When a House Becomes Too Small…

It’s a common dilemma. A young family buys a single story home in an established neighbourhood. The years pass and they come to love the area. Roots are put down with businesses, neighbours and, when kids arrive, with schools. But with the expanded family – and perhaps a home office now in play – the original home is soon bursting at the seams.

The heart-wrenching question arises: Is it time to move from the beloved neighbourhood? Often the most entrenched views come from the children, who are intensely loyal to their home and friends. Is the emotional pain worth the extra hundreds of square feet of living space needed?

Before choosing to sell, the client should consider adding to the size of the existing home.

Ways of Expanding an Existing Home

The first solution is simply to build a ground level addition over a portion of the lot. However, in many urban contexts this solution is not feasible due to tiny lots or zoning laws prohibiting the home from having a bigger footprint. It might also be that one of the best-loved features of the home is, in fact, the garden.

Another solution is a second story addition. If allowed by zoning rules, it can make an incredible amount of sense. Although more expensive than simply adding a ground level extension, there is the advantage of saving garden space. A second floor addition can also create a dramatic new presence for the home and even save on heating bills. If opting to take this route, the strength of the existing house foundation must be assessed to ensure it will support a second story.

Building a Second Floor Addition

Working closely with Highridge Fine Homes, the client must first consider design. Does the client want to continue the existing style of the home or create an entirely new look for the structure? Another important consideration is the balance of the home. The proportions of the house must be taken into consideration to ensure the second story addition does not overwhelm its base!

What exactly is desired for the upstairs? The choice needn’t be limited to bedrooms. There may be a view from a higher floor that would be ideal for a family room. An office might work well, too. A stairway must be built – is there a way of incorporating this in the existing house or is a small addition necessary to facilitate that?

And finally, how much disruption can the family handle? A second story addition requires the roof to be raised, meaning the family will have to be absent for a period of time. For that reason alone, it’s important to work with an experienced custom builder. Highridge Fine Homes will keep disruption to a minimum while the second story addition is being built, helping guide the client through the entire process.