Upstairs Extension: Things to Consider

If you simply love the area you live in and you’re not interested in moving, then home renovation and possible extension of the upper floor might be the right option for you. In addition to high uncertainty in the housing market and increasing costs of moving, there are many reasons why you should decide to extend your existing home. Many houses have lots of hidden potential and extensions can make them more comfortable and enjoyable to live in, while adding to their existing market value.

Before you jump in and start building a second storey, there are several things to consider, from planning the budget, hiring professional help to deciding on the best way to use the space you have.

Drafting plans

When it comes to an upstairs extension, the first step is hiring an architect or a draftsperson to provide you with detailed drawings and plans to see what can be done and what can’t in the space that you have. For example, some concerns with the upstairs additions are: how much room needs to be sacrificed downstairs so you could fit in the stairs and if it can be done in the existing hallway, if you can extend outwards for more space, and if the house has enough structural integrity to withstand additional weight. Very often, our plans and wishes are much more ambitious than the real conditions.

Calculating the budget

Many homeowners rush into the project without having in-depth plans or their costs calculated. It’s a huge mistake; without this information, potential builders can’t provide you with accurate quotes. They can’t give exact prices and assessments if they only have your vague ideas of the size and shape of your extension and your budget.

The best recommendation is to work with an architect who can help develop all plans and get the necessary permits before you go to builders for quotes.

Hiring a professional

Before you set off your building projects, have in mind that your great idea is not enough. Building the upstairs in your home means adding additional weight to your home’s existing structure, so you must be sure that it can take that pressure. For a safe second-floor addition, you need to assess your current home and have a professional home inspection. These experts will inspect your home and certify if it’s structurally sound, especially the roofing and foundations. They’ll also be able to establish if there are any other problems regarding electrical wiring, plumbing or heating systems and check if everything is up to code, which is very important for obtaining the building permit.

Obtaining permits

Many home improvement projects require official building approvals by the local council as they must comply with local regulations and laws. So, before you start any work, consult your local building department about obtaining permits. Sometimes you’ll need to take your neighbourhood into consideration. It’s a good idea to consult them too on this matter so you can ensure there are no objections on their side. Plus, you might get valuable information regarding the extension do’s and don’ts if they have done any similar work before.

Finding the right builder

Extending your home is an enormous and costly task, so it’s imperative that you hire a reliable and certified builder for a successful upstairs addition. Arrange to meet with several of them, get their written quotes, and find out about their schedules. Check out their previous work and references. When you select your crew, have your detailed plans and permits ready and then write up and sign the contract. It must include detailed specifications, costs, the scope of work, as well as estimated timetable and payment upon completion.

The greatest advantage of building any kind of home extensions is that you will not only increase the value of your home, but you’ll also add to the quality of your life. Extensions can be time-consuming and costly, but if you follow these tips, you’ll surely be a satisfied homeowner.