With the rising cost of property and seemingly less land space to share around, adding a second story to your house can be an excellent way to expand, get extra space, but not taking up more land or having to worry about moving house. Whilst the idea of adding an extra story might seem like a good one, and relatively simple, unfortunately it isn’t that simple. An extra story can change the entire structure of your property and so you need to be sure that your house is suitable for a second (or third) storey additions.
The first thing that you should be considering is the structure of your property. You need to make sure that the structure and foundations of the building are strong enough to be able to support the weight and pressures of another storey. You might need to strengthen the foundation and structure, especially if you live in a high seismic area, or you have and older house.
It is easy to forget that you will need to incorporate a way of getting to your new storey – usually a staircase is required, but this will take up a certain amount of space on your existing floor. You need to think about where you could logically put a staircase, or get creative with other methods – for example, a winding staircase.
The likelihood is that your heating, water and electric system was built for the size of your existing house. If you are going to expand the size drastically, you might need to adapt your systems. You can use this as a good excuse to update your systems to make them more energy efficient – for example fitting PV solar panels for heating water or other energy.
If you have an existing brick chimney, when you add an extra storey, you will need to build it up to roof level with a metal or stone flue. Another option is to use technology which allows for ventilation horizontally through a wall, as opposed to vertically through the roof.
You should think about whether you want the same design of windows and doors as your existing ones. If so, you need to check that you can still buy them and if you are thinking about getting different ones, it is recommended that you speak to a designer about what options you have available to you. The final option is to replace the exterior windows and doors in the entire house – which can be even more disruptive and expensive.
To add an extra storey, you will need to remove the roof. This, as well as other building work can cause a great deal of disruption, and it might be necessary for you and your family to move out while the most disruptive work is being done.
Adding an extra storey to your home can be the answer to many issues but it doesn’t come without disruption and potential problems. This is why it is important that you evaluate how suitable your house is, whether it is worth it in the long run and when to do it.
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