Ranch houses are an excellent option for many homeowners because they create a high-quality look that is efficient and easy to upgrade. However, many people may find that they want a second story for extra rooms and space. Whatever reason you have for adding a two story addition to your home, it is crucial to consider these steps to ensure that you get the high-quality look and feel you deserve.
Don’t Assume You Can Build Without Talking to Authorities
Long before you plan any element of adding a two story addition to your home, you need to make sure that your local zoning officials will allow you to add one. You might assume that you can do whatever you want with your home, and in many cases, you would be right. However, there is also a solid chance that you might end up finding yourself unable to do so due to various types of zoning rules.
For example, many officials won’t allow a second story because they don’t believe it is safe. They may demand various safety standards and upgrades that will affect how you can create your second story and impact its overall design. This situation is quite frustrating but necessary as a way of ensuring that you get the safest and most effective overall design for your second story design without failure.
If you are uncertain of where you can get this information and how you can use it in your design, reach out to a home builder right away. These individuals understand the varying building codes that affect your area and give you more details about how they affect you. Try to find custom home building services that can provide this type of information to ensure you get the best results.
Do a Good Foundation Check
One of the big reasons you’ll find zoning codes is against adding a two story addition to your home is its impact on your foundation. That’s because a single-story home has a foundation built for just one story and may not have the strength to support a second. That said, a strong foundation is often designed to be upgradable or strong enough for many changes.
As a result, it is vital to get your foundation checked and tested by professionals who can ensure that it can support a second story. Most renovation experts should have the capability of seeing whether you have a full or partial foundation. If you only have a partial, you may not add a second story or do difficult foundational work that may be costly.
You should also take this step if you plan on contacting a deck builder along with your second-story carpenters. A good deck builder is crucial because they can help create a more robust and more consistent home exterior that helps to support the overall look and feel of your home. These building companies are often relatively easy to find, as long as you take a few steps to contact them first.
Choose the Right Size for Your Second Story
When adding home additions like a second story, you need to make sure that you choose the right overall size and shape. You don’t want to replicate the look and design of your first story because this will make your home appear rather boxy and unappealing. Too many homeowners make this mistake and find that they hate their house and cannot sell it because nobody else wants that look.
Typically, your second story will be smaller than your first, which makes sense if you think about it. Your first story needs to be more extensive and more supportive of the two stories, creating a look and a feel that is safe and appealing. You need to make sure that you choose a size that makes the process worth it, as well, as you don’t want a bit second story that has barely any room.
The difficulties of this process make it essential to contact a high-quality design professional who can sit down with you and try to create a look that makes sense for you. Often, this process will require your team to find a unique look and style for your second story. For example, the shape may run counter to your first story to produce a unique look appealing and exciting for your home.
Pay Attention to the Overall Floor Plan
Another vital step to take when adding a two story addition to your home is to make sure that you pay attention to the overall floor plan of your home and that of your second story. This step is somewhat similar to making sure you choose the correct size but is more intensive. You’ll need to make sure that you pay attention to what you want out of your second story and why you’re building it.
Are you adding an extra bedroom or three to your second story for your children? Or are you turning the upstairs into a space that you can rent out to make a little money? Many people add a second story to expand their storage capacities or add a second living area to hold parties or other events. Your floor plan needs to be designed to take all of these elements into account.
When working on your second story, you’ll also need to pay attention to various other factors that affect how well this process is executed. For example, you’ll need to work with local waste removal professionals to get rid of various debris and other elements that may linger around the outside of your home. You then need to take steps to ensure that your story is easy to execute and comfortable for your use.
Know That You’ll Change Your First Floor, Too
Too many people don’t realize how much they’ll change their first floor when working on a second. When you are adding a two story addition to your home, you will have to change the first floor to support the second. You will need to tweak the floor design to ensure that you get easy access to the upstairs and other home areas, allowing you to get the overall look that you need and want.
So what do you need to pay attention to when adding a two story addition to your home? First of all, you need to know that the roof of your home will be heavily impacted. You’ll have to remove much of the top and expand it, if necessary, to match changes on your main floor. Beyond that, it is also essential to add extra supporting beams that will make your home safer for longer.
