Adding a second level on home


Can someone tell me how much this generally costs? I have a ranch that I would like to renovate by adding a second floor. Is there a way to estimate it per square foot? What hidden costs are there (such as architect fees, permit fees, and etc.)? Thanks.
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About the same as 2 or 3 new cars.
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Could be even more!
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When you say a "truss roof" will be much worse than a regular home, what does that mean? If you have a truss roof system, is it not possible to add a second story? If it is possible, does it cost twice as much as if you have a "regular home"?
I'm interested in this discussion, as we are trying to figure out if we should add a second floor to our ranch house, or add on to the side/back. Our main issue for wanting to "go up" is to get a "view".
Cathy
snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

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Be VERY careful about this. Many downsides:
1/ Where will you live during construction? (What if the contractor(s) is late in completion?) 2/ Storage costs and transportation costs for your belongings. 3/ Your floor plan will be compromised; perhaps severely. 4/ You might overload the existing structure and footings. 5/ Have you sketched the elevation views? (They might not be to your liking). 6/ Code requirements? Neighborhood covenants? (Potential lawsuits?)
It has been done successfully, but is a very non-trivial project. Be careful and cautious. I went through this years ago and quickly decided to move. Good luck, in any case.
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Excellent advice. We were in the same place not long ago. There was no easy way to add on to our house, so it was either a second story or add a basement. (the house had neither) Adding a second story was out of the question, not only from a cost standpoint, but the footings would not have handled the extra load. We seriously looked into putting a basement under it. We almost did it, but the housemover wanted $12,000 to lift the house 36" and set it back down AND I had to do all the work. Work meaning get everything ready for the lift - he only lifts the house and nothing more.
In the end, it was less hassle to build a new house with basement - which is what we ended up doing.

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On Tue, 13 Mar 2007 21:06:24 -0500, "J.A. Michel"

If you make the second story bigger than the lower one, you can support it on posts that are completely independant of the first floor foundations. This will not, of course, look like any other house in the neighborhood, so it takes a fair amount of self-confidence.
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| Can someone tell me how much this generally costs? I have a ranch | that I would like to renovate by adding a second floor. Is there a | way to estimate it per square foot? What hidden costs are there (such | as architect fees, permit fees, and etc.)? Thanks. |
on average it would be $150 per sq. ft. in Massachusetts anyway.
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I can't help with the costs, except to state that they will be *way* higher than first anticipated :-) I am just finishing up this same type of project on my house. In my case I only expanded the back third of the house into a two story portion, although I completely razed the existing hip roof structure on the remaining part and rebuilt with a much higher pitched gable roof to look better against the new two story part. So my house now has a split level look.
In addition to all the good comments, I might add one more that may not be obvious. Your present ceiling joists will not work at all for the floor structure for the second story. So the entire ceiling structure will have to come off in addition to the present roof. In other words, for a while you will be living in a house with just walls, nothing on top but the sky. You could leave the old ceiling structure in place and add new joists on top, but that raises the height of everything.
--
Dennis


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When you say "way higher", are you referencing the "bids" you received vs. the actual cost in the end?
Can you post some pictures of the before/after? Do you have a website possibly?
I currently live in a 1980's ranch house with a hip roof (and the roof is truss). We'd like to maintain the hip roof look with wide overhangs (kind of Frank Lloyd Wright Prairie Style) with placing a second story over part of the ranch (set back from all sides - second story would not line up with outside walls). What we have been unable to determine is if it's even possible, or if it's just alot of money.
The last builder we talked to (who has done second story additions) would not even give us a ballpark figure, basically came back with a different floor plan that added a garage with a room over it, and then expanded out the first floor. All he would say is that it would be ALOT of money.... Is alot of money $100K, $200K, $500K????
Anything you can share from your experience would be greatly appreciated.
Cathy
DT wrote:

