Adding a second floor to your exiting home is the best way to make the most of a small lot and give your family more space. Here are a few steps that you can utilize to add a second level to your home without much hassle and aggravation.
Decide primary use of the new floor
Before you begin construction, it is very important to decide the primary use of the new floor, since this will help you lay out the design of the new story and estimate the expected construction cost. Constructing a second story for storage purposes is easy and cheap when compared with an upstairs apartment.
Find out the building codes
Visit your local zoning office to find out the building codes about constructing a second floor in your area. Some territories restrict residential construction so it is very important to know the local building code before dismantling your home’s roofing.
Ask your friends and family for recommendations
Just like building a new home, adding a new story also requires professional hands and supervision. Talk to your friends, relatives and co-workers to recommend you an experienced contractor who could help you build the new story. Hire the services of a contractor who has a verifiable record of adding stories on to existing homes.
Dismantle your home’s roofing
Begin the project by dismantling the roofing of the ground floor. The roof of your ground floor will now be the floor of the second story. A roof is built to survive a certain level of snow, rain and other debris, and its composition is completely different from that of a floor. However, shingles and other roofing materials used in the roof can be saved for the second floor’s roofing.
Examine the foundation
Thoroughly inspect the foundation, especially the footings under the walls to determine if any reinforcement is required or not. The additional load of the second floor may cause structural damage to the walls of the main floor. Ask your contractor to help you assess the cost and time needed for reinforcement.
Work out drainage, electrical and plumbing connections
If you are building a residential apartment then you will need drainage, electrical and plumbing connections as well between the two floors. To save the building cost, it is recommended to plan the placement of these fixtures near a convergence of pipes.
Construct the stairway
Connect the second level with the main floor using a stairway. If you are constructing the second floor for storage purpose then cut down the space taken up by the staircase by using a folding set of steps. However, if it is a residential apartment then you will need to construct a staircase that allows easy mobility between the two floor for visitors of all ages.