Should You Build Up or Bump Out?
So you need more space for your growing family – and you keep asking yourself – Should we build up or bump out?
You have to look at this two ways. If you’re unwilling to sacrifice any part of your front, side or rear yard – and you’re concerned about staying within your locally prescribed setback requirements – then your answer is to build up and add that second story. If your property is generously sized and your current ranch style home lends itself to adding outward, then consider going in that direction.
Either way, before you start the planning process, head down to your local building and safety department to research site requirements, zoning restrictions and any building codes, specific to your piece of property.
Check with your contractor to determine if your footings, exterior walls, and interior supports can handle the extra weight – and if your foundation is adequate enough to support a second level. It will likely need to be re-enforced and additional footings added. You may even need to obtain a geological assessment or soil sample to test your current soil conditions.
It is critical for your new addition to work in seamlessly with the existing architecture of your home – with some modifications of course – distinguishing it from other homes in your neighborhood.
Building a new home addition also provides you with a great opportunity to renovate and upgrade other areas of your house. Why not update your old single pane windows, install a skylight, raise the kitchen ceilings or add that elegant stairway you’ve been dreaming of?
Whether you’re planning a main floor addition or adding a second story, it’s the exact same process as building a new house – typically smaller in scale.
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Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca.
© 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc