Want to Add a Third Floor to Your Home? Here are Things You Should Know First

Want to Add a Third Floor to Your Home? Here are Things You Should Know First

Adding another level to your house necessitates several heavy-duty renovations. If you're planning to upgrade your home a new floor to the structure, you must understand that there a lot of factors that you need to consider first before setting up to expand your living space vertically. Some homeowners want to add square footage to their existing house, the choice to build out isn't always practical due to smaller lot sizes and other physical restrictions.

The good news is, there is another option that you can do. You may build up your home instead! Many homeowners are choosing to add additional square footage by converting an attic into living space or by constructing a third-floor addition on top of their existing home. Here are the top things you should know before adding a third floor in your home.

Impact on the Structure

Before starting the entire process of constructing a brand new floor, you must allow your architect and builder/contractor to inspect the ground and the existing structure to determine whether or not they both can withstand a new structure on top. Building a new structure means more pressure and weight on the ground as well as on the existing structure.

You also need to know if it's possible or not to construct a staircase in the existing structure that could take you to the new floor.

Zoning Rules

Zoning by-laws limit the height of addition and moderate possible building options. With zoning rules, they will regulate roof lines and setback from property lines, which may have an impact on the design of the third storey addition.

If they claim that the addition doesn't adhere to the regulations, a minor zoning variance can be acquired through your local city's Committee of Adjustment; but this is a long application and approval process, together with associated costs.

Have a Draft Design

After the home inspection and once the structure is approved of withstanding a new floor, it's time to sit with your home builder or architect to determine the design of the property. You need to allow them to share their thoughts about the possibilities in the design of the new floor. You may do your part while they are at work by identifying the:

  • The ceiling height of the new floor

  • Extended outside space

  • Ways to increase the flow of natural air and light

  • Be involved in the process, ask questions, and provide suggestions.

Assess Your Home's Structure

Your current house requires to be assessed to make sure that it can support a third-floor addition. This structural assessment will include the foundation such as walls and footings and the main to second-floor walls. Furthermore, the soil below the foundation may need to be assessed for space to support the additional weight.

Consideration for the Mechanics

You need to take a closer look at your existing home's mechanical systems enough to support additional living space. If your existing furnaces have difficulty heating and cooling the 2nd floor, how do you think it will maintain your additional 3rd floor? How will you heat, plumb, and electrical be connected to the existing home?

When it comes to mechanics, you need to address special considerations to the heating and cooling system. If your home is not properly insulated and equipped with appropriate temperature zone controls, third floors can be extremely warm in the summer and very cold in the winter. In other cases, a committed HVAC system, distinct from the rest of the home, may be needed.

Determine the FSI

Floor space index (FSI) is the ratio of the area of floor to the area of the plot on which a building is established. FSI is crucial because before you add another floor, you must know the permitted floor space index of your locality. You must check on the allowable FSI and check whether or not you can add that floor you are planning. For example, if the allowable FSI is 3, the ratio of the area of the floor to the area of the plot would be 3. This means that the floor area of a building built on a 1,000 sq ft land must not exceed 3,000 sq ft.

Moving Out and Staying In Considerations

Before constructing a new floor, you need to know that there would be a time that you would need to move out during the construction process. Try to check if there's a possibility of replacing the roof the house with new flooring. Plus, the contractor will need to turn off the amenities at a specified point to relieve the construction process. Lastly, you don't like to deal with continuous dust and fumes throughout the process.

Entire Look

When adding a third floor, it should not look like it doesn't belong to the entire house. Make sure that your architect provides the new floor with a look that is similar to the floors below of it. The exterior of the house should be painted with the same colour to give it a single-entity look. But don't forget that might require you to provide a bit of makeover to the existing floor also.

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