Does it cost more to build up or out?


Old 08-07-06, 04:11 PM
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Does it cost more to build up or out?

I know the pros/cons of building up vs. out but which one in general costs more? Does it cost more to "strengthen" the existing foundation to handle the weight of a second story, or to add foundation when building out? I know there are several variables involved that I'm not giving but I'm just looking for a generalization...
Old 08-07-06, 06:53 PM
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Costs more to build out. As you said, there are all kinds of other factors, but the same square footage in two stories will cost less to build than in one.
Old 08-08-06, 04:28 AM
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Most homes with traditional foundations can sustain a second floor addition without additional support. If you are unsure, contact a professional to assess your foundation.

How one installs the second floor structure can vary from using dimensional lumber to TJI's or Pre-manufactured web floor trusses. The costs gradually increase accordingly with just floor systems.

Building up does cost less but many issues must be addressed in proceding with a project like this. In rare cases, building out can be less if there is extensive demo and mechanical issues to deal with as well as roof issues when considering a second story application.

Good Luck!
Old 08-08-06, 09:35 AM
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Wow...somehow I thought it would be the other way around...if the foundation did need to be supported better, would that make it close to an even comparison or in most cases would building up still tend to be cheaper? For some reason I always though more had to be done to build up (add stairs, support foundation if needed, pull off old roof and add all new roof, etc)...I'm so glad I asked...
Old 08-11-06, 06:52 PM
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I think that it would be best to contact some local structural engineers and get their opinions. Without seeing the foundation or how big and where the addition is it is really hard to say what it would take to reinforce the foundation. If the foundation is not touched much it is fair to say that just the cost of the foundation would be a major savings. It is always best at least here in california to build over the garage because even with a one story footing the garage slab bears on the soil not on the footings and little has to be done to strengthen the foundation.

It is always best to go with locals as they know your soils and code requirements.

I hope this helps.

Brian Garrison

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