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Posts Tagged ‘Room Additions ** Garage Conversions ** Kitchen Remodeling ** Bathroom Remodeling **’

Question of the Day: How Much is a Second-Floor Addition?

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If you have an older home, you may be cursed with a small amount of square footage. From the living room to the master bedroom, every space is filled with furniture and narrow walkways. But you can look up for a solution to a growing family or collectibles habit. Adding a second floor to your home is both advantageous and risky at the same time. You must invest considerable money into the design and buildout, but the final product nearly doubles your square footage in some cases.

Basic design and evaluation

Before any part of your home is disturbed, you must have a design plan created and approved by the proper authorities. Generally, you hire a structural engineer and architect. The engineer inspects the property to see if an addition is even possible. Weight on the existing home is considerable with any addition. Engineers cost $200 and up, depending on your region. The architect designs the addition once the engineer approves the structure. Architects charge $700 and into the thousands based on your design needs.

Do it yourself?

It’s impossible for one homeowner to add their own addition exclusively, but many projects are possible with sub-contractor help along the way. You could spend around $100 for each square foot with strategic DIY projects. For example, allow contractors to build out the second floor wall studs, but add the drywall yourself. It’s critical to have some construction experience if you attempt even some DIY work on the addition. If you aren’t sure about an installation process, find a good contractor instead.

Remodeling exterior pool house. Brock Builders Creative Commons.A home undergoing a major remodel. Photo by Atlas Green Homes .

Hiring a contractor

Bringing a trusted contractor into the project is the safest and most streamlined way to build a second floor. In general, your addition costs between $100 to $500 a square foot with contractors working the entire project. Your choice of design, materials, and even the weather influence these costs. Select a contractor with extensive experience in home additions. Unlike a basic paint job, adding significant weight to your home takes precision skills and consideration of architecture designs.

Those hidden costs

There’s always costs that arise as the project wears on. A wall redesign, for example, could be necessary to form a safe load-bearing section for the second floor. Different materials may need to be considered to reduce the addition’s weight after work begins. Be aware your property taxes will increase once the addition is finished since taxes are based primarily on square footage. The addition requires a reevaluation of the property.

Time factor

There is no way to factor in the cost of your time’s value. Second-floor additions are serious remodeling projects, often taking several months to complete. You may have to pay for a hotel or bunk with friends during certain portions of the project. Leaving work to oversee a particular project section may be necessary. It’s crucial to be flexible with these time factors during the project to ensure a safe addition for years of functional use.

Evaluate both your family’s needs and local selling features before embarking on a second floor addition project. You may simply need one bedroom with bath or an entire hallway of two or three rooms situated where your roof used to reside. Regardless of your addition’s size, work closely with a contractor to truly build a safe and functional space that lasts for generations.

7 Smart Strategies for Bathroom Remodeling from atlas green houston

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Here’s how to get the bathroom of your dreams without making your budget a nightmare.

A bathroom remodel is a solid investment, according to Remodeling Magazine’s annual Cost vs. Value Report. A $16,600 bath remodel will recoup about 64% of those costs when it’s time to sell your home, and a more extensive $53,800 job returns about 57%. In addition, you can maximize the value of your investment by using these smart strategies, which will create a stylish yet budget-friendly bathroom.

1. Stick to a plan

A bathroom remodel is no place for improvisation. Before ripping out the first tile, think hard about how you will use the space, what materials and fixtures you want, and how much you’re willing to spend.

The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) recommends spending up to six months evaluating and planning before beginning work. That way, you have a roadmap that will guide decisions, even the ones made under remodeling stress. Once work has begun—a process that averages 2 to 3 months—resist changing your mind. Work stoppages and alterations add costs. Some contractors include clauses in their contracts that specify premium prices for changing original plans.

If planning isn’t your strong suit, hire a designer. In addition to adding style and efficiency, a professional designer makes sure contractors and installers are scheduled in an orderly fashion. A pro charges $100 to $200 per hour, and spends 10 to 30 hours on a bathroom project.


2. Keep the same footprint

You can afford that Italian tile you love if you can live with the total square footage you already have.

Keeping the same footprint, and locating new plumbing fixtures near existing plumbing pipes, saves demolition and reconstruction dollars. You’ll also cut down on the dust and debris that make remodeling so hard to live with.

Make the most of the space you have. Glass doors on showers and tubs open up the area. A pedestal sink takes up less room than a vanity. If you miss the storage, replace a mirror with a deep medicine cabinet.