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OK, I put up a few pictures. My case will be much different from yours. Except for the original demolition and rough framing, I did everything myself, single handed, from trenching over 200 feet of sewer lines, installing the plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, roofing, siding, even carrying 40 sheets of drywall upstairs and around the corner! It's just the way I like to do things, and I have the background to do it. I retired last year and this was my hobby for quite awhile to ease myself into retirement. I'm a retired engineer so I do all my own designs, calculations, and blueprints (by hand, no cad program) with one professional sign-off on a non-standard part of my roof framing.
For the demo and rough framing I had help from my son and one or two day laborers as required. I used them for only about a week, by that time we were dried in. My city has very strict building requirements, a full schedule of inspections covering 22 areas was required. Plus, since it was an extensive remodel, the entire house had to come up to code including meeting the strict Model Energy Code for energy efficiency. I passed every inspection the first time except for one change that had to be made to the existing portion of the waste system.
My original house was a 80 year old cottage that was added onto twice in its life. It had a ugly roof line, the original hip roof and two very shallow pitched additions. It had three layers of siding - the original Dutch lap, Insulbrick from the 1940's, and finally cedar wall shingles. I removed the outer two layers and resided with vinyl Dutch lap siding. Total size was 1060 square feet. The inside is nice, I've been remodeling for 15 years, Corian kitchen, vaulted pine ceilings.
We inspected the original footers to make sure they would carry a two story load, they were up to code in width. A bit more shallow then is now code in my area, but no heaving in 80 years. To begin with I added a 4 foot wide foundation to accommodate the stairway.
Then we tore down the back third of the house, a 24 x 13 foot section. We took it down all the way to the block foundation, since the walls needed to match the height of the remaining structure and it was simply better to start over from scratch. Framed the new walls, which are now 28 x 13 because of the width of the new stairway. Framed the second story, 28 x 14 feet (one foot overhang to accommodate the length of the stairway). Then tore off the complete roof structure of the remainder of the home, 30 x 25 feet. Framed the new roof structure - quickly! We lived under a giant blue tarp for a few days until dried in.
Then I just started in one job at a time. As you can see, I added a 54 foot long porch around two sides, with a Trex deck with fluted columns. The upstairs addition is a master bedroom suite, of 400 square feet. Bamboo hardwood flooring for the bedroom, all marble bathroom with heated floors. All old windows were replaced with LowE argon filled units, except for a few that I had already changed. The walls are insulated to R 16 , the ceilings to R 30. This is in northern Ohio, my gas bills this winter were no higher than before the 40% increase in area.
The final home size is 1514 square feet, up from the original 1060, plus the 54' x 6' porch.
Costs were very reasonable since I did it all myself. My draft budget was $25,000, I came in at around $35,000. Yeah, a 40% overrun! Although I have built several garages and small structures, there were lots of things I overlooked on a more complex project.
Here are some pictures. Now, I'm no architect, but I like it and everyone that hasn't been over in awhile thinks they are at the wrong address! I forgot to take pictures before we started. In the before shot' the old porch has been removed and all the nice shrubs and bushes are gone, it wasn't as plain looking as it seems. This summer I'll do the garage to match.
http://home.wideopenwest.com/~dthompson4389/remodel01.jpg
http://home.wideopenwest.com/~dthompson4389/houseoutside01.jpg
http://home.wideopenwest.com/~dthompson4389/houseoutside02.jpg
http://home.wideopenwest.com/~dthompson4389/houseoutside03.jpg
-- Dennis
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says...

Very nice, looks great. Forgive me if I don't show it to my wife though :)
PV
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Or as a response to get a better view of the water..... which is why we are interested in adding a second story to our ranch house.
Cathy
Goedjn wrote:

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OK, that is a different scenario that leaves a lot of options. If the house cannot take a full second story, it may be possible to bump out one section and add some sort of sitting area. Visualize a dormer type of thing, perhaps with some protrusion over the side with outside supports or columns.
Spiral staircase to a love nest!
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Andrew Duane wrote:

Can you not beef up the foundation possibly? We have a crawl space, and I was thinking that you should be able to add more piers to handle the additional weight. Or is that wishful thinking?
They also need to see if the bearing walls

What if you want to only place a second floor over a portion of the ranch house? Could you build piers/foundation to handle only that portion of the house, and leave the remaining foundation as is?

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