calgar-custom-builders

How To Plan A Second Story Addition

Building a custom home in Calgary is a bigger challenge than most people realize – especially when adding a second story to your home. Careful planning is required, as one wrong misstep can delay or ruin your project. 


The planning itself isn’t simple. It requires time to oversee things, flexibility as things change, insight from professional Calgary custom home builders, and patience – lots of patience! 


But having a guide on how to proceed with your second story project can make a massive impact on its direction and outcome. 


This step-by-step breakdown can ensure that your second story project is a successful venture. 


6 Step Process for Custom Home Builders in Calgary 


Decide what you want the second story for

As with all complete home renovations in Calgary, you cannot function without having a foundation to build it. Not just in a literal sense, but in terms of having a concrete plan of what you want. Deciding on how you plan to use your second story will impact your whole project, from costs to materials. 


Do you plan to use it for more bedrooms and living quarters? Do you want to use it specifically for entertainment purposes? Some people add a full second story to their home, while others might add a partial addition. What option is best for you? 


Take the time to consider why you want a second story and how it can benefit your lifestyle. It’s the hardest yet most important decision you’ll have to make. 


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Design your rough plans

Stretch out rough plans of what you want your second story to look like, including main rooms, bathrooms and spaces in-between. You don’t need to be an artist or professional to do this. But having a basic outline can help you going forward with your design. 


It should be essential to note that a second story addition does more than creating more space. It demands that you put more thought into the rest of the house, so consider how it will impact your home as a complete unit. 


Hold onto your plans, as you’ll need them when speaking to a professional. 


Get finer details from your Calgary home renovation company 

With plans in place, it is time to speak and get valuable information from a reliable, experienced and successful home renovations company in Calgary


With your rough design plans, your contractors will be able to take care of your plans’ finer details based on understanding what you want. Having a trusted team of renovators overlook your project can go a long way to ensuring it proceeds as planned. You might have missed something important, didn’t consider particular costs or details, or discovered something you wanted. 


That’s why it’s always best to get an expert pair of eyes on your plans. 


Check the foundation and structure

Your home’s foundation and framing might only be structured to support a certain amount of weight. Therefore, increasing the load might put undue stress on the foundations and frame, resulting in significant future problems, such as your home faltering or extensive work required on the foundation. 


It’s crucial to have a home inspector or contractor examine the current foundation and structure to determine what reinforcements need to be done to support a second story. It’s more cost-effective to do the structural work all at once than to go back and add to it in the future.


Get approval from your neighbourhood 

It’s time to notify your neighbours about your plans. Remember, some people might reject your proposal to expand the home, so you have to be prepared to debate your cause. 


Depending on where you live, you’ll also have to follow the area’s style and decor to ensure your home flows with the rest of the neighbourhood. 


Council Permits & Applications

You will have to receive approval from the City of Calgary to build your second story. You will have to apply and submit several applications detailing your project and how you plan to organize it. It can take weeks to hear back, so be patient when it comes to it. 


Remember, if you need assistance with your applications, the experts at Ultimate Renovations can assist you with this process. 


Once the applications have been approved, you can speak with your Calgary home renovation company and set a start date for development! Good luck! 




Ultimate Homes & Renovations is Calgary’s only 10- time “Renovator of the Year”. Our mission is to bring your home to life. For over 40 years, we have established ourselves as the industry’s elite team of contractors for complete home renovations in Calgary and Edmonton. Our quality craftsmanship, superior customer service and our ability to exceed expectations are how we have established ourselves as the renovator of choice for homeowners. Contact us at (403)-287-3122 (Calgary) or (780)-430-6441 (Edmonton). 

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