When many people plan to expand their homes to gain more square footage, they often think of adding rooms by building out. For some homeowners, this is not an option, especially if they live on a small lot and/or if they have strict zoning laws. An alternative to settling on accepting what currently exists might be to consider building up as an option when building out isn’t possible.

The Benefits of Building Up

Building up rather that out has several distinct advantages including the potential to nearly double living space without utilizing more yard area. For anyone located on a small lot, this is likely to be the only realistic way to enlarge your home. Additionally, because the first floor foundation already exists and the footprint of the roofing area will not substantially change there are significant cost savings to this construction approach combined with lower expenses for future roof replacement.

Lastly, one of the best reasons to build up includes the ease of providing second floor plumbing connections to the existing first floor utilities. Also, options for creating multiple rooms increase in contrast to more common one-to-two room limitations when adding out on a home.

The Concerns with Building Up

Before settling on a second floor home addition, a structural inspection to determine the foundation’s capacity for carrying the added weight is critical. If not, there can be substantial extra cost required to accommodate the strength needed to support an addition.

Finally, living through a renovation is never easy or pleasant. So before choosing your path, consider that building a room to the side or rear of a house will be much less invasive than building on top of the home where, for at least some period of time, you may have an open view of the sky and require you to vacate for a period of time while the project is completed.

If the issues accompanying the adding of a second story are manageable and the potential outcome is desirable with such a remodel, then building up may be the best option to gain new square footage in your home. For additional information regarding home renovations and their value effect on your home, feel free to contact me today for a consultation. I will be happy to answer any questions you may have, and/or help you to find your dream home or determine the value of your existing property


Allyson Hoffman, ABR, ACRE, CDPE, CRS, e-PRO, GRI, SFR, SRES
RE/MAX Villager
Serving Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs
[email protected]

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Allyson Hoffman is your ultimate real estate resource for Chicago's North Shore, North and Northwest Suburbs and surrounding areas. Visit my website for detailed information regarding today’s real estate markets.   

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