The Artisan Contracting Blog

Should I Add a Second Storey Addition or Dig Out the Basement?

Second Storey Addition or Dig Out the Basement

Most homeowners at some point, decide that they would like to have more room in their home. But say you love your current location and don’t want to move. To get the space you want, some renovations are in order. If the size of your property prevents you from building out, your options are to go up or down. So what do you do? Do you add another storey to your home or dig out your basement?

Unless you enjoy living in the dark, adding an additional storey to your home is usually the better of the two options. Of course, every situation is unique and a lot will depend on your personal preferences and what you intend to do with the extra space.

When does digging out the basement make more sense?

As noted, any living space created in the basement is going to have less light than a space created above ground. But then, maybe you want less light. Perhaps you have chosen to put in a home theatre, or a rec room for the guys to come over and enjoy a beverage and watch the game. In this case, adding more ceiling height so that you can better enjoy your basement could be a good option.

If you do choose to dig down rather than build up remember that it is no small project. Your house will need to be underpinned, and due to the amount of work involved, this option can be more expensive than building up.

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When does adding a second storey make more sense?

Adding a second storey makes sense in other scenarios. For example, say you have a growing family and you want to add more bedrooms. Or perhaps you would like to add a guest room or home office. Building up rather than down is not only going to give you more light, but it will also provide a nicer environment overall.

Even with the best waterproofing, basements can still be damp at times, so they do not make for the best living spaces.  You will also run the added risk of basement floods from heavy storms, or snowmelt.

Adding a second floor to your home can be a great way to get the extra space you want, but there are some things to consider before you do so. For starters, you will need to check the building code in your area to make sure that it is permissible. Secondly, you’ll need to make sure that the foundation is sound enough to handle the additional load. If it is not, it will have to be reinforced. Even if you do have to have the foundation reinforced, however, adding a second-floor addition is often less costly than building a ground level addition because your contractor won’t have to dig a new foundation.

As stated earlier, whether you decide to go up or down is going to depend on a number of factors, but in our view going up is most often the best choice. For more information about adding a second storey to your home or to get a free estimate, contact Artisan Contracting today.

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