There are many reasons to consider a 2nd story addition over moving. If you love your home and its location, it makes more sense to move on up instead of on out.

Before undertaking a 2nd story addition project, here are 4 key things you need to know.

a 2 story home

 4 Things to Know Before Tackling a 2nd Story Addition

1. Scope Out Size and Needs

interior of a 2nd story bedroom

Before diving into the specifics, it’s important to identify what is a need vs. what is a want for your second story addition. First: what’s the primary goal? For most, it’s to add bedrooms and bathrooms for a growing family. Consider your general goals, is it…

  • To make your home feel less cramped?
  • To add an owner’s suite?
  • To add bedroom(s) for existing family members?
  • To add bedroom(s) for future family members? 
  • To add bedroom(s) for guests?
  • To add a loft space?

From here, you can scope out your absolute must-haves and size requirements. For example, if you have a specific goal of adding 2 bedrooms and one bath to allow space for existing family members, then what are the ideal sizes? Will that work with your existing foundation, or will you have to extend to accommodate? Is a bathroom a non-negotiable or a nice-to-have?

You don’t necessarily need to have specific sizes nailed down, but it’s helpful for your planning to know generally what size room(s) you will need – are you looking at a 7’ x 10’ ish space, or a 20’ x 20’ ish space? 

interior of a 2nd story bathroom

2. Check Foundation

Checking your foundation is important prior to tackling a 2nd story addition. Many single-story homes can support another floor – but some homes can’t. If your home is very old or you’re planning on adding space above an addition done before the 1970s, it’s critical to consult with an experienced home remodeler to see if any foundation work is needed. 

Even if your home is newer, it’s good to research and ensure there won’t be foundation work needed. Our experienced home remodeling team at Titus can provide recommendations based on your home and the desired size of your addition. Schedule a free consultation to get started.

interior of a kitchen and living room area with view of the ceiling

3. Determine Method

Before you tackle a 2nd story addition, it’s helpful to know your options for construction. There are a few options for how to go about adding a 2nd story. The three most common are:

  • Build from scratch – Tear off the existing roof and build an entirely new upper level from scratch. 
  • Expand – This method expands an upper level onto an existing flat-top section of the home – like a garage or porch.
  • Add a dormer over an existing roof – opening up the existing roof to allow added floor space.

The right method for your build will depend on the style of your current home and the desired size of your second story addition. 

exterior of a home being remodeled in winter

4. Partner with a Professional for Design/Build

As you’ve probably realized – a 2nd story addition is a uniquely challenging home remodeling project to tackle. Structural engineering and careful planning is absolutely critical to ensure a safe, effective project. This is all without even scratching the surface of obtaining permits, electrical and plumbing, and other tactical elements that have to be done to ensure everything goes smoothly.

The best way to tackle a 2nd story addition is to partner with an experienced home remodeler who will work with you during the design and build process. The Titus Contracting team is filled with expert craftsmen, who are your advocates throughout the entire design and remodeling process. We take pride in our work from start to finish, and at the end of the project, you’ll have the perfect space for your family.

Call for a design consultation today at 952-746-7817 or contact us online for a project estimate.


a cover for the home remodeling guide from Titus ContractingFree Home Remodeling Guide:

Interior Designer, Architect, or Contractor: What’s the Difference and Why it Matters

If you’re planning a home renovation, you’ll need a licensed contractor in your corner.

Someone to bring your plans to life, handle necessary permits, and ensure everything’s up to code.

But do you need an interior designer for a home remodel?

What types of building projects require an architect?

Learn more about the role of a general contractor and what you can expect.

Get the Guide


Titus Contracting is a full-service remodeling company offering commercial and residential construction. We have an office in Burnsville, Minnesota and work throughout the Twin Cities.