We have checked the zoning requirements and necessary easements etc. and it appears that the plans are OK from the cities perspective.

The goal is to increase the living space in the home to 5 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms and add a family room without giving up any of the already small yard.  So the only choice is to go up or down.  There arent many basements in the area – and many 2nd stories so up seems like the best choice.  There are many homes nearby that have the same floor plan and have had 2nd stories added.  This is a big benefit because we can see first hand inside and out how the space works, where windows, stairs are placed etc.


Here is the first one that we reviewed.

The appearance of the 2nd story is very nice – fits in with the neighborhood.  The 1 problem and 1 potential problem RemodelOrMove.com: Contractor Selection Workbookof this design is the location of the stairs and the cost.  This design has the 2nd story sitting far back on the house which requires the stairs to be located either in the living room or kitchen/dining room.  Our clients don’t like either of the options. 

The other potential problem is the width.  By setting the 2nd story farther back the only way to get the size is to make it wider.  Zoning limits how wide the 2nd story can be – plus there are no bearing walls where the 2nd story walls are – which makes construction of the 2nd story that much more expensive.

The solution to this is to place the 2nd story so that it is close to bearing walls on all 4 sides. This can be done by placing the front wall closer to the street, the back wall flush with the back of the home and the sides within a few feet of existing bearing walls.

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