Second-Story Additions With the Help of Structural Engineering

When you are ready to add more space to your home, an addition is a project you want to start planning for. This is a problem if there is not enough land or you want to preserve existing outdoor space. Therefore, you will need a structural engineer's help to design a second-story addition and build your home upwards. The following second-story home addition information will help you work with an engineering service to plan your project:

Meet With a Structural Engineer

The first step in planning is meeting with the structural engineer. There are some points of the project that you will want to discuss with the engineering service, including:

  • Structural changes for a new floorplan
  • Upstairs floor plan
  • Changes to the roof structure
  • Additions outside of the existing foundation footprint

The structural engineering service can help with the planning stage and developing accurate drawings for your second-story addition.

Plan Existing Spaces and Access to New Areas

There is also planning that needs to be done for the existing spaces. This should start with the planning to access the second floor of your home. Therefore, a stairwell needs to be built somewhere. This can be done by taking from existing space, or a small exterior addition can be added to give you access to the additional area. Another option to consider is moving bedrooms to the second-story. This will give you more space to design a new kitchen and main living space for your home.

Changing Structural Footings

When you are making major changes to a structure, the loads need to be carried by the foundation's footing beams. Therefore, you may need to have some foundation work done to support the new structural design. The structural engineering service can help design these features and tell you exactly what needs to be done to the foundation to support the new addition.

Carrying Structural Loads for Upstairs Floor Plans

In addition to the structural footing beams, there may be some changes that need to be made to the framing of your home. Some of the changes that a structural engineer may recommend to support the addition include:

  • Installing engineered beams to support loads
  • Adding structural columns to support new loads
  • Adding structural steel features for an open-concept design

The planning of structural support for the second floor and roof loads is an important part of these types of home addition projects. Good planning will prevent damage and ensure your home is structurally sound when the addition has been completed.

There are benefits to doing a second-story addition, but it needs to be a well-planned design. If you want to start planning your home addition, contact a structural engineering service to help plan your home's new design.


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