4 Things to Consider Before Adding an Upstairs Expansion

If you find that you’re outgrowing your home, there are many different options when it comes to expansion. One unique option is to add an upstairs expansion to your home. While it might seem intimidating at first, an upstairs addition is an economical way to greatly increase your square footage, a number that can double if the expansion is designed correctly.

Before you dive into this project, however, there are some important considerations you need to make. To help make your project a success, here are four considerations before adding an upstairs extension.


While you may have great plans for a beautiful upstairs extension, your neighborhood or city may have restrictions against what type of extension you can add. Since this update will significantly change the look of your home, it’s crucial that you ensure that it will satisfy any homeowner’s association requirements before starting the project.

It would be terrible to start on this significant project only to face fines and delays. Therefore, check with the proper authorities first to ensure everything can proceed normally.

Building Codes

Adding a second story means adding significant weight and infrastructure to your home. That means there are several building codes in play that must be satisfied to allow construction to begin. Take the time to research these codes to ensure that you are able to make the changes to your home that you need.

Make sure to follow the proper permitting process so that you can know for sure that your addition will be safe and that you won’t be breaking any laws. Though it can take some time to get your paperwork approved, it is more than worth the effort in the end.

Great Design

When you add a second story, you can’t simply build an extension on top of your existing house. To be able to use that second story, you’ve got to connect the two stories, which means cutting through your roof and adding a staircase.

Given the complexity of this project, therefore, it’s important that you consult with a company that offers engineering services to ensure your existing home structure can support the weight of the addition. Without this step, you put your home at risk of collapsing under all that extra weight.


Lastly, be sure to remember to watch the expense. While building a second story is typically less expensive than buying a new home, that doesn’t mean it’s cheap. Before you begin on a project of this scale, it’s important to have solid financing firmly in place before you begin.

You don’t want to run out of money partway through the project, putting your home at risk of exposure to the weather. Additionally, you want to ensure you can make payments on the loan until you’re able to pay it off.

So Many Benefits

While adding a second story to your home can be a challenge, the benefits are more than worth the effort involved. You’ll love all the extra space that a second story can provide and the added curb appeal that a well-designed expansion will bring. Additionally, if you ever sell your home, this increase in square footage will be a major selling point that will command a premium selling price.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan