What is a Bump-Out Addition?

Creating more space inside your home is almost always a good idea, but how do you achieve that? Building a bump-out addition could be the exact thing you need to do.

Bump-out additions are typically considered minor construction projects. That said, they still offer considerable benefits to all homeowners.

Would it be wise for you to pour resources into building your own bump-out? Come up with your own answer to that question by continuing with the rest of this article.

What You Need to Know about Bump-Out Additions

Homeowners can build different types of additions to create more living space inside their properties. For example, you can convert certain underutilized parts of your home or build new rooms to obtain the space you need. If you want to free up a considerable amount of space, you can add a new story to your Long Island property.

But what if you only need a bit more space inside your home? Building a new room, let alone an additional story would be excessive in that context. In that scenario, your best option involves building a bump-out.

A bump-out addition is a budget-friendly way for homeowners to free up valuable space. Typically, bump-outs are not supposed to be big additions.

You can ask your contractor to build a bump-out that extends no further than two feet from the rest of your home. If you are building one that small, you can opt to give it a cantilevered design. Its durability will not be compromised even if you build it that way.

Alternatively, you can add more to your property. For example, build one as big as a room to do more with the available space.

Consult with a general contractor if you are having a tough time figuring out exactly what type of bump-out your home needs. Tell them about what you have in mind so they can provide useful feedback.

Why You Should Consider Building a Bump-Out

What can a bump-out do for your home? We will detail the different benefits they provide in the section below.

Bump-Outs Can Be in Various Spots

One of the main reasons why building a bump-out appeals to many homeowners is because they are adaptable home additions. They are especially adaptable because you can build them in various spots.

You can add bump-outs to a kitchen or a bathroom, and you can even build them upstairs if you like. As long as the space has an exterior wall you can open, a bump out can go there.

The adaptable nature of a bump-out addition comes in handy. So, before you conclude that there is no solution to your spacing problem, consider building a bump-out first.

Building a Bump-Out Is a Good Alternative to Remodeling

Once it becomes clear that the amount of space available inside a home is inadequate, it is not unusual for a homeowner to conclude that remodeling is the answer. You may already be evaluating your home and checking which walls you can remove.

There is certainly nothing wrong with pursuing a remodeling project. However, it is probably not the best course of action in your situation if you are only looking for a few square feet of extra space.

Instead of completely remodeling your home interior, you should look into building a bump-out.

A bump-out gives you the space you are seeking without necessitating any significant changes to the rest of your property. It is a great option to pursue if the issue you are dealing with is purely related to a lack of space.

Bump-Outs Will Not  Disrupt Your Home Design

Administering repairs to an older home may sometimes necessitate the introduction of a new design scheme. Otherwise, the repairs may disrupt the existing design and create something unsightly. Refreshing your home design will also likely be necessary if you plan to introduce some additions.

Or at least that would be the case for most types of home additions. Of course, you do not need to worry about that if you have decided to build a bump-out.

Bump-outs are small enough to easily integrate into your home’s design. From the outside, your home may appear slightly bigger, but that may be the most noticeable difference.

Building a bump-out is the right idea if you mostly maintain the current condition of your home while opening up a bit more room; they offer convenience that way.

Bump-Outs Do Not Require Utilities

Building a new addition can also become more complicated if you need to worry about utilities. You will likely need to run ductwork and wiring to properly integrate the new room into your home. If the new addition is going to be a bathroom, then you will need to add plumbing as well.

Those utilities also must work with your already established systems. A lot of work must ensure that your new addition fits into your new home.

You do not need to harbor those same concerns if you have decided on building a bump-out.

Bump-outs almost always do not need additional utilities. After you have added the bump-out, you can move things around so your appliances can go elsewhere. That way, you will not need to add wiring. You can do the same thing to eliminate the need for additional plumbing.

Adding ductwork is unnecessary since you can treat it as part of the room it connects with. It is a more convenient addition to build from that perspective as well.

Bump-Outs Provide Versatile Spaces

You are probably not getting a ton of space from a bump-out. Even so, you can use that extra space in numerous ways.

Turn that bump-out into a comfortable reading nook by adding a window and a platform for seating. You can also keep the space open to accommodate some of your kitchen appliances. Also, you can use the added space for storage if you are sorely lacking that inside your Long Island home.

You can continue tweaking the bump-out even after it is built if you have a different purpose in mind for it.

How Much Will It Cost to Build a Bump-Out Addition?

There is one more benefit to building a bump-out that we have not mentioned. Again, the benefit is related to cost.

Compared to other types of additions, bump-outs are significantly cheaper to build because they are usually smaller in size.

Per this article from HGTV, bump-outs can be up to 30% cheaper than a conventional home addition because they require no new foundation work and be positioned under existing roofing.

So, how much are they likely to cost?

The cost of building a bump-out addition ranges from $4,500 to $30,000. Several factors will play a role in the final price tag of your home’s bump-out. Let’s talk more about those cost factors below.

Bump-Out Size

First, we need to discuss the size of your bump-out as it will likely be one of the main cost factors in your project. Unsurprisingly, bump-outs become more expensive the bigger they get.

If you keep it to around 20 square feet, you can keep the cost to a minimum. At around 40 square feet, you are probably looking at a bill closer to $9,000. Building a bump-out that provides 90 square feet of space will cost about $20,000.

Consider how big you need the bump-out to be so you can keep your costs under control.

Structural Element

Although you do not need to add structural elements to support a small bump-out, you can still include them in the final design to create a more functional space.

In addition, you can add windows, so choose whichever style you like and use it to enhance the appearance. You can also add doors to make them more accessible.

Additional Flooring

The external appearance of your bump-out will likely combine seamlessly with the rest of your home. However, the same may not hold true for the bump-out flooring.

You will still need to work on that flooring if you want it to mix in with the rest of your design scheme. The cost of improving the bump-out flooring will depend on what you already have.

Design Elements

The cost of building your bump-out addition will also depend on how you want to decorate it.

At a minimum, you should paint the bump-out to match its surroundings. All the other design elements you can add are optional.

Examples of decorative elements you can add to the bump-out include molding and siding. You can explore other decorative options by talking to your contractor.

Additional Utilities

We mentioned earlier that bump-outs do not require utilities to serve their purpose. Unfortunately, that is the case, but you can still add those utilities if you desire.

You may be planning to rearrange your kitchen, but you can only realize your plan if you move the sink. You will need to add some new plumbing to complete your desired changes. Rearranging your outlets may also be necessary if you are planning a major remodel.

Bump-outs do not need utilities, but you can still install them if you wish. Doing so may finally allow you to build the home you have always wanted.

Building Permits

Lastly, you must account for the cost of acquiring a building permit while setting the budget for your new bump-out.

New York State requires residents to secure building permits before they begin work on their construction projects. You must submit different documents, including this form, to successfully obtain that permit.

If you do not have time to get the building permit, you can entrust this job to your contractor. They can also get the permit faster since they have more experience dealing with the relevant departments.

What Are the Ideal Spots for a Bump-Out?

Where should you build your bump-out addition? The current layout of your home and the look you want to achieve will determine that.

If you are still looking for ideas, we have detailed some suggestions below that should prove useful.

Along the Corner of Your Kitchen

A bump-out can be a perfect addition to your kitchen. Open up one corner of your kitchen and instantly turn that into a more useful part of your home.

You can also place a kitchen island in the bump-out. You can use the bump-out as a workstation or storage area by placing the kitchen island there.

An Unused Area in Your Bathroom

Having your own bathtub or sauna in your bathroom can vastly improve your quality of life. You can enjoy those features of your bathroom whenever you need to relax.

Unfortunately, most bathrooms are too small to accommodate those features. You can resolve that problem with the help of a bump-out. Add the bump-out to your bathroom and create the extra space you need.

Next to Your Closet

Do you want more closet space? If so, building a bump-out addition is well worth your time.

Even a small one can provide a considerable amount of closet space. You can create a more organized closet by opening it up.

Your Preferred Working Spot inside Your Garage

The garage often doubles as a workshop for many homeowners, even if it tends to be cramped. You can make your working area more comfortable by placing a bump-out there. Then, turn the bump-out into your workstation so you can take on more projects.

Are you planning to build your own bump-out addition? We at Long Island Home Advisors can help with that. Reach out to us today, so we can start drawing up plans for your new home addition!

How Much Does It Cost to Replace a Roof?

How Much Does Roof Replacement Cost in 2024? A Comprehensive Guide

Understanding the Average Roof Replacement Cost

The cost of replacing a roof is something all homeowners and home buyers should know. As roofs wear down over time, preparing for replacement is essential, especially if your Long Island New York home’s roof is getting older. Factors like roof cost, roof repair costs, and the cost of roof repair are crucial to understand.

What is the Average Roof Replacement Cost?

If you’re trying to gauge the cost of roof replacement, prices typically range from $5,500 to $31,000. This roof cost can vary widely depending on several factors. Knowing this helps you prepare for both simple and complex roofing jobs.

You will likely have to pay a substantial amount for roof replacement, but it becomes easier to digest when you consider the long-term benefits. The cost of a new roof may be high, but remember, installing a new roof costs vary based on several factors.

How Much Does a New Roof Cost?

Replacing your roof makes your home more comfortable. For example, a new roof can effectively address issues like excessive heat transfer. If you’re thinking about adding a second story to your New York home, you’ll probably need to replace your roof as well.

Second-guessing your decision after learning about the costs involved is understandable. Even so, given its benefits, you should feel comfortable making that investment. If you need a new roof, budgeting for a new roof should include all potential expenses.

Roof Replacement Cost Factors

Several factors determine the cost of replacing a roof. To understand how much your specific project will cost, you need to know more about these factors. Here are the four most common cost factors:

Cost of Roof Removal

Before installing a new roof over your New York home, let’s talk about removing your old roof. Sometimes, removing an old roof before installing a new one may not be necessary, especially if the original roof is in good condition. You can install your new roof over the old one.

However, if your original roof is in bad shape, layering is not an option. The cost for a roof replacement also includes removal fees, typically around $5 per square foot. Knowing the square footage of your roof can help you estimate these costs.

Some contractors bundle the cost of roof removal into the overall roof replacement cost. If your quote seems high, ask if roof removal is included.

Labor Costs in Roof Installation

Labor expenses significantly impact roof replacement costs. Homeowners can expect to pay about $5 per square foot for a new roof installation. The cost depends largely on the labor involved.

Contractors charge more to replace a roof because it takes longer and is more complex. Besides installing the new roof, they also remove debris from the site.

Consider hiring a general contractor to manage your project. A roofing contractor or general contractor can significantly affect the overall cost by ensuring the project stays on schedule and within budget.

Roof Size and Replacement Cost

The size of your roof directly impacts the replacement cost. For example, replacing a 1,000 square foot roof costs around $8,000, while a 2,000 square foot roof might cost $15,000. Using a cost calculator can help you get a cost estimate based on your roof’s square footage.

Roof Pitch and Installation Costs

Roof pitch, or the angle of your roof, is another critical factor. Steeper roofs can complicate replacement projects, requiring workers to be more cautious and install additional safety measures. A flat roof might also be expensive due to necessary reinforcements.

Work closely with your contractor to understand how roof pitch impacts your specific project.

Roofing Materials and Costs

The material you choose for your new roof heavily influences the overall cost. Here are some popular options:

Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles are a popular choice due to their affordability, costing around $2.50 per square foot. However, architectural shingles made from asphalt are closer to $5.70 per square foot. Asphalt shingles cost less and are easier to install.

Cedar Shake Roofing

Cedar shake roofing offers a spectacular addition to any home and is energy-efficient, though it requires significant maintenance. Cedar shakes are often considered an expensive roof material, averaging $7.70 per square foot.

Clay Tiles

Clay roof tiles are durable and can last over fifty years. They cost around $11 per square foot, with hand-finished tiles reaching $15 per square foot.

Concrete Tiles

Concrete roof tiles are durable and fire-resistant, costing about $6 per square foot. However, they may require structural alterations to support their weight.

Metal Shingles

Metal shingles vary widely in price, from $4 to $30 per square foot, depending on the metal type. A metal roof offers durability and energy efficiency but can be noisy and prone to denting.

Slate Shingles

Slate shingles are incredibly durable, with soft slate lasting up to a hundred years and hard slate up to two centuries. They cost about $9.80 per square foot and may require additional roof reinforcement.

Building Permits for Roof Replacement

You must have building permits for various construction projects in New York State. Most roofing projects will require permits, except for minor replacements above the sheathing or installing shallow green roof systems. Permit costs vary based on project size.

Special Roof Features and Costs

Certain home elements, like chimneys, vents, and skylights, make roof replacement projects more complex and costly. Workers need to account for these features during roof removal and installation, potentially raising the overall cost.

The Timing of Roof Replacement

The time of year impacts roof replacement costs. Roofers often offer more affordable rates during winter months when demand is lower. However, this might not be convenient for everyone due to seasonal gatherings.

Roof Repair Costs

If you’re considering the cost to repair a roof, factors like the type of roof and the extent of damage play a significant role. Roof leak repairs might be less expensive than fixing storm damage. Understanding the cost of repairing roof storm damage is crucial for planning.

Roofing Contractor and Companies

Hiring a roofing contractor or roofing companies to manage your roof replacement or repair is advisable. They provide accurate cost estimates and ensure the job is done correctly, helping you navigate the higher cost of living in New York.

Roofing Materials and Costs

The cost by material for roofing varies significantly. For example, shingles cost less than tile roof options. Asphalt shingles cost less compared to metal or slate tiles. Knowing the roof replacement cost by material can help you plan better. Complex jobs can cost upwards of simpler ones, especially in areas with a higher cost of living.

Cost Estimator and Budgeting

Using a cost calculator or getting a cost estimate from a contractor can help you understand the cost of roof replacement. The national average cost can give you a starting point, but your final cost will depend on many factors. Budgeting for a new roof involves considering all these elements to avoid surprises.

Roof Warranty and Insurance

A roof warranty can cover the cost of unexpected repairs. Always check if your new roof installation comes with a warranty. This can save you from future roof repair costs. If your roof is nearing the end of its lifespan or has suffered roof damage due to storm damage, a warranty can be invaluable.

DIY Roof Replacement

Some homeowners might consider a DIY roof replacement to save on costs. However, this can be risky and might end up costing more if not done correctly. The cost depends on the quality of materials and workmanship, so hiring professionals is often the better choice.

Cost of a Roof Replacement

The cost of a roof replacement can vary based on many factors, including materials, labor, and specific needs of your home. Whether it’s a full roof replacement or just parts of it, understanding these elements can help you plan effectively.

Time to Replace Their Roof

For many homeowners, knowing the right time to replace their roof is crucial. Factors like roof age, damage, and wear can signal when it’s time for a replacement.

Pay for a New Roof

When planning to pay for a new roof, consider all the potential costs, including materials, labor, permits, and any extra cost for unique features.

Additional Considerations for Roof Replacement Costs

Understanding the full scope of costs can help you plan better for your roof replacement project. Here’s a look at some additional factors and considerations:

Cost Factors and Estimates

  • When planning a roof replacement, it’s important to ask, “How much does roof replacement cost?” This question encompasses various elements, from materials to labor.
  • Another common question is, “How much does a new roof cost?” The answer varies based on the type of materials used and the complexity of the project.
  • Key roof replacement cost factors include the size and pitch of the roof, the materials chosen, and the labor involved.
  • It’s essential to understand that the cost by roof type can differ significantly. For instance, a shingle roof may be less expensive than a tile roof.
  • If you are considering a full roof replacement, ensure you account for every cost factor involved.

Project Scope and Decisions

  • Knowing whether to repair or replace your roof is crucial. Sometimes, a simple repair can suffice, but other times a full replacement is necessary.
  • An entire roof replacement can be a significant investment but is often necessary for older homes or those with extensive damage.
  • Asking, “How much does a roof replacement cost?” helps you prepare financially for the project.
  • The decision to undertake a DIY roof replacement or hire professionals can also raise or lower the cost significantly.
  • When planning, consider the cost by roof square footage, as costs are often calculated per roofing square.

Damage and Repairs

  • Roofs can sustain damage from various sources. Knowing how to handle roof due to storm damage can save you money in the long run.
  • Repairing roof storm damage depends on the extent of the damage and the materials required for repairs.
  • Considering roof replacement and a repair at the same time can sometimes be more cost-effective.

Material Choices and Their Impact

  • The cost of getting a roof depends largely on the materials chosen. For example, a metal roof may have different costs compared to asphalt shingles.
  • The roof replacement cost by roof material can vary, so choose wisely based on your budget and long-term needs.
  • The choice of materials will affect the roof replacement depending on materials used and their individual costs and benefits.

By keeping these additional factors in mind, you can better plan for the financial aspects of your roof replacement project and make informed decisions that best suit your needs and budget.

Contact us at Long Island Home Advisors if you are looking for expert roofers. Count on us to install the roof you have always wanted to see on top of your New York home.

Removing a Wall Between Your Kitchen & Dining Room

Refreshing your home’s design may require some significant changes. Removing a wall should not be off the table if you want to feature something uniquely different. Featuring some exciting interior design plans may be easier if you remove that wall between your kitchen and dining room.

Of course, removing an interior wall is easier said than done. That wall has an important role and removing it without disrupting the rest of your home’s structure excessively will be a difficult task. There is even a chance that taking out that wall will not be an option for you.

Find out what you can and cannot do with your interior walls by continuing with this article.

Important Considerations before You Remove an Interior Wall

Once you get the idea of remodeling your home, it is hard to get away from it. Thoughts of all the designs you could try may be filling you with excitement right now.

While we certainly understand the way you are feeling, we must ask you to slow down a little. After all, we still need to find out if removing that wall between your dining room and the kitchen is even feasible.

Detailed below are the things you must consider before you proceed to remove an interior wall. Check them out so you can determine what your next step should be.

Are You Dealing with a Load-Bearing Wall?

Load-bearing walls are essential to maintaining the structural integrity of your home. Those walls support the floor above them as well as other surrounding structures. Even your roof stays in place thanks to your home’s load-bearing walls.

The load-bearing walls inside your home must also transfer weight to your foundation and other support structures. You need the load-bearing walls to work that way so they can keep your home perfectly balanced.

Does this mean remodeling is no longer an option if the wall you want to remove is load-bearing? Well, not exactly.

Removing load-bearing walls is possible, but you must put supports in first. Build some temporary supports close to the load-bearing wall so they can handle the temporary weight transfer.

You can figure out how to distribute the weight properly to the existing structures before taking the supports down. Reinforcing those existing structures can also be a hassle, but you will get your open floor in exchange for doing so.

Working with a general contractor is crucial if you want to remove a load-bearing wall. They have the experience necessary to take on that kind of project and can help you get the job done faster.

How Can You Tell if a Wall Is Load-Bearing?

Are you unsure if the wall you need to remove is load-bearing? If that is the case, there are things you can look for if you need to make a decision as soon as possible.

According to Home Depot, walls that run perpendicular to joists are often load-bearing walls. They also note that walls thicker than six inches are likely load-bearing and walls that end in columns or supports.

You can also refer to your home’s floor plan if you want to be 100% sure that you are trying to remove a load-bearing wall. Hiring a contractor or a home inspector to examine the wall in question will also eliminate any doubt about what it does.

Do You Have Pipes, Wires, or Vents inside That Wall?

Walls do more than provide structural support. We also need them to house important supply lines. There is a good chance you have pipes, wires, or even vents inside the wall you want to remove.

Their presence in the wall will complicate removal. Before removing the wall, you must first figure out what to do with those supply lines.

Partner with an appropriate specialist so they can give you some direction. Whether it is an electrician, an HVAC specialist, or a plumber, you should seek their advice before doing anything. It would also be best to leave the task of removal up to those professionals so they can preserve as many components as possible.

Removing and re-routing supply lines will make this particular project longer, but there is no way to get around that. The wait will be worth it once you achieve the open floor plan you have been targeting.

Could Removing the Wall Be Dangerous to Your Health?

Next up, you must also consider if removing the wall between your kitchen and dining room could potentially be a health hazard. How could wall removal become a health hazard, you ask? That has to do with the materials used to create and finish that wall.

Let’s start by figuring out what could happen if the wall you removed had lead paint.

Exposure to lead paint can cause you to feel weak. You may also start experiencing headaches not long after that incident. Even your blood pressure could spike following minimal exposure to lead paint.

As scary as lead exposure is for adults, it is even more frightening if you have kids. Children may develop learning disabilities and behavior issues following lead exposure. You cannot afford to be reckless with wall removal if you have kids, so consult with an expert first.

Asbestos is another substance that can cause plenty of trouble if it is released into the air after the destruction of a wall.

Per the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, people exposed to asbestos can develop a condition known as pleural disease. Pleural disease is a troublesome condition that can significantly affect how well someone breathes. In addition to developing pleural disease, individuals exposed to asbestos also have a greater chance of developing lung cancer and mesothelioma.

What Should You Do if the Wall Contains Lead or Asbestos?

You cannot overlook the dangers posed by lead and asbestos. To ensure your safety, you must first confirm if the wall you want to remove contains those toxic substances.

Homeowners can check for lead paint by examining any residue on the wall. If you spot chalky residue, there is a chance it is lead paint. Houses built before 1978 are more likely to feature walls covered by that toxic substance.

Thankfully, the presence of lead paint does not have to derail your remodeling project. You can hire professionals to remove the paint and the wall safely.

Figuring out if you have asbestos in your home will also require some detective work.

Start by checking if the wall is made from a cement sheet because that is often a telltale sign that it contains asbestos. According to Angi, homes with corrugated roofing are also more likely to have some asbestos.

The age of your home can also clue you into the presence of asbestos. If they built your home before the 1980s, you should get it checked for asbestos before doing any remodeling.

You should also hire professionals to remove any wall that contains asbestos. Look for an asbestos abatement company because they have the tools and experience needed for that job.

Will You Need a Permit?

As we have established, wall removal is not something you can do on a whim with all the potential safety concerns involved. However, those safety issues are not the only hurdles you will need to clear before work can begin on your project. Securing a building permit will also be necessary.

The state of New York requires residents to get a permit before getting significant work done. The only projects excluded from permits include installing cabinets, painting, plastering, replacing plumbing fixtures, and resurfacing floors. You can also repair your roof without a permit as long as it is non-structural work.

For everything else, a permit will be required.

Seek help from your contractor so you can get the building permit quickly. In all likelihood, your contractor already has plenty of experience snagging building permits. They can get that done for you in a timely fashion.

The Pros and Cons of Interior Wall Removal

Removing an interior wall can be done. You must be careful with certain hazards, but you can accomplish the project itself.

So, should you go through with it? That is the main question you now have to answer.

To help you out, we have listed some pros and cons of wall removal in the following section. Go through them carefully so you can decide if removing the wall between your kitchen and dining room will be worth it.

The Pros:

  • Maximize Your Space – If your growing family needs more space, removing an interior wall could be worth trying. Removing an interior wall could open your first floor and help you free up more living space in the process.
  • Design Versatility – An open space is a blank canvas you can alter in different ways to create your desired design. The open space can also be tinkered with consistently so you can keep featuring fresh looks.
  • Open Spaces Are Better for Utilizing Natural Resources – Opening up your home also allows it to take advantage of natural light and air. Air and light can flow more freely inside your home without those interior walls getting in the way.
  • Open Homes Are Great for Entertaining – Do you like having guests over for parties? You can accommodate them better by removing an existing interior wall.
  • Removing an Interior Wall Can Increase Property Value – Turning your home into a greater asset may be possible if you remove an interior wall first. According to Realtor, homes with open floor plans appreciate by up to 7.4% annually. Even if you have no plans to sell your home currently, you should still look to take advantage of that quirk in the real estate market.

The Cons:

  • Costly Project – Removing a wall inside your home is going to be expensive and you need to be ready for that. Expect the project to cost over $1,200. If you are tearing down a load-bearing wall, $2,000 may represent the low-end of the project’s overall cost.
  • Lack of Privacy – Keeping things private will be more difficult if you decide to remove some of the walls inside your home. Even people on the outside can get a good look at your dining room after you take that interior wall down.
  • Away from Home – The workers will need as much space as possible to remove your interior wall. That probably means staying inside your home will not be an option. Living away for a while can be inconvenient, but that is something you will need to do.
  • Noise Travels Better – Noises also travel better if no walls get in their way. Spots in your home that used to be noise-free may change significantly following wall removal.

What Other Methods Can You Use to Create Space Inside Your Home?

After considering the pros and cons of interior wall removal, you may have decided that the project is not one you can move forward with. Still, you would like to open up your home a bit. Are there other ways for you to create that space that does not involve tearing down a wall?

The good news is that there are alternatives to wall removal.

For starters, you can rearrange or replace your furniture. Set pieces of furniture against the wall or get a sectional sofa, so you have more room. Mounting your television will also free up more space.

You can also replace some of your fixtures.

French and sliding doors are great for creating that feeling of openness. Larger windows can also create that sense of openness, so look into adding them as well.

Contact us at Long Island Home Advisors if you plan to remodel your home by removing an interior wall. Let us handle that complicated project, and rest assured that we will complete it as soon as possible.

Everything You Need to Know About Adding a Second Story

Demolishing the existing roof of your house and adding a second story could be in your plans if you want to gain more living space. You may want a new entertainment area, a playroom for the kids, or a guest room. Whatever your reason, getting a total home makeover needs ample preparation.

After all, it is not easy to live in a construction zone, which is what your existing home will be if you choose this option. Will you move out during ongoing construction or choose to renovate a certain part of the home only? These are the things you must think about since adding a new floor can take at least five months to a year, depending on the scope of the project.

Moreover, it is important to assess if adding a second floor will be cheaper than buying a new two-story house. Well, in our experience as a general contractor, there is no black and white answer because it depends on your circumstances. Perhaps, you want to retain your existing address, so moving is not an option.

Some situations call for complete home remodels, and it even helps that a second story addition could also help save you money if you work with the right team. That is why we have prepared this, so you see the requirements and considerations of building a second floor in your existing house.

Why Add a Second Floor

If adding a second story is tedious, disrupts your normal routine, and forces you to put your things in storage, why do people choose this option? Some people cannot bear to part with their address. Others cannot afford a completely new home. Let’s find out the specific answers below:

Small Lot

Adding a second story makes sense if you have a small lot size and cannot afford a new, bigger abode. Expanding vertically gives you a chance to preserve your garden or backyard, as well as that precious perimeter space between your home and a neighbor’s house.

Retain Outdoor Living Space

This means you can still enjoy having an outdoor living space because your space expansion will not eat up limited horizontal space. Perhaps, your current garden has a landscape feature like a cherry blossom tree or a pergola that you cannot let go of.

Make More Rooms

If you are building a family and expecting several bundles of joy, building a second floor provides you with a home makeover plus more space and privacy. You could build your kids their own rooms and add a family den. Adding height will also make your ground floor’s walls stretch a few inches taller because of the new level. Moreover, you can combine smaller downstairs rooms and expand the living room for an airier communal space.

Retain Your Address

Finally, most people who opt to add a second story do so because they have sentimental feelings and want to continue living in the same neighborhood and staying in the same school district. If you have close ties with your neighbors due to many years of camaraderie, it is hard to duplicate that kinship if you change your address.

Types of Second Floor Additions

If you want to expand your home vertically in a home remodel project, you have several ways to do it. How you go on about adding a second story will hinge on your home’s existing foundation, your county’s building regulations, and your personal preferences. Here are the 4 most popular ways to add a second floor to your home.

  1. Start From Scratch: This is the most drastic of all options because your contractor will have to tear off the existing roof. You and your family will need to vacate the premises and secure your belongings in a rented storage facility. In turn, a team will build a completely new second story from scratch. This option is popular for small bungalows like a ranch.
  2. Roof Replacement: Another option that could be cheaper is to take down the current roof from its edges. Severing from this area allows you to save the roof. In essence, the contractor temporarily lifts the roof, builds a new upper level, and then places the roof back after they frame the second story. Still, you will need to vacate your home and secure your belongings.
  3. Expansion: One of the least invasive ones is expanding across a selected one-story area of the home. This works because you can opt to stay in the house since you get to keep the roof of your house while construction is underway. The section they are remodeling is usually in a non-traffic area such as above the porch or over a flat-roof garage. Hence, you can continue living in the house but be ready for all the construction noise, accompanying dirt, dust, and rubble.
  4. Modular Method: Another popular second-floor expansion method is using a modular design. This means your second-floor addition is designed and built in a different area. Once they fully construct it, they will install it over your existing home. A lot of people love this because the work gets done fast without causing a lot of disruption to the homeowners. Most of all, this method is affordable and swift, so it allows you to get back to your daily home routine in no time.

Cost Considerations When Adding a Second Floor

If you want to increase your home space with more than a room or two, adding a second story is a good option that will not decimate your wallet. Here are a few home renovation factors that you ought to weigh because they will impact the cost of the whole project:

The Existing Foundation

Adding vertically means you could lower the costs because you do not need to do any foundation work. The latter is one of the costliest parts of any remodeling project. When you expand space using your current foundation, you have the potential to save money. Moreover, you also save time because there is no digging involved.

But, of course, our team of experts recommends this option after you check your foundation to ascertain that it could handle the added weight of a new second story.

Lifting the Current Roof

If your budget is tight, you could save a lot of money by having a crane lift the current roof. Later, they can reinstall this into the new second story to make the project seamless, easy, and fast.

Noteworthy, crane rental fees can cost a lot, but it is still cheaper than building a completely new roof from the ground up. Also, you must consider the age of your roof. If it is already old with cracked hinges and leaks, a complete roof replacement is more cost-efficient.

Finishing the New Space

When you add a new level that fits on top of your home, you increase your square footage dramatically. Of course, it will take time to frame and weather-proof the new upper level, but it will be worth it. Once that has been installed, you have the option to finish the space completely.

Your remodeling budget determines what kind of finishing you can do on this new space. But if the budget is tight, you can do it room by room. Alternatively, if you are a handyman, you can DIY some of the rooms yourself and decorate them at your own pace.

The total cost of your new second-story project will depend on the finishes you choose. If you opt for a simple space with standard finishings, the total cost could be around half the price of a ground-level expansion with the same floor area.

Design Elements to Keep in Mind

Adding a second floor will change the look of your home. Though a one-story has its charm, the massive size of a two-story structure alone creates a bigger impression. However, if you have fallen in love with a design does not mean you can execute it right away.

Providing sufficient structural support is the primary consideration when you are thinking of adding a second floor. We suggest consulting with a structural engineer to assess if your house can bear the load of another level and if the current rafters are strong enough to serve as the floor joists of the upper level.

A certified engineer must evaluate your existing bungalow’s foundation and framing before proceeding with your design plans. If you want a seamless project, it will also help to take note of the following:

Awkward Massing

You want to avoid an awkward look. Usually, when you double the height of a plain, rectangle home, it could result in a boring, boxy effect. To avoid this, you should pay close attention to details like:

  • Overhangs
  • Porches
  • Trims
  • Roof pitches
  • Possible Height Restrictions

Before you begin your project, check with your town if they have any building codes that restrict the height of ridgelines in your area. If adding a second story conflicts with the rules, you will not be allowed to proceed. Verify with local officials before drawing up design plans.

Moreover, if you belong to a homeowner’s association (HOA), you may be limited in what you can do with your home’s aesthetics. You need to check your association’s manuals to see if there are clauses that prevent you from adding another level. Typically, most properties that belong to an HOA ascribe to a uniform appearance in all properties that fall within the association zone.

Match Windows

When you are doing your second story design, make it a point to match the windows, not unless you are going for an eclectic and mismatched look. Your existing window shape, size, and placement in the new level must coordinate with your existing house.

Take a look at the exterior walls to assess how the windows line up. You may want to form a pleasing pattern for both the top and bottom. Moreover, you may consider refreshing your windows (as well as exterior walls) with a coat of paint to make everything match.

Pleasing Proportions

When you are adding a second floor, you want to retain pleasing proportions that catch the eyes. Skimpy or unmatched proportions that go unnoticed in a smaller one-level house can look unsightly when things double in size with a second floor.

Hence, keep individual elements of your home design proportional to the new, larger size. For example, you can beef up windows, shutters, trims, eaves, dormers, and columns to fit the new look. Alternatively, you can also amp up the details with accent colors or contrasting finishes to create visual appeal.

How to Find a Reliable General Contractor?

Adding a second story will take time, so you want an expert who can get things done swiftly. Always look for a certified professional with the proper accreditation and licenses, coupled with state-of-the-art tools and equipment. Working with a reputable builder is the only way you can have peace of mind, especially since home renovations cost a lot of money.

On top of that, you want to ascertain that the contractor does a stringent background check for all the workers. You will be welcoming strangers into your beloved home, so you want people you can trust. When it comes to service companies, reputation is everything, so it would also help to check out online reviews to see what real-life clients say about their services.

Do not forget to shop around for quotes and look at a contractor’s portfolio. Conduct an interview and ask questions to determine if they are right for the job. Remember, before you agree to a contract, read the fine print.

If you live within the vicinity of Suffolk County, NY, our team can help you plan for a second story that is within your budget. We strive hard for a swift project completion because we know you want to get back to your routine ASAP. Our Long Island Home Advisors team can do a modular second-story design, where our workers build the second floor off-site, so we can speed up your project and reduce the time you spend away from home.

The Benefits of Working with a General Contractor

Whether you are renovating your bathroom, adding a second story, or building from scratch, construction projects are complex. It will always involve a considerable amount of time and money when you aspire to enhance your space. Fortunately, you can rely on the expertise of a general contractor to make the whole process more seamless.

Though some firms promise to make things simpler and easier, cutting corners and costs for convenience’s sake can be detrimental in the long run. Doing so can lead to problems like structural issues and make the project last longer. It may also be more expensive because of repairs and back jobs.

Hiring a licensed general contractor is the only way you can successfully complete your construction project while staying on schedule and within budget. They can help you race against your deadline and allocate resources properly since they have the expertise, skills, and state-of-the-art tools. In this article, we outline why a general contractor can be a godsend for you and serve as your best ally.

Defining the Role of a General Contractor

Before we dive deep into the benefits, we want you to be familiar with the role of a general contractor. A general contractor is a prime contractor who is in charge of a construction site, whether it is a new home build, complete attic renovation, roofing restoration, window replacements, or a complete kitchen remodel.

A general contractor is an industry expert who usually owns the firm, manages a team of laborers, and interacts with a big network of construction stakeholders. A general contractor offers an invaluable service by doing the following:

  • Hiring and managing subcontractors and people in the team
  • Coordinating complex building and renovation processes
  • Working closely with the architect
  • Purchasing various materials
  • Checking materials and workmanship
  • Following up deliverables
  • Dealing with supplier payments

Since your contractor is in charge of hiring the suppliers, vendors, tradesmen, subcontractors, and other personnel for your project, they serve as the liaison to make sure everyone meets their obligations and corresponding deadlines. A licensed contractor ascertains there is clear communication with proper expectations set, such as the time frame and budget requirements. Most of all, your general contractor serves as your guide, so you do not feel overwhelmed with the complex home building or remodeling process.

The Advantages of Working with a General Contractor

Hiring a general contractor to build or renovate your home is a cost-efficient choice. The primary goal of general contractors is to ascertain that you complete the project using high-quality materials and workmanship while saving as much money as you can. We have compiled a list so you can check out the benefits of hiring a general contractor below:

Have an Ally to Handle Problems Efficiently

Construction projects take time, spanning several months to even years. Sometimes, inclement weather or even something like a global pandemic with lockdowns can bring the project to a halt. But with an experienced general contractor and team, your projects can go on smoothly because they are familiar with the usual problems of their trade.

They possess the expertise to handle any problems with ease and efficiency. Their skills can efficiently manage most setbacks, allowing them to come up with solutions or to pivot alternatives. They could also schedule subcontractors and make sure they deliver prompt and high-quality work.

Save Time With a Well-Organized Schedule

How fast or how slow the work goes depends on your general contractor. The best general contractors will ensure your project progresses without glitches because they have a well-organized schedule. Hence you can rest easy because the construction project gets done within your planned timetable.

And let’s face it; renovations and new builds are a big hassle, taking several months with a contractor and even longer if you try to DIY home improvement projects. But doing it solo will add to your stress, whereas a general contractor bears all the burdens and responsibilities of management. They are professionals who can ascertain that tasks are done quickly without compromising quality.

Enjoy Considerable Cost Savings

Although you will have to pay a small number of fees to a general contractor, this is money well-spent because they provide value with better budget control. When you hire someone who is not certified or attempt to renovate something yourself, you save some money but could pay more in the long run to fix mistakes. General contractors possess experience and expertise, so they get things done right the first time.

More importantly, general contractors have a vast network that allows them to buy materials at a bulk discount, allowing you to save money on certain materials. They know which suppliers carry the best materials, and their connections and negotiating skills allow you to enjoy high-quality materials without breaking the bank.

In addition, these suppliers generally charge more when they work directly with building owners. In contrast, they usually charge general contractors less because they have a long-standing working relationship. Bear in mind that general contractors provide suppliers with a steady stream of work, so they are given discounts.

