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Taking Things To The Next Level

As the population continues to grow and the populace of urban centres increases, land has become one of the nation’s most precious commodities. With large plots of land becoming a scarcity in metropolitan areas, capitalising on what little space is available can be an effective way to drastically improve your quality of life with very few downsides. Here, Emma Warner Allen discusses the benefits of adding an additional storey to your home and how you can utilise this newfound space to your advantage.

Image Credit: Home Builders Advantage

BOTH SIDES OF THE STOREY

There is a myriad of reasons that each tip the balance further in favour of multi-storey homes compared to single-storey dwellings. Many urban dwellings are not blessed with a commodious square footage, so adding an additional storey can afford you more space within your home without ‘borrowing’ space from your garden. This is also an excellent way to create space that was previously not afforded to your home without having to knockdown and rebuild or relocate.

Often when contemplating renovations, homeowners overlook the addition of a second storey in favour of keeping their feet firmly planted on the ground as often they favour expanding outwards instead of upwards. However, in doing the former, you are sacrificing what little space is already available to you. Another deterrent is the misguided belief that all second storey additions will be exorbitantly expensive compared with a ground floor extension, yet often this is not the case. Accounting for the costs incurred to remove the existing roof covering and framework as well as putting down joists and a new sub-floor, adding a second storey will be similarly priced to an extension that, likewise, has ‘hidden’ costs such as excavation, formwork, and concrete costs – to name a few.

Image Credit: Home Builders Advantage

CLIMBING THE RANKS

Whether you are looking to build a new multi-storey home, or add an additional floor to your existing home, there are benefits and drawbacks to each approach. Starting from scratch has the obvious benefit of beginning with a completely clean slate from which you can bring to life your wildest dreams. By doing this, you are also forgoing any technical or structural issues that may be present when attempting to renovate an older home. However, an existing home may already hold many precious memories and renovating can breathe new life into your abode without losing any of its charm and character.

Image Credit: Home Builders Advantage
If you are seeking to renovate an existing home, a structural engineer or a similarly qualified professional will need to assess whether your home’s foundations are strong enough to support an additional storey or if additional reinforcements will need to be made beforehand. If you are seeking to renovate a heritage home, considerations will also need to be given to the stringent restrictions that govern what work can be done – typically the façade of the home must remain the same, meaning an additional storey will have to occupy the space above the rear half of the property.

SEEING DOUBLE

If you are converting your single storey home into a double-storey dwelling, you may find that the configuration of your floorplan will need to be updated. With additional rooms present up above, certain rooms that were present on the ground floor may now have been rendered redundant and a better use of space could be implemented by reworking your home. Often people want to expand the home by implementing additional bedrooms and bathrooms, and it is always nice to have the bedrooms on an upper level which acts as a distinct separation from the living areas of your home – creating a sense of tranquillity and calm upstairs, which is ideal when trying to unwind and get a good night’s sleep.

If you do add an additional floor, why not utilise more of the great outdoors by including a balcony? Raising the roof of your home also means that you will be subject to better views, so including an alfresco area is the perfect way to capitalise on those vistas and sit back and relax. However, adding a balcony may be subject to extra regulations regarding overlooking requirements to maintain your neighbour’s privacy.

RAISE THE ROOF

While you’re already adding an additional storey, why not consider going all the way by including a roof terrace to your property? As with the addition of a balcony, these may be subject to regulations to ensure you are not looking into your neighbour’s private spaces and habitable rooms of an existing dwelling. Bear in mind that a roof garden capitalises on a further storey and will reap the benefits of an even greater field of vision – making it a particularly appealing option for those built into a hill or overlooking water.

You can even landscape your roof terrace to create a luscious tropical hideaway. The addition of greenery can help your roof be a more efficient use of energy – providing excellent thermal and auditory insulation. As concrete absorbs and retains heat faster than its natural surrounds, a green rooftop garden is an excellent way to beat the heat during the scorching summer months. Additionally, it grants you more outdoor areas which you can use for gardening and landscaping.

Having said this, considerable structural support will need to be given to a roof terrace – particularly one that will be supporting plant life. Therefore, it is best to talk to the professionals and get a quote. Remember, while the roof terrace may be an expensive addition, it can help to reduce the running costs of the home by acting as a great thermal insulator – saving you money in the long run!

Overall, if you are seeking to expand your property’s footprint, adding an additional storey to your property should not be overlooked. Homeowners can reap the benefits of additional space without detracting from other aspects of your residence such as garden size. Be sure to discuss your plans with a licensed builder to see how best to utilise your space and gain the best advice from industry professionals.

Image Credit: Home Builders Advantage
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