate living unit is an excellent way to create more living space in your home. Here you build up instead of out, and you turn your one-story into a two-story by removing your home’s roof and replacing it with a brand new second-story with its own built-in roof. Second-story additions take a lot of planning and thought; when this substantial investment is on the line, you want to ensure that it’s not a decision you make without weighing the pros and cons. As for what you stand to gain? Quite a bit, as it turns out. We list all the advantages available and some pitfalls to avoid below.

Increase Space and Value with a Second Story Addition

The most significant advantage of building up and adding on a second story is acquiring a lot of square footage for your home with the option of doubling your floor plan. Apart from getting a lot of elusive space on the inside, you avoid sacrificing valuable yard or outdoor space that comes with building out instead of up. This expansion, in turn, dramatically impacts your resale value should you ever consider selling in the future. And, of course, it allows you to make maximum use of your location and views. There’s a lot to be said for getting more space while remaining in the house and neighborhood you know and love. Building a second story saves you the heartache of moving away and can also save on travel and hauling expenses.

See before and after pictures of a completed second-story addition by Owings Brothers below.

You can use your second-story addition for almost anything because it rests over your main home, whether you need a new master bedroom, a living room, a home office, a family room, a game room, or a library. You can also choose between a full or a partial second-floor addition. Full second-story additions will match the square footage of your current level, while the partial option gives you the space you need with less disruption to your regular life while the work is going on.

Another often-overlooked option is to build an additional story over your garage instead of your main house. When we think of our garage, we tend to limit it to a space that houses our vehicles and, more often than not, offers an additional storage area. But the fact is that your garage can be so much more. Building over a detached garage is even easier than building over an attached one, as you won’t have to factor in worrying about your home’s existing roofline. It increases your curb appeal too. And again, you aren’t living in it, so building up over this can be far more convenient, plus you get all the advantages of adding a second story. Consider connecting this transformed garage to the main house for easy access.

See the before-and-after pictures of a completed second-story garage addition below, along with more second-story-over-garage addition projects by Owings Brothers.

Now, while you have all the advantages of adding a second story at your fingertips, remember that it’s not a decision to make in a hurry. Consider the following challenges. First, your foundation must withstand the new addition, or it might need to be strengthened and worked on if it cannot. All other permits, rules, building codes, restrictions, budgets, and local regulations must be in place. Remember that the impact is seen and felt throughout your house, not just on the new floor you add. From structural changes to adding new stairs and a roof to rewiring or upgrading your electricity and plumbing, several things can go drastically wrong if not carefully considered. An experienced contractor can take the worry out of the process for many of these items.

Contact Us Today

Building up with a second-story addition is an excellent way for many homeowners to increase their living space and property value without moving away. However, it is a process with unique requirements, including complex structural engineering, a no-room-for-error safety checklist, and a team that has the right expertise that the job entails. At Owings Brothers, we excel at precisely these details. Contact us today if you want to work with a team that has built numerous second stories, understands the intricacies, and can help you move “up” in style.