How to Get a Bigger House Without Moving – Part 2

by Carmen Corbin on February 19, 2012

In Part 1 of our series, we focused on adding on to the ground level of a house to create additional space.  But if the size of your lot won’t accommodate a first floor expansion, or you’re running into problems with utility easements, you may have another option besides relocating to another house.

Second Story Home Additions

When planning a home addition, most homeowners think about expanding out, not up.  But you can dramatically increase your square footage and even the overall look of your house by building a second story (or even a third story) addition.  Ranch homes can be transformed into two-level structures, with plenty of room for a spacious master suite, extra bedrooms or an upstairs game room.  

Before the project begins, the entire structure will have to be evaluated to determine if the foundation can handle the extra weight.  If not, your general contractor will make recommendations on any upgrades that are needed.  You’ll also have to address where to locate the stairway, and how to connect utilities such as electrical, plumbing and heating/cooling systems.

Other Space-Gaining Alternatives

Sometimes you can find more space by building a room addition over the garage.  The same structural and logistical concerns will have to be addressed, but when completed, you’ll have an awesome bonus room, in-law suite or teenager hangout.  Another possibility (which is also more budget friendly) is to add large dormer windows to an upper floor or attic space.  If you think you’d enjoy a relaxing place to read or do some surfing from your laptop, consider building a second floor balcony out from the master bedroom with room for a couple of comfortable chairs and a small table.

No matter which avenue you decide to pursue, your construction company should be able to find siding, brick or paint colors that either match or complement the exterior materials of your existing home.  They’ll also be able to suggest architectural designs for new rooflines and windows. 

We hope we’ve given you enough inspiration to think outside the moving box and consider adding on to your home.  For more ideas on home additions, call or visit your local home improvement contractor.

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