Adding the 2nd Floor

Renovations. Remodeling. Home Improvement.

This can be anything from a new front door to an entirely renovated kitchen. But what about the addition of a second floor?

For many homeowners living in single-storey homes, the idea of expansion may only be possible by building up. Especially in quickly-growing cities or in already established neighborhoods, up is the only option.


The rationale

A growing family, the need for more space, or even increasing the value of the home. All excellent reasons to expand. There are a few facts to take into consideration before shooting for the stars.


Getting down to brass tax

Any renovation or remodeling project involves cost. And first and foremost, calculating the approximate cost of the project. That includes the materials, labor, design, furnishings… Not to mention heating and cooling.

The actual cost of renovation depends on the area you are living in, the average cost of labor, and the size of the renovation you are planning. Adding one bedroom and a bathroom is going to cost much less than adding four bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a shared living space.

But you do not need to let this deter you from an addition to your home. Like most everything, you can take a project like this on in stages. Start by having your foundation inspected to ensure you are actually able to build up. Then begin laying the “groundwork” for your second floor. It can be as simple as the base structure, as well as the roof (to guarantee you are actually able to continue living in your home throughout the entire process).


Not the shortest undertaking

It is safe to plan on spending quite a bit of time on this project. At the very least, the project will take anywhere from 4 to 6 months. And that is if you are jumping in full-force. For many people, this project can take a bit longer, depending on how much you are able to spend month-to-month.

While, realistically, you can start the project while still living in the home, especially if you are working on a slightly tighter budget, it is safe to plan on finding another place to stay for the duration of the remodel. Especially when there will be contractors in and out of your home on a daily basis building an additional floor, there is great reason to find a place to rent short-term (or find family you can handle living with for a few months).

Benefit, benefit… And more benefit

While it may be expensive (and a bit time consuming), the addition of a second floor could, possibly, be the perfect addition to your life and, of course, your home.

The addition of another storey will definitely increase the value of your home. Extra bedrooms, bathrooms, and additional living space will definitely make your home more attractive to potential buyers. So whether you are planning on selling now or later, an addition of this magnitude will increase your home’s value significantly.

Have you ever said NO to extra space? More living space just for you. An additional bedroom for friends and family. Extra space for your growing family. Increased area for pets to roam and play. Whatever the reason, if you want a larger space and this is the road you are planning on taking, building up is well worth it.


Final tidbits for thought

It is important to come to the table prepared. Write down a list of questions you have and actually ask them. The last thing you need is to refrain from asking a question and end up regretting it later.

Lay out your budget. Have you ever planned a party without a definitive budget? And, did you go over that budget? When you don’t have a set plan for exactly how much you are able to spend, you are more likely to overextend yourself. Besides, if you have a perfect plan for how you are allocating your funds, it will make the entire process much less stressful.

Finally, you just need to pick a contractor. Ask around, do your research online. Essentially, do your research. Take your time to find someone who is best suited for your project and your needs. Just like when you are picking a mortgage lender, hand-picking the best contractor is well worth your time.

Maybe you choose to renovate. Or maybe you don’t. Either way, it is essential to weigh both the pros and the cons before you make a final decision.



Total Home Lending



Natasha Mason


Adding the 2nd Floor2020-09-28T15:14:20+00:00

Home Improvements (that pay off)

Remodeling. There are entire tv shows and magazines, just on this topic. It has different meanings for different people.

Many of those tv shows highlight some projects on the extreme-side, people spending thousands of dollars on a beautiful bathroom. While stunning (and something you may be dreaming about), it may not always be the most realistic remodel for the majority of homeowners.

Taking on a new project can be quite expensive, but we are here to tell you that there are some that actually pay off! Whether or not you are considering reselling right now, it is important to recognize the “resale” value of your home with its new improvements.


There are a few things to keep in mind before starting your next remodeling project.

First, the return on your investment- how often will you be using or benefiting from it? For instance, replacing your front door has a great return because it is something that is essential to your home.

Next, you should also consider the value of other houses in your neighborhood. Spending a significant amount of money to remodel your home and, in turn, significantly increasing its value may not be ideal when it comes time to sell. Even if your home is valued at a certain amount, if the rest of the houses in the neighborhood are much less, you may find it difficult to sell your home for the price you desire.

There are three final things to consider before remodeling- the housing market in your area, how soon you’ll sell after the improvements and the quality of the project you are starting. If the market is up, many buyers will be interested in spending more money for a house with a newly remodeled bathroom. When it’s down, buyers are looking for the basics- like up-to-date systems.


Make your remodeling project beneficial and painless.

Do you want to be happy once your latest project has been completed? Of course! Everyone wants to be happy with the end result. There are a few factors that will make your project that much easier. Low-maintenance is key! The more involved, the longer it takes and the more expensive it is will make the project that much more stressful. Additionally, most homeowners are happiest with projects that are good (but not necessarily the highest) quality. And, finally, projects that are energy efficient are among these top factors.


So, let’s talk about the projects themselves.

Earlier we mentioned a few projects that people will be looking for in a home, whether the marketing is up or down. And that is up-to-date systems. No flooding in the basement. The roof is new (or relatively new). Clean and updated heating/cooling. Essentially, they are looking to see if the basics have been covered. Investing in these projects is a “must do” simply because it makes your house much more appealing, regardless of the marketing. And, truthfully, when the marketing is down, buyers are generally more interested in homes with up-to-date systems and an outdated bathroom than they are in homes with outdated systems and up-to-date bathrooms.

Most home buyers know that they will have to remodel. In fact, nearly 70% of them do. If they know that money could be spent on something more cosmetic than, let’s say, a new furnace, your house immediately becomes that much more appealing.

There are two rooms in the house where you can definitely tell if money has been spent- the bathroom and the kitchen. These are two of the most basic remodeling projects and should be added to your “must do” list when the housing market is up. While they do cost the most, just remember- people spend most of their time there!

Curb appeal. Otherwise known as landscaping. This does, in fact, pay off when you are looking to sell. Imagine walking up the driveway to a house with an overgrown lawn, a few scattered trees and maybe an attempt at a flowerbed. Now, imagine walking up the driveway to a house that has clearly been well-cared for. Beautifully manicured lawn, strategically placed flowerbeds and trees. Which house would you rather look at? The majority of people are more eager to view a house that has “curb appeal.”

The final two things on the list? More space- which, of course, makes sense. Additional square footage will add value to your home when it comes time to sell. And then all the little bells and whistles. Home entertainment systems, wine cellars. The little things that aren’t expected but get people excited.


Remodeling in a way that pays off is an absolute must.

Before jumping into your next project, take a minute to think about what will be the most beneficial for your home, and your situation.

One final thing to consider? Refinancing. Talk to your lender- the money you could save by refinancing could foot the bill for your next remodeling project.


Total Home Lending


Natasha Mason

Home Improvements (that pay off)2020-09-28T15:14:21+00:00
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