As a result, you can complete your construction project within budget or even under budget on many occasions. This extra money can be used for more construction upgrades or placed back into your savings account. Working with a licensed general contractor equates to someone working round the clock, assuring you have total control of the project from people to the financial aspects.

Take Advantage of Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

Construction zones are hazardous because there are many sharp objects, from nails to sharp blades. Injuries like falls and other accidents like inhaling toxic chemicals can readily occur because of the risks. But when you hire a general contractor, you get peace of mind because they provide liability insurance.

This means that you would not be responsible for any construction-related accidents or injuries that occur on your premises. You would not pay workman’s compensation or medical bills. Thus, working with a general contractor assures your project goes on smoothly, following all the safety rules implemented by the county.

Take Advantage of Customizable Services

When you collaborate with a general contractor, you have a dedicated team who will morph your visions into a reality. No matter what type of project you decide to build, these professionals can do it for you. After all, apart from the full-time team, they have an extensive network of suppliers and subcontractors who can pull off any job with ease and excellence.

You can share all your ideas, and they will make it happen for you. You have the option to customize whatever detail or improvisation you want to do for your project. Then, your general contractor will provide different options you can choose from.

Tailor fit solutions like these are readily available to you thanks to the assistance of an experienced general contractor. It is truly worthwhile to invest in quality services if it means you can get what you want without any hassles or stress.

Easy Communication and Feedback

If you try to do your construction project on your own, you may get a headache since you need to deal with many vendors and subcontractors. Remember, any form of miscommunication can lead to issues and project delays.

Having a general contractor at your disposal prevents communication gaps because you have a single point person. You have an expert providing project updates, answering questions, and offering suggestions based on what is happening in the market, such as a sudden price increase of certain supplies.

With a licensed contractor, you can have things under control. He will deal with all the subcontractors and make sure they deliver commitments on time. You can sit back and relax, waiting for feedback on the project.

Improve Property Value

Choosing to work with a general contractor for your home remodel or renovation project will increase your property value. You get a higher value when a professional does your home upgrades versus having an amateur or a hobbyist do it.

Workmanship matters a lot when it comes to the longevity of your upgrades. When professionals do it, you can expect them to last longer because they install everything correctly. Since you are paying so much for materials like paint, fixtures, wood, etc., make sure that a licensed professional handle the installation for optimal results.

Get Expert Guidance From Years of Service

When it comes to renovations and new constructions, general contractors are the experts in the field. They have the education, licenses, and credentials to back up their services. Most of all, they have the experience that only comes with years of service.

Usually, the more experience a person has, the more successful the outcomes because they have been sharpened by time and numerous projects. General contractors are organized, so they get market updates. They will clue you in on where you can save or get higher-quality materials.

More importantly, if there are any problems or emergencies, they can readily pivot and respond with ease. A wealth of experience allows them to make projections and make smart choices to keep things under control. For instance, when a certain construction material gets banned, they have alternative solutions to prevent project chaos.

How to Find the Best General Contractor

Though there are many contractors out there, we are not made equal. You want to find an exceptional contractor with a legitimate firm that has proper licenses and accreditation. More importantly, you want an honest person who listens and communicates well.

Having a general contractor who is easy to work with is such a blessing because you have an ally who cares about seeing your plans to completion. Furthermore, you must find a contractor who fits your personality and who has expertise in the project you want to do. If finding the best general contractor feels overwhelming, you can try our tips to get the right candidate for your project:

  • Word of Mouth Referrals: When looking for a service provider, going with referrals from family and friends top the list. If the people you trust have high regard for a contractor, that means they have done a great job. Best of all, you could even see the results of the contractor’s work by taking a peek at your relative’s or friend’s property.
  • Check the Website: A reputable contractor will have an official website that showcases their services, work gallery, and client testimonials. You can even fill out a contact form to assess how fast they respond to you. For best results, work with a responsive firm that readily answers queries and listens to your ideas.
  • Peruse Online Reviews: In this digital age, we can access 3rd-party online review sites. Check out what past clients say about the general contractor. Steer clear of those with a lot of bad reviews. From here, you can create a shortlist of firms.
  • Conduct Interviews: Speak with several firms on your list so you can get a feel of how they operate. Ask them about past projects. For example, if you want a contemporary home, working with a firm that has a solid portfolio of modern designs is the most ideal. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and assess how they respond to queries.
  • Ask About Credentials: Having a solid portfolio is great, but you still need to check if they have the proper licenses to operate. A legitimate contractor will not hesitate to show you proper government licenses and accreditation because it showcases their credibility.
  • Provides Written Estimates: If you are having a hard time looking for a contractor, make it a point to choose one that provides written estimates. It is important not to be kept in the dark for something as expensive as a construction project. More importantly, all hired work will come with accompanying contracts that stipulate materials, labor fees, time frame, and other incidentals.
  • Read the Fine Print: Once you have a contract, read, and understand the fine print before signing it to avoid future disappointments. A detailed contract will outline everything, such as partial payment dates, materials used, estimated deadlines, etc. It will also pinpoint what happens should there be any delays, faulty materials, or back jobs.

Hiring a general contractor to work on a house remodel or a new build is a decision you must not take lightly. You want an experienced team who can complete the work swiftly within your budget. If you are looking for one in the Long Island, NY area, give our team a call. Our Long Island Home Advisors Team would love to assist you with your home improvement or new construction project.