Balancing the Second Floor Addition Equation

Know what you should consider before adding a second floor to your home. Find out what you need to know in order to successfully plan for and create a second story that meets your needs. Learn which professionals can make your plans a reality.

Creating a second floor addition won’t just add another story to your DFW home — it will begin a new chapter in your domestic life. Like any story, however, unforeseen events and circumstances can complicate the ending. Before starting your new home improvement project, take the following aspects of adding an extra level to your home into account.

Building Codes

Strict Dallas building codes can limit your ability to choose your preferred design. These codes may also tack on extra expenses, as you’ll have to meet size requirements for rooms. Do your research to familiarize yourself with the specific parameters and specifications in which you can work. Start by having an engineer assess if the foundation of your home can hold up under the weight of a totally new addition.

Plan for Access

For some homeowners, one of the most surprising aspects of building a second floor addition is the trouble they run into when attempting to provide access to it. Many times, homeowners have to solve the conundrum of allotting enough space for a corresponding staircase in a home cramped enough to require an additional floor. To provide access with minimal fuss, consider building a second floor and staircase over a garage, since garages have solid foundations and can provide the necessary wiggle room for staircases with little intrusion.

Coming Down the Pipeline

Having to consider major renovations on plumbing and heating and cooling systems can put second floor addition plans on ice for most folks. Similarly, the expenses associated with new electrical work can shock even the most gung-ho home improvement enthusiasts. Think about whether you’ll have to alter your pipes, heating and cooling systems, and electrical panels to accommodate your second floor addition, and if it’s feasible to connect the new story’s systems to existing structures.

Mixing and Matching

Matching the original part of your house can present a logistical and financial challenge. It may be difficult and expensive to gather all of the same materials that make up your main floor to create your new one. If you’re open to having your second floor addition complement — or even contrast with — your main floor, instead of perfectly mirror it, you may be more likely to love your result.

Put Together Your Dream Team

The complexity and intricacy of creating a new level of your home requires the knowledge, expertise, and input of several different types of professionals. Expect to work with local engineers, electricians, HVAC specialists, and many others who will, in essence, be building an entirely new home on top of your old one. Dive into the details with each of the contractors you consult, and understand that devising good plans can save you time, effort, and headaches along the way. In the end, your attention to detail can leave you raising the roof.

Add Value to Your Home

If you’re willing to bear the inconvenience of its construction, adding a second story can potentially pay off big. It’s an instant way to pad your home’s square footage numbers, which can increase its value on the market. If you live in an area near the woods or next to the water, adding an additional story can provide the perk of an amazing view to future home buyers.

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Samantha Gonzales is a copywriter specializing in marketing, business, and educational publishing.

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