how do i start planning a second story addition

my home is 1200sq i would like to add on a secound story of about 750sq.
one bedroom and a bath, and a livingroom.
  • February 27 2010 - Half Moon Bay
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Answers (8)

A little homework will go a long way.

I suggest that you go to the city and talk to them about what you want to do.

They will provide you with valuable information on basic set backs and how much you can build on your property and the city requirements in order to get a permit.

Order green building guidelines from http://www.builditgreen.org/guidelines--checklists/.  It guides you on making good material choices.
Some materials used in the construction contain formaldehyde and organic volatile compounds. You can create better indoor air quality if attention is paid in specifying the right materials.

Homeowners remodel for many reasons, ranging from adding a personal touch, to changing  dynamics of your family. Seeking advice from an architect will help in consciously remodeling your home for your lifestyle and take advantage of your site, as well as appreciating the value of the home.

Investment in design is a small percentage compared to the overall cost of construction. A well designed home may have a better flow, and may have a plan designed to take full advantage of every squarefoot that is constructed, the rooms and windows may be oriented to take advantage of natural lighting.

All the best on your new endeavour.
  • April 04 2010
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The first steps are Designs and Permits.

I would advise finding a company that you can sit down with and create a drawing.  This drawing is required to pull the permits for your addition.

Once the permits are pulled and your design is perfect, you can use that blueprint to receive estimates from contractors.

Most companies who design and compose drawings are design/build companies which means they'll build it for you as well as draw and pull permits. 
  
 However this is not the most effective route to take if you're trying to save money.  Once you have the plans and permits ready, you want MULTIPLE quotes from contractors.  The more the better.

If you need help finding contractors you can visit my website.

  • April 04 2010
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There are some excellent resources here on the Coastside to consult with in addition to an architect and general contractor who can guide you through the process of navigating the various jurisdictions, timelines, etc. that will need to be coordinated.  Your Realtor can give you reputable names.  Your Realtor can also discuss with you the cost/benefit issues related to remodeling or moving given your long term goals.
  • March 28 2010
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An architect is not a must. A qualified draftsman could draw up blueprints for you, but you should consider employing a structural engineer to look them over. Adding a second story to a home that was designed with one story in mind can be tricky. Often beams and piers mist be added to carry the additional load. This is where a engineer can be very helpful.
  • March 22 2010
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Half Moon Bay can be tricky - if you live in the city of Half Moon Bay - I agree with Raymond - go to the city.  If you live in one of the other areas including El Granada, Montara, Moss Beach - you are in un incorporated San Mateo County and will need to go to the county planning division in Redwood City.  I would highly recommend in also consulting with some local professionals.  Getting a second story approved here on the coast can be tricky.  If you need some trustworthy local professionals - let me know.
  • March 20 2010
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I am a General Contractor with 35 years experience and can help you out and save you money in the process.

First thing you need to do is go down to your local building department in Half Moon Bay and tell them exactly what you are planning to do.

All cities have a FAR, Floor Area Ratio.
You can only build a certain size house (addition) compared to the size of the square footage size of your lot.
They will have records of your property and let you know what you are allowed to build.

After you have this information, and it is allowable / approveable by your Building Department you are ready to go.

Second thing in line , you don't need an architect or a structural engineer at this point. Architects cost a lot of money because the have a degree, and you will be paying for their schooling.
All you need is a designer / draftsman.

They can draw a few pages for you to send out to General Contractors for "preliminary estimates".

When you get those estimates back you can decide if it is within your budget.
If it is , you can hire the designer / draftsman (not interior designer) of your choice and have them draw you a full set of plans, structurally engineered that you can interview General Contractors with .
Make sure they give you a complete line item estimate with every single detail of what is going into your job ( like my company does ) so you can compare apples to apples.

If you need any help with this please let us know.

  • March 03 2010
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Profile picture for wetdawgs
An architect and structural engineer are probably the place to start.   Not all houses easily take a second story.    You may also wish to check zoning regulations, some ban such additions.
  • February 28 2010
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Profile picture for Marika Realtor

You will need to start with a few important items:blue prints of the house (if available), conversation with the city represenative regarding zoning and restrictions, and of course - an architect.

  • February 28 2010
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