By: Kevin Ahern on February 4th, 2022
What you need to know when building a second story addition in Connecticut
The real estate market in Connecticut is tight! Unless you've got money in the bank to make a cash offer on a house, buying the house you want may be difficult or even impossible.
If you need more space and buying a home isn't working, a second story addition in Connecticut may be the best option. Second story additions provide room to grow and allow you to stay in the house where you live right now.
There's a lot to know before you get started on this kind of project. Second story additions are disruptive to normal life and take time to complete. When the work is done, your house will look like an all-new home.
Second story additions can improve your home's value and allow your family to stay in the school district and neighborhood that you've come to love.
Do Second Story Additions Look Natural When Finished?
Your second story addition should look like it belongs on your house when it's finished. Very likely, the siding on your home will need to be replaced as the job nears its completion. With new siding on your home, the second floor should look like it was on your house from the start.
Not all second story additions cover the full footprint of the house, but even partial second story additions can be made to look like a natural part of your home's structure.
For best and most attractive results, work with a contractor with experience performing this kind of building project. The more experienced your contractor and their designer is, the more professional and attractive the results will be.
What Should You Know About the Permits?
Your second story addition must be permitted. Unpermitted work could significantly devalue your home and could be caught by city officials midway through the project construction. Permit costs vary depending on where you live (link to permitting article about permitting costs). Your residential contractor will likely build the cost of the permit into the proposal and will get the permit for you.
Does a Second Story Addition Increase Home Value?
Adding space will likely increase your home's value. Just how much your home's value will go up depends on what kind of space is being added.
Home value tends to go up most when a bedroom is added. If you’re also adding a second bathroom to a one-bathroom house, you can expect a sharp increase from that as well.
How Can You Be Prepared?
A typical second story addition will require you to move out of your house while the work is being done. The best way to be prepared for this kind of disruption is to work with a quality residential contractor with experience and good customer service. Your contractor can help smooth the way through good communication and proper planning. A good contractor will provide a solid timeline so you can plan your move out and return. When hiring a contractor:
- Check references. Hire a contractor with good references. Ask references questions such as: when did you hire this contractor? Would you work with this contractor again? What kind of work did the contractor perform?
- Check the license, credentials, and affiliations. Contractors need to be licensed in the state of Connecticut in order to do this kind of work. You can check the license through the state's website. The most reputable contractors will also have affiliations with professional organizations and may have special certifications.
- Vet multiple contractors. Meet with at least three contractors before settling on the best contractor for your job. Vetting multiple contractors will help you find a professional that really meets your needs.
- Don't prioritize price. Although it's important to hire a contractor you can afford, the lowest cost contractor may not be the best contractor for your job. Contractors that underbid the competition may be hiring inexperienced workers or cutting costs on materials. The best quality contractors will charge a fair and reasonable price for the work performed.
Does the Foundation Need to Be Retrofitted for the Extra Weight?
Most homes are designed to hold the weight of a second story without any kind of retrofitting. Your contractor will let you know if your home needs any special repairs or retrofitting before performing this kind of addition.
How Much Does a Second Story Addition In Connecticut Cost?
Every second story addition varies in cost. How much you spend on your addition will depend on how big it is, where your house is located, which contractor you hire, which features and fixtures are important to you, and so on.
Plan on spending about $250 per square foot - give or take. When you're estimating the cost, remember to consider the affected square footage. Second story additions require a staircase to be added to the first floor, which may then require a portion of the first floor to be remodeled. This affected square footage on the first floor should be taken into consideration.
The best way to find out how much your second story addition will cost is to talk to contractors. Vetting multiple contractors will help you determine what is a reasonable cost for your project, and will make it easier to identify bids that are way above or below the normal expected range for your project.
How to Get Started
If you're considering a second story addition in Connecticut, get started by contacting reputable and experienced contractors in your area. Finding a contractor can be a big task. Litchfield Builders provides a free download to use as a resource when you're choosing a residential contractor for your job.
About Kevin Ahern
Kevin is the Co-Founder of Litchfield Builders, an award-winning, industry leader with a reputation for managing projects others shy away from. They are known for their high-quality work, customer service, and reliability and though still relatively small in size, Litchfield Builders now competes with some of the areas largest firms in both the residential and commercial arenas.