8 Considerations When Adding a Second Floor to Your Bay Area Home
The Most Important One: Find the Right Construction Contractor!
Are you thinking about adding another floor to your house? Building upwards adds to your living area and property value. One of the most important benefits is that you can have your dream home without moving from the area you love. Another advantage is that you do not lose out on yard space, and exterior features such as driveways, patios and fences can remain the same. However, You’ll need to understand what is involved in this type of home addition project and find the right construction contractor for a successful remodel. Take note of these 8 considerations when adding a second floor to your Bay Area home.
Tips for Adding a Story to Your Current Home
- Pay attention to design: Ideally, the addition should blend with the rest of the house and not look like a box placed on top of it. Three important aspects to assess during the design stage are whether it:
- improves functionality
- looks like it was always there, and
- is in harmony with other structures in the neighborhood.
- Ensure that it is structurally sound: Extending upwards means adding more weight to your home. Check that the current structure can support the additional load. This may involve asking an engineer to do a feasibility study. A building inspector can also help you determine the load capacity of your current home. Some projects require additional steel supports installed in the foundation slab.
- Verify building code requirements: Do you know how high you can go with the extension? Before you begin work on your home addition, check your local building codes and permit requirements. Most municipalities have this information on their websites. An experienced construction contractor can help you navigate local regulations and obtain necessary permits.
- Determine staircase location: You will need a staircase to access the second floor. Fitting it inside the house typically means sacrificing some hallway or room space. Going from the outside, on the other hand, will require you to give up some part of your yard. Your architect or building contractor can walk you through options that will provide the best results. With a bit of creative thinking, you can minimize any wasted space.
- Mechanical upgrades: Increasing your living area usually involves upgrading the plumbing, electrical and HVAC systems that service it. With some HVAC systems, it is possible to add new zones without have to buy a new one. With others, additional ductwork may be required. However, this may be the ideal time to install more energy efficient appliances like tankless water heaters and solar or geothermal heating systems that will reduce your utility bills.
- Windows, doors and siding: The critical question here is whether you should buy new ones for the whole house, match the existing style, or try a different approach for the upper floor. Being aware of and researching your options in advance will help you make informed decisions.
- Adding whole-house insulation: Thermal performance is an important consideration when building a home extension. While building code determines requirements for new additions, it’s possible that existing insulation may also have to be upgraded to prevent leaks. This is a great way to enhance the overall comfort and energy efficiency of your home.
- Think about exterior finish: Does the current structure have a textured finish? You may choose to match it, redo the entire façade or use a mix of different materials to make an architectural statement.
Get the Bay Area’s Construction Experts to Build Your Second Floor
Choose your contractor based on their credentials, experience and reputation. At Flegel’s Construction Co. we have more than 30 years of experience building and renovating homes. Our clients receive expert advice, quality craftsmanship and responsive service. Count on us for a seamless home addition that enhances your lifestyle and not just your space.
With an unwavering commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, we continue to serve customers across the Bay Area, including in Palo Alto, San Jose, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Cupertino, CA.
If you are considering adding a second floor to your Bay Area home, give us a call at 408-269-1101 to set up a consultation or contact us online.