Even if you absolutely love your house and the area you live in, sometimes you’ll find that you just don’t have enough room for your family and all your stuff. This can be a major inconvenience, especially if you need some extra room for things like a new addition to the family or an office so you can work from home. Regardless of why you need the extra room, adding a new story to your home is one way to get it.
Is adding a new story a good idea, though? In some cases, it can be exactly what you need. Other times, though, the process of adding a new story is more trouble than it’s worth. Is a new story right for you and your home? Here are a few things to consider to help you make up your mind.
Calculating the Cost
It goes without saying that adding a new story to your house isn’t going to be cheap, but there are costs that you might not have considered. You’ll need to consult a structural engineer, add at least one staircase, get additional inspections to ensure that the property complies with code, and more. That’s not even getting into the actual costs of materials and labor, or any upgrades you might need such as ensuring your HVAC system can service the new story. Make sure that you cover all your bases when calculating a budget, then add a little bit of extra padding for unexpected costs.
Will There Be Enough Space?
When adding a new story, your options are limited by what the house beneath the new story can support. Depending on the home you live in, this may mean that your new addition can only cover a portion of the structure’s total square footage. Make sure that the amount of available space is enough to meet your needs, or you might find yourself adding a new story and still not having enough room.
The Realities of Construction
Adding a new story isn’t like adding on a new room to your ground floor. Some or all of the roof will have to be torn off, and utilities like electricity and gas will need to be shut off to tie in the new story to the existing system. The entire process can take several months just to get started. Once construction is a go, you’ll very likely need to move out until the new story is complete, and you might even have to move a lot of your belongings out of the house to protect them from accidental weather damage. The end result might be worth it, but you definitely need to consider everything you’ll have to go through to get there.
Is Moving an Option?
There are a lot of good reasons for wanting to stay where you are. Maybe you like the school district, or perhaps your home has a lot of sentimental value to your family. It might be conveniently located near an area that you frequent. It could even be that you simply like the house. You don’t need to justify wanting to stay in your home, but it’s at least worth considering whether moving would better meet your needs. This is especially worth considering if your primary reason for adding on is simply the need for more space; moving could easily fill this need without some of the other costs and inconveniences associated with building upward.