Toronto has one of the most expensive real estate markets in North America. Land is at a premium and most residential lots are on the smaller side.
There's a benefit of adding living space vertically especially if you live on a relatively small lot. You'll be adding space above you rather than outwards so the addition won't affect the size of your garden and yard etc. At the same time you'll have the chance to increase the height of your first-floor ceilings.
Options For Adding a Second Story
Adding a second story addition to a home isn't an easy job but most homeowners have a few options if they're interested in adding some living space above them.
You can tear the roof off your home and build an upper level from scratch or you can also expand a new level across a current one-story section such as a porch or flat-roof garage.
The cost and length of time the project will take all depends on the method you choose and if any foundation work needs to be performed. The foundation will need to be inspected to make sure it can handle the additional weight of a second story. You'll also need to inquire about building codes, possible height restrictions and permits and find out exactly what you need before proceeding.
If your existing foundation won't be able to handle the additional weight of another story you'll need to add structural support somewhere or have the foundation strengthened. Also, be aware that rafters in single-story homes aren't typically strong enough to be used as second-story floor joists. This is why it's important to have your home's foundation evaluated by a professional structural engineer. Detailed plans including things such as beam sizes need to be developed with an engineer approving them.
When you add a second level you'll want to make sure the style matches the rest of the home, including window shape and size. Other individual elements such as shutters, trim, eaves, dormers and columns also need to be in proportion.
There's a good chance you'll need to move out of your home and find somewhere else to live while the work's going on to add a new story. So that should also be taken into consideration. The time frame of adding a new level could be between four and six months if you add in all of the planning and details etc. However, you should be able to remain in your home if you're adding a partial second story on top of a garage.
Other things that need to be considered include insulation, plumbing, electrical work, the HVAC system and the addition of stairs.
Hiring a Professional
Adding a second story requires the assistance of experienced professionals as it's not a do-it-yourself job. You'll need to find a person or company with the necessary skill and experience to handle this type of project. They'll need to know how to knock out structural walls as well as tie into the existing mechanical system.
The cost of a second story typically depends on the style and size of your home as well as its location and the quality of materials you plan on using. However, you should plan on spending at least $200,000 to 300,000 these days.
About Novacon Construction
Novacon Construction is a home addition contractor in Toronto and has been providing award winning Design-Build construction services within the GTA since 2004. For more information on adding a second story to your home please contact us at Novacon Construction Inc.
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