Understand that you’ll also need to change up elements of your home, like potentially decreasing your first-floor bedrooms and living rooms and taking other steps that may be surprising to some. Make sure that you talk to building professionals about these changes and work with a high-quality team specializing in adding a two story addition to your home to ensure that things go smoothly.
Offset the Look of Your Second Story for a Unique Look
Remember earlier when we mentioned that adding a two story addition to your home could create a “boxy” look that is quite unappealing? We want to emphasize that further here and give you a bit more help understanding how to avoid this look. Though you can simply create a smaller and more compact second story, this option isn’t always appealing to everyone and may limit some design tastes.
Instead, you can change up your second story by adding elements like slanting roofs, a skylight that adds light and makes your house more appealing on the outside, solar panels to add efficiency to your home, various types of overhangs that create an exciting look, outdoor seating areas on the second story, and even a large balcony where you can host outdoor parties and other events.
Ensure that you seriously consider the potential dangers of severe storms and other types of troubles to ensure that you don’t run into any difficulties. Remember that your second story will experience a majority of the wear and tear caused by storms, and you need to make sure that the material you choose is of the highest quality and integrated into your home’s design as smoothly as possible.
Make Room for Your Storage
Are you adding a two story addition to your home without thinking of your storage needs? If so, you aren’t alone. Many people make this mistake and find themselves suffering as a result. This problem is something that is easy to ignore because you don’t think about how a second story will add more potential stuff to your house. Yes, the extra room is nice, but not if you don’t allocate some storage areas.
For example, you need to add extra closets to your second-story bedrooms where you can store clothes, various types of items, and anything else you need to put away up there. Taking this time to add this storage helps ensure that you have the kind of high-quality second story you deserve. You may also need to add an extra storage area on the second story after it is built and if you forget.
This secondary storage area may add a bit strange bulge in your design, so try to place it somewhere that it’s not in the way or integrate it into your existing structure in a way that makes sense. And make sure that you hire professional siding experts who can provide you with the high-quality exterior help and support that you need to give your home a more appealing and attractive look for your needs.
Don’t Forget Your Access Points
It might be hard to believe, but many people make the mistake of not paying enough attention to their access points when adding a second story. Be honest with yourself: were you thinking about stairs or other elements when deciding on adding a two story addition to your home? Probably not because this step is so practical and so fundamental that it often passes right through many people’s minds.
You’ll need to make sure that your stairs go up at an angle that is safe and simple for most people to climb. For example, a rise of about 30 degrees is often the best because it is easy enough for most people to climb without putting strain or stress on their bodies. However, you will need a lot more room for a 30-degree set of stairs than you will for a 45-degree set, specifically your horizontal floor room.
Don’t forget that you’ll be able to use your stairs in a handful of different ways, too. For instance, you can add a storage area underneath your stairs to help with your second-story needs. Make sure, too, that you pick a spot for your stairs that doesn’t get in the way of the rest of your home’s design needs.
Consider Luxury Design Elements
The last step you should consider when adding a two story addition to your home is to make sure that you consider luxury factors that make your second story stand out. After all, if you’re spending all of this money on adding that new story, you need to make sure that it looks great and is quite comfortable. Thankfully, many luxury home additions will make it more than worth your time to build.
For example, you can add many decorative window blinds to your home that will make it more exciting and engaging for friends and family members. These blinds should be matched with other blinds throughout your house, specifically on the first story. Ensure that you try to choose blinds that also help with efficiency by blocking out heat loss and gain throughout the year.
If possible, you can add elements like safety rooms where you can run if there is danger, hidden rooms where you can hang out and have fun, various types of bathroom upgrades like a bidet, a handful of upgrades to your electrical design, and sliding patio doors for outside seating areas. When you take these steps, you make your house more attractive and exciting for visitors and yourself.
Taking These Steps is a Wise Choice
As you can see, adding a two story addition to your home is a challenging process that requires you to take some time to seek out the most appealing and high-quality look for your home. Ensure that you consider all of these steps and seek out a professional who can help you with them. Doing so will ensure that you get the overall design excellence that you want and deserve and save you money by making sure everything goes right the first time.