A common problem among homeowners is when their family hits a growth spurt. Out of nowhere your current house quickly shrinks before your eyes. Bedrooms become cramped, square footage is eaten up, and privacy becomes an impossibility. The first instinct is to shop for a new home, but when the size of your family booms, so does your spending. So, financially, a new house may be out of the question, making room for only one solution: expansion. Though ground level additions are easiest, neighboring homes may butt up against one another, allowing for minimal development. But limitations can sometimes create interesting resolutions, and many times the only option is building up with a second-story remodel often referred to as a “pop the top” remodel. Before you begin though, here are some crucial steps to going vertical with your home. Since this is a large renovation, it’s vital to build it step-by-step. It’s important to determine its initial size: do you want a full bath, a bedroom, or more? Then the first step is to ask for permission. Visit your local zoning office and see if you’re allowed to build an additional story. Have in mind an estimate of the total height since most codes hinge upon the vertical length of a structure from the grade to the top of the roof. Next, visit the recorder’s office to see if your particular subdivision allows for a two-level addition: a lot of developers put restrictions on this renovation and it will usually be on the deed. If a second-story remodel is permitted, the next step is contacting trained professionals. Get a hold of a few contractors, tell them what you want to accomplish, and see if they fit the bill.
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