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Adding a second story to your home is a huge undertaking, but it can also be a wise investment. Every square footage of space and extra rooms that you add to your house can increase its value. Plus, it can accommodate your family should you choose to grow it in the future.

Literally raising the roof off of your home and building a level on top of it sounds intimidating to some homeowners. The key is to work with professionals that are trained and experienced in these types of renovations, and to consider all the important factors.

At Ziegler Remodeling, we have over 25 years of experience working with homeowners to perfect their dream home, within their budget and timeline. If you are looking to add more space to your home, review these considerations before a second story addition renovation.


There are several benefits associated with second story additions. For one, it literally doubles your living space. It also can offer beautiful views that aren’t possible from ground level. Depending on the area around your home, you may not have the space to build out from the first level or may have to give up more yard space than you would like, so the alternative is to build up.


Some neighborhoods have restrictions and building codes that limit the height of residences in the area. Adding a second story will not be possible if it exceeds set height restrictions, so before you draw up any plans, check your building codes with local officials.


In order to build on top of your home, you need a solid foundation. One-story homes often do not have the structure to support the extra weight of a second level. The weight of a second story with occupied rooms needs to be factored into your renovation plans. Engineers and experts should be consulted to calculate how much weight your current structure can support, how much you’ll be adding, and how to support the additional weight with structural adjustments.

If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, it is even more critical to reinforce the second story to withstand them. To move forward with a second story addition, structural support like steel connections may need to be added.


How much space do you want to add? If you want a lot of extra rooms to accommodate your lifestyle or a growing family, a full addition sounds like the obvious choice. However, budget is also a deciding factor. Partial second story additions may offer more space, but at a lower cost. There is an exception in which a partial renovation could cost you more in the long-term.

If you plan on building onto your addition in the future, but don’t have the funds to do so right now, it is often more cost-effective to put all the structural work in place anyway. Doing the full second story addition, without the finishing touches in a few rooms can save you money. In the long-term, it is more cost-effective to do the second story addition structure all at once, rather than opening up a partial later on and renovating it into a full.


Although professional renovators will prepare your home to protect it from rain and other environmental effects that come with removing the roof, there may be periods in which it is necessary and more comfortable to stay elsewhere. For safety and comfort, be prepared and arrange secondary accommodations for at least part of the renovation period.


In a one-story home, you probably didn’t have a staircase before, unless you have a basement. With a second story addition, you have to decide where the stairs that connect the first and second levels will be located. It may sound like an easy choice, but adding a staircase will take up a portion of one of your first level rooms. It could mean changing the layout of your main floor and redirecting the traffic flow of your home, so it is important to carefully weigh your options.


When finished, a well-done second story addition fits in perfectly with the rest of the house. No one should be able to tell that you’ve added another story, unless they saw your house prior to renovation. In fact, it should look as if it was an intended part of the original design.

To ensure that the second level and main level coordinate, you must consider the design and materials. Every design element from color palette and doors to windows and siding should be a consideration.

For example, if your house is older and the bottom portion has signs of wear and tear, a brand new second story will stick out like a sore thumb. Whether it is getting a new paint job, having the bricks professionally cleaned or replacing vinyl siding, the bottom half needs to coordinate with the top. It doesn’t need to look identical to the main floor, but it does need to look intentional. Depending on your decisions, it may require some upgrades to the main floor.


A second story addition is one of the most complicated home projects to tackle, because it produces a ripple effect. The changes that you make aren’t exclusive to the second level. You must consider the effects the addition will have on the rest of the house.

Other than the structural support needed, there are also plumbing, electrical and mechanical concerns. Water heaters and electrical panels are determined based on the size of your home and the number of appliances and fixtures. With a second story, those increase. Those systems will need to be updated to accommodate the changes.


With a second story addition, many homeowners like to make adjustments to the main floor. For example, you may want to move some bedrooms upstairs and use the extra space to expand the living room, kitchen or porch area.

A second story addition can completely revitalize your home and add ample space. To learn more about second story renovations and other home projects, feel free to reach out to the experts at Ziegler Remodeling.

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