The desire for extra home square footage is common, but many people are unwilling to give up their yard space. Instead of expanding outward, you should consider going up by adding another level to your home. A higher roof is a good solution for homes that have low ceilings. With the right contractor, this is not difficult to achieve, but you should be aware of what this involves.
A Higher Ceiling
A vaulted ceiling makes the interior of a home seem expansive, and gives it an airy feel. Raising the height of your roof is a technical process which requires strengthening existing walls from the base, and working upwards. You cannot simply add to the top of the wall, as this will be too weak to support the roof. If you take this approach, the contractor will have to add sheathing to cover the original wall and the added section. The best method is to put in new wall studs at the desired height for the new roof, right next to the original wall studs.
An upper Floor
This is a good way to increase your living space without commandeering some of the yard space. This step will make use of the original wall structure, with the addition of a new floor. Then new walls for the second floor will be added before the roof is put back in place. This does pose some structural challenges however. For example, the second floor will add a lot of extra weight to the existing walls and the foundation.
Some types of roofs can’t be tailored to accommodate vaulted ceilings. To start this process, it is necessary to take out the ceiling joists. Removing a roof to create a vaulted ceiling can be tricky, and reinforcing the framing is sometimes necessary to maintain structural strength. This process also involves rewiring, insulation and drywall work.
It goes without saying that the input of a structural engineer is useful for these types of modifications. In some cases, going up one floor is more cost effective than expanding the home outward. There will be no need to remove a section of an existing wall, so this is considered the more environmentally friendly method for getting extra living space. Additionally, you will still be able to enjoy your outdoors, and you can consider options like a deck and landscaping to enhance curb appeal.
Call our Maryland office at 410-877-6112 or our Delaware office at 302-793-9352 to schedule an appointment for a free consultation. We’ll help with the entire planning and design process and assist with the difficult decisions like materials and colors as well.