Cost of adding a second story to a home in 2023

If you feel like your home is becoming overcrowded, you basically have two solutions: either move to a larger place or expand your current space.

Due to the challenges of the real estate market today, with high prices and limited options, many are inclined towards expanding their existing homes.

Think of adding a second floor to your home almost like building a new floor. For builders it’s pretty much the same process, says Gary Henley, who heads Henley Homes in Liberty Hill, Texas. They simply build the new section over the existing part of the house.

What is the price of adding a second story?

Thinking of adding another level to your home? It is not a small investment. The cost can vary widely based on many factors. This includes the size of the project, the materials you choose, and the labor rates in your area.

For a public house expansion, you might spend anywhere from $21,000 to $74,000. However, the second story presents unique challenges. You will need to strengthen the foundation, add trusses, and rebuild the roof, all before starting on the new space.

So, what’s the harm? On average, a second story addition costs between $300 and $500 per square foot. This means for a standard 1,000 square feet. At home, you’re looking at an expense between $150,000 and $200,000, depending on contractor platform, Fixr. For smaller homes, the cost may range from $90,000 to $120,000. Ready-made extensions are generally cheaper than custom-made ones. And bonus tip: If you can keep your existing roof intact, you’ll cut some costs, as shown by Fixr.

Cost breakdown

When you are considering adding a second story to your home, there are many cost factors to consider. Here is a breakdown to help you plan your budget:

  1. Labor costs
    • Architect’s fees: Expect to pay between $2,000 and $5,000, or an hourly rate of $100-$250, according to HomeGuide.
    • General contractorThey will provide an estimate that includes the subcontractor’s costs. Their services typically range from $100 to $300 an hour, according to Fixr.
  2. Size and shape
    • The higher the addition, the higher the cost. And as a reminder, costs typically range from $300 to $500 per square foot.
  3. Material quality
    • Choosing the right materials on a budget can save you money. However, if you want a seamless blend with your existing home, you may need to invest in higher quality or custom materials.
  4. Foundation strengthening
    • Don’t assume your current organization can support another story. If a boost was needed, it could cost about $5,000, Angie mentioned.
  5. Add stairs
    • New floor often means new staircase. As Robert Criner of Criner Remodeling points out, your existing attic stairs may not be suitable. The budget is approximately $2,000 for a new staircase, at Angie’s discretion. Remember that stair placement can affect other spaces in your home.
  6. conditioning considerations
    • The new floor required heating and cooling solutions. You can either extend your existing HVAC system or install a separate system for the new floor. The new system would cost about $7,500. If you’re extending an existing system, expect to pay between $1,700 and $2,800 for the additional areas, according to HomeGuide.
  7. Temporary housing
    • With your home turning into a construction site, you may need to move out temporarily. This means additional costs for hotels or short-term rentals.

Various types of second floor additions

When considering adding another level to your home, it is essential to understand the types of second floor additions available. Here is a breakdown of the main categories:

1. Add the full story

    • a descriptionAddition: This type of addition involves the addition of an entire second floor that mirrors or closely resembles the ground floor footprint of your home.
    • Positives:
      • Provides the largest additional space.
      • Provides maximum flexibility for modifications or future needs.
    • cons:
      • Requires extensive construction.
      • He has a longer construction schedule.
      • It is the most expensive option.

2. Partial addition

    • a descriptionA partial addition that covers only part of the house, not the entire footprint. It’s like adding a new floor over a specific part of your existing home.
    • Positives:
      • More cost effective than adding an entire story.
      • It requires less creation, which means a shorter timeline.
      • Fewer structural changes are required, such as foundation modifications or roof modifications.
    • cons:
      • Limited additional space availability.
      • They can pose aesthetic challenges. If not carefully designed, it can look out of place or resemble less attractive homes from the past.

3. New build add

    • Positives:
      • personalizationDesigned according to your exact requirements and desires.
      • FusionIt can be seamlessly integrated with the architecture and design of your existing home.
    • cons:
      • it costs: Usually more expensive due to the custom work involved.
      • time: Takes longer to complete as everything is built on site from the ground up.

4. Add (pre-made) modules.

    • Positives:
      • Speed: Because the modules are pre-built off-site, the installation process is faster once they arrive.
      • Cost-effectiveIn general, modular add-ons are more budget-friendly.
      • consistency: Built in controlled environments, which ensures consistent quality.
    • cons:
      • Limited customizationYou may be limited to certain designs or sizes.
      • Integration challengesFinding a unit that matches your home’s style and dimensions can be challenging.