3. Make lighting a priority

Multiple shower heads and radiant heat floors are fabulous adds to a bathroom remodel. But few items make a bathroom more satisfying than lighting designed for everyday grooming. You can install lighting for a fraction of the cost of pricier amenities.

Well-designed bathroom task lighting surrounds vanity mirrors and eliminates shadows on faces: You look better already. The scheme includes two ceiling- or soffit-mounted fixtures with 60 to 75 watts each, and side fixtures or sconces providing at least 150 watts each, distributed vertically across 24 inches (to account for people of various heights). Four-bulb lighting fixtures work well for side lighting.

4. Clear the air

Bathroom ventilation systems may be out of sight, but they shouldn’t be out of mind during a bathroom remodel.

Bathroom ventilation is essential for removing excess humidity that fogs mirrors, makes bathroom floors slippery, and contributes to the growth of mildew and mold. Controlling mold and humidity is especially important for maintaining healthy indoor air quality and protecting the value of your home—mold remediation is expensive, and excess humidity can damage cabinets and painted finishes.

A bathroom vent and water closet fan should exhaust air to the outside—not simply to the space between ceiling joists. Better models have whisper-quiet exhaust fans and humidity-controlled switches that activate when a sensor detects excess moisture in the air.

5. Think storage

Bathroom storage is a challenge: By the time you’ve installed the toilet, shower, and sink, there’s often little space left to store towels, toilet paper, and hair and body products. Here are some ways to find storage in hidden places.

  • Think vertically: Upper wall space in a bathroom is often underused. Freestanding, multi-tiered shelf units designed to fit over toilet tanks turn unused wall area into found storage. Spaces between wall studs create attractive and useful niches for holding soaps and toiletries. Install shelves over towel bars to use blank wall space.
  • Think moveable: Inexpensive woven baskets set on the floor are stylish towel holders. A floor-stand coat rack holds wet towels, bath robes, and clothes.
  • Think utility: Adding a slide-out tray to vanity cabinet compartments provides full access to stored items and prevents lesser-used items from being lost or forgotten.

6. Contribute sweat equity

Shave labor costs by doing some work yourself. Tell your contractor which projects you’ll handle, so there are no misunderstandings later.

Some easy DIY projects:

  • Install window and baseboard trim; save $250.
  • Paint walls and trim, 200 sq.ft.; save $200.
  • Install towel bars and shelves; save $20 each.

7. Choose low-cost design for high visual impact


A “soft scheme” adds visual zest to your bathroom, but doesn’t create a one-of-a-kind look that might scare away future buyers.

Soft schemes employ neutral colors for permanent fixtures and surfaces, then add pizzazz with items that are easily changed, such as shower curtains, window treatments, towels, throw rugs, and wall colors. These relatively low-cost decorative touches provide tons of personality but are easy to redo whenever you want.


By: John Riha

Published: March 4, 2011

Building a Room Addition by Atlas Green Homes

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You can hire the services of an architect to prepare the estimates. To begin with, keep the costs as much low as possible. This will help you in scaling up the scope of expansion subsequently. Opt for basic level accessories and building material. Choosing expensive commodities could result in cost overrun. If the estimate turns out to be more than the budgeted mark, then ask the architect to reduce the costs without actually hurting the basic requirements. Always keep out the expenditure incurred for the accessories out of the home addition budgets. If you are falling short of funds, the addition of accessories can be postponed to a later date.

Another important aspect of home addition building relates to compliance of rules. Check out the rules and regulations laid out by the authorities concerned in New York City before embarking on home addition. As per rule, the property owner has to pay a certain fee to the local municipal before starting work on the home addition. The owner or remodeling contractor is also required to obtain all requisite clearances before starting the construction work. Care has to be taken to ensure that the home addition work does not disturb the neighborhood.

Once you prepare the master plan for home addition, freeze the design to enter the second phase. Identify a suitable contractor or professional specializing in home additions. Evaluate their work by checking with their past projects and clients. If you find this a difficult task, utilize the services of the architect in evaluating the jobs. However, at times, the architects themselves, will refer suitable candidates for the job. Besides, there are some agencies, which take up the entire house addition project from the beginning to the end. However, at every step, the property owner will be consulted. The architect agency will charge a lump some amount to execute the entire work. If yo are a professional engaged in a twelve hour job, it is suggested that you hand over the work of home addition to a professional firm. It will reduce your burden on various matters relating to preparing the estimates and purchasing the necessary materials.

When it comes to addition to the kitchen, keep a tight control on the budget. Since the kitchen accessories are costly, there are chances that you might over stretch the budgetary allocation. Be wise while spending on home addition.