Home Additions: Building Out vs. Building Up Part Two – Building Up

When you decide to renovate your home by expanding the size of your living space, you’ll have to choose between building out by increasing the footprint of your home on the main floor, or building up by adding more stories to your existing home. Last month we focused on building out, while this month’s blog will concentrate on the advantages and disadvantages to building up.

Building Up Pros

Adding a second story to your existing home could be the right path for you. Building up has several advantages, such as the absence of yard loss and zone limitations, a possible cheaper total cost, and the possibility of personalizing your upstairs and downstairs for prime functionality.

No Yard Loss or Zone Limitations

Building additional stories to your house is an excellent way to increase functionality and space without increasing your home’s building footprint. There’s no need to worry about zone restrictions or sacrificing your side or backyard for expansion space when you are building on top of a pre-existing foundation.

Choice of Roof Line Options

Building up allows you to change the pitch of a roof from a low slope to something steeper, such as a cathedral style, for aesthetic as well as practical reasons. You can also add a dormer, a roofed structure sometimes containing a window that projects out of the side of a pitched roof. This will change the look of your home, as well as adding light and gaining additional headroom.

Personalize Upstairs/Downstairs for Your Needs

Adding a second story to your house allows an organization unique to that of a one-story home. On the main floor, entertaining and relaxing can take place with a kitchen, dining room, and living room area. The creation of another story to the house allows for the bedrooms to be separate from downstairs, making your home conscious of its different functions and the particular needs of household members.

[Related: Home Additions: Building Out vs. Building Up Part One – Building Out]

“Before” Photo of Building Up Home Remodel

Building Up Cons

Just like with building out, building up also has its share of challenges to work around, such as finding temporary housing while your home is under construction, the cost of retrofitting the foundation, and the reduced first level footprint caused by the addition of a staircase.

Need to Temporary Relocate

Adding another story to your house avoids the hassle of having to build an entirely new foundation, since the contractors will be working on the pre-existing foundation of your main level. However, this means you might need to find a temporary place to reside while the wall structures and ceilings are exposed and being built upon.

Cost of Retrofitting Your Foundation

Depending on the state and strength of the current foundation, you might need it to be retrofitted. Retrofitting your existing foundation will make it strong enough to support the added weight of the new addition, but make sure to consider the cost, paired with the added expense of removing existing walls to support the structure, and include it in your remodeling budget.

Limited Footprint Caused by Staircase

When building up to add another level to your home, consider the location and the amount of space the new staircase will take up. The addition of a staircase can easily eat up 80 to 120 square feet of your first-floor footprint.

Whether you’re looking to add to your home by building out or building up, Harjo Construction can help you create a plan and make your home renovation dreams a reality. Contact us today to start your home addition journey.

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