May 17, 2021 | Second Story Addition

All We Need to Know About Second Story Addition Over Garage




When we need to extend the space of our house for various reasons, we go for home additions. To change the curb appeal of a house and increase the space, second-story addition over the garage can be an excellent idea. Ripping the roof off the whole place to build an additional story might not be an option for everyone. In case we o for making a second story only over the garage. Like most other home addition projects, this project also has complications and challenges.

Even after having complexities and challenges, building a second story over a garage is one of the most straightforward