The Top 5 Questions About 2nd Story Additions

When your home becomes too small for a growing family, or you simply find you need extra space, you have two options: sell up and buy a bigger house, or extend the one you are in. The latter is, for many people, the preferred option. Not only is it cost-effective, but it means you are able to remain in the neighbourhood you are happy in, and in the home you have made your own. One of the most popular methods of extending a home is to add a level. Let’s have a look at five questions you need to ask when adding an addition to a house. 

Is My House Suitable?

It is essential to understand that adding a level – even if it is just a partial one, say a bathroom and one bedroom – adds considerable weight to the building that will not have been accounted for in the original build. This means you need an engineer to look at the structure of the building and advise you on the best way to proceed.

I’m Good at DIY – Can I Build it Myself?

Let’s be honest here: adding an addition in the form of a new level – even the simplest plan – to your home is not something that you should consider as a DIY project. It needs to be professionally carried out by a builder who has experience in this sort of building project, and who will use the right techniques and materials to get the right result. A poorly-built DIY addition to a house will not add value – it will likely reduce it – and may not be suitable for use. 

Will I Need Planning Permission?

This depends on the sort of addition you are adding to the home, and also the planning rules and regulations where you live. Your builder should be able to help you with advice in this area, and may also be able to put you in touch with the right people to talk to about planning issues. It is very important that you sort this out at an early stage, as an addition that contravenes planning regulations may need to be taken down – at your expense!

Is it Really Cost-Effective?

This depends on where your house is and how much you want to remain in it. When you factor in the cost of the remodelling – ask a few local companies for quotes so you can get an idea – and then compare it to the cost of selling and buying (and the stress that comes with moving house) most people prefer to stay put and add the room they need, and a professional addition will add value to the house.

Where Do I Find a Good Builder?

First stop is your local town or city’s Builder’s Association; you may find it under another name, but it will be a council in which all local reputable builders are members. Ask around friends and neighbors who have had similar work done, pick a couple who have good reviews, and ask them for quotes – and then you’re ready to go! If you are in the Union County New Jersey area give us a call at Office: 908-206-9500 or email us at


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