Building numbers

When you are considering adding a second story, it is important to understand the foundational and organizational aspects. Here is a detail:

1. Foundational Assessment:

    • Before anything else, it is essential to make sure that your home’s foundation can support the additional weight of a second floor. Robert Krener stresses the importance of consulting a structural engineer to make this assessment.
    • It is a common misconception that if a home has an attic, it can easily be converted into a living space. However, the attic is designed to support less weight than ordinary living spaces, making it unsuitable for direct conversion without proper reinforcement.

2. Building codes:

    • Building codes set specific standards for construction to ensure safety and quality. These codes cover aspects such as room sizes, ceiling heights, and stair dimensions.
    • It’s important to be aware of any local restrictions or HOA guidelines that may prevent adding a second story, especially if it obstructs neighbors’ views.
    • Building codes can vary greatly by location. Some states have uniform laws, while others allow local jurisdictions to make their own. As Krener points out, you may find different symbols within short distances.

3. Hiring the right contractor:

    • Due to the variety of building codes, it is essential to hire a contractor who is well versed in the specific codes of your area.
    • Make sure the contractor is licensed to operate in your jurisdiction. This ensures not only that they understand local laws, but also a level of professionalism and accountability.

Should I add an addition to the second story?

While the idea of ​​DIY projects can be appealing, especially when considering the potential cost savings, adding a second story to your home is not a typical DIY task.

  1. Required experience:
    • The second floor addition isn’t just about building; Includes architectural planning and an understanding of structural engineering. Unless you are an experienced contractor with this specific experience, undertaking such a project is not recommended.
  2. the potential risks:
    • Trying to DIY a project of this magnitude can lead to errors. Correcting these errors may require specialists, which can increase the total cost, sometimes more than if you had hired experts from the start.
    • There is also the risk of violating building codes or compromising the structural integrity of your home.
  3. Possible DIY tasks:
    • While basic construction should be left to the professionals, there are smaller tasks you can do yourself to save costs:
      • coloring: Once the addition is complete, you can take over the drawing.
      • Fixture installationSimple fixtures, such as light fixtures or base cabinets, may be in the DIY range for some homeowners.

Duration and cost saving tips for adding a second story

How much time would it take?

The time frame for adding a second story varies based on several factors:

  • Size and configurationThe dimensions and layout of both the existing home and the planned addition play an important role.
  • construction methodModular construction can greatly speed up the process. As Jim Bateman of Bateman Custom Construction points out, if you choose a modular second floor, parts of it can be pre-built, including the roof. This allows for faster installation as the entire unit can be lifted and locked into place.

Money saving tips:

  1. Add units: As mentioned, opting for a modular add-on can be both time-saving and cost-effective.
  2. Simple designInform your architect that you prefer a design that is straightforward and easy to build. This can reduce complications and associated costs.
  3. Partial addition: Choosing a partial addition may be less expensive. In addition, you may be allowed to stay in your home during construction or return sooner.
  4. Standard finishes: Choose standard finishes over luxury finishes. For example, consider vinyl flooring instead of hardwood to save costs.
  5. DIY tasks: Handle tasks that work for you, such as painting, installing baseboards, or setting up fixtures. However, always prioritize safety and ensure you have the necessary skills.
  6. Shop smart: Look for deals on items. Some suppliers may offer discounts on items they want to get rid of.

Moving While Adding a Second Floor: Is It Necessary?

When adding a second floor to your home, the question often arises of whether or not to move out temporarily. Here are some points to consider:

  1. Comfort and convenience:
    • Living in a construction zone can be very stressful. As Henley points out, with utilities such as power, water and gas turned off intermittently, staying home can become uncomfortable, if not almost impossible.
  2. Safety and exposure:
    • The construction process will expose your home to outside elements. There is a risk of water damage from rain or snow, and wind can also present challenges, Bateman explained.
    • Additionally, construction sites can be dangerous, as tools, materials, and open areas may not be safe, especially for children or pets.
  3. Protect your property:
    • Going out allows you to protect your property. By clearing the ground floor, you can reduce the risk of potential damage from the elements or construction accidents.
    • Bateman suggests several options for your furnishings:
      • Store them in secure sections of the house.
      • Transfer them to another residence.
      • Use of off-site storage facilities.
      • Use temporary containers placed on your property.

last words

Adding a second story to your home is an important decision that requires careful planning, budget, and an understanding of the process. While it can be a great investment, the added space and potential increase in property value can make it a worthwhile endeavor.

Whether you are considering a full or partial, modular or custom-built addition, it is essential to consult professionals, understand local building codes, and consider the impact on your daily life during construction.

With the right approach, adding a second floor can transform your living space and enhance your home’s overall curb appeal.

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