(612) 861-0188
Sylvestre Construction Inc.
Sylvestre Construction, Inc.
7708 5th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55423
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September 2015

Small Lot? Big Plans? No Worries!

If your home is on a small lot but you really need more living space, don't despair. You might not be able to add on and spread out, but things are looking up when you consider a second-story addition to your home. We're not talking about just an attic conversion, but building an additional, brand new level of prime living space on top of your existing home.

Perhaps you just want to add one or two rooms over part of your home to make a private master suite, home office or bedrooms for the kids. Maybe you need lots more space so you want to add a new level over your entire home. You could move all the bedrooms from the first level to the new level, opening up tremendous options for how you can use your main floor. Just think about the possibilities!

Home remodeling - before Home remodeling - after
Before  After 

Plan a second story home addition carefully

All home addition projects should be planned and engineered carefully, but adding additional levels to an existing home requires special expertise. Generally, the lower levels must be evaluated to make sure they can adequately support the upper levels and how you plan to use the new levels. In some cases, additional structural elements will need to be added to the existing home. If you plan on using the new level in a way that will put unusual loads on the floor, make sure the architect knows this. What might be considered an "unusual" load? A large spa tub, a safe, a heavy pool table, or heavy exercise equipment fall into this category. All of these can be accommodated on upper levels of your home, if the new levels are designed and engineered properly.

Make it beautiful, inside and out

You always want an addition to look good with the exterior of the rest of your home. Second and third story additions are no different. When adding levels to a home, they shouldn't appear just stuck on. There are many opportunities to make the newly remodeled home look great, sometimes in a style similar to before the addition and sometimes in a way that makes the home look totally different. Imagine transforming a single-level, "plain vanilla" ranch into a two-story Craftsman-style home.

How do I know if I can add more levels to my home?

The major factors that determine if it is possible to add more levels to your home are the design and construction of your existing home and zoning/building regulations. Sometimes environmental regulations will apply as well. Being experts in our area's regulations relating to zoning and building, we can help you determine if your home is a good candidate for adding another level. Just contact us and we can discuss the exciting possibilities.

Maintenance Tip: Inspect and Repair Weatherstripping and Caulk

If your home has air leaks around the windows and doors, you're wasting money on energy costs. Dried-out weatherstripping and caulk aren't doing their job, so have your doors and windows checked for gaps and cracks that cause drafts. Getting them sealed up can save up to 10% on your annual energy bill and can make your home more comfortable year-round.

A clear Manitoba lake.  

What's the Story

We have talked about lowering basement floors, expanding on the first level, and now second story additions. Over the years, we have raised the second floor on a number of homes and provided many bathrooms and additional bedrooms. This is a great way to add usable living space to your home. Amazing as It seems, winter is almost a better time to take off your roof. One of the greatest challenges in a second floor remodeling is keeping water out while you frame the new roof and in the winter, it's "almost" easier to remove snow than keep out water.

With that said, there are a few tricks on remodeling second floors that can help you if you are thinking about adding space. Give me a call – I have a lot of stories to share.

The rocky shore of Lake Superior. Summer Sunset on Madeline Island.
My friend the Captain with a nice Manitoba Walleye. Native Brook Trout – size small.

As we head into the fall months, our days are getting shorter and it is amazing how dark it now is in the morning. August was a busy travel month and the second half of the month I was in Manitoba with my friends for our annual fishing trip. Let's just say lots of fishing and little catching.

Star Trails over Loon Lake, Lauren Post.  

Take a look at the stars/aurora borealis photo that Kate's daughter, Lauren took in late August at their northern Wisconsin cabin. Wow!!

Enjoy these late summer-early fall days. We will soon be talking of skiing!

John Sylvestre

Until next month,

John Sylvestre

Phone: 612-861-0188

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