Expanding Your Home’s Footprint vs. Adding a Second Story

Expanding Your Home’s Footprint vs. Adding a Second Story

Whether it’s to accommodate your growing family or to modify your home for multigenerational living, the best way to do it is to increase your home’s footprint or add another story. This decision is not just a matter of aesthetic preference. It requires thoughtful consideration of logistics, budget and future needs.

Home's Footprint vs. Adding a Second Story

In this post, Northside Construction Services shares some tips to help you choose between expanding your living space and adding another story. 

Consider Your Property Constraints and Zoning Regulations

Before you start any major alteration to your home’s structure, account for any restrictions that may apply to your property. Zoning laws, property lines and setbacks could limit your ability to expand outward. Equally, there might be height restrictions that could quash plans for adding a second story. Always check with your local building authorities regarding these constraints.

Assess Your Budget and Long-Term Costs

When weighing the costs, it’s paramount to assess not just the initial investment but also the impact on long-term expenses, such as heating and cooling and maintenance. For example, home maintenance could be more frequent and expensive with a larger footprint, especially if extra care is needed for additional exterior surfaces and foundation. On the other hand, adding a second story might require structural reinforcements of the existing foundation and modifications to the HVAC system, resulting in higher upfront costs.

Understand the Impact on Your Living Situation

Major renovations could result in a longer duration of being displaced from your home or living in a construction environment. With upward expansions, the need to vacate your space could be a necessity. Meanwhile, a horizontal expansion might allow you to remain at home, although with some disruption to your daily routine.

Maximize Your Home’s Potential

Expanding your home’s footprint can significantly enhance your living area, especially if your property size allows for it. It’s often preferred for adding communal spaces like kitchens or living rooms, where direct access to outdoor living spaces can be made. Conversely, if your desire is for additional bedrooms or private offices, building upward can be a practical and space-efficient solution that doesn’t compromise your outdoor space.

Plan for Functional Modifications

While planning the type of room addition you desire, take into account the functional requirements of the space. These may include plumbing, electrical wiring and architectural coherence with the existing structure. For instance, bathroom and kitchen remodels often require extensive plumbing work, making them more suitable for ground-level expansions where connections can be more easily accessed.

Before deciding between enlarging your home’s footprint and adding a second story, talk to a capable builder and designer. They can help you figure out the option that aligns with your property, preferences and budget. Northside Construction Services is dedicated to helping homeowners navigate these considerations. Call us at (404) 392-5858 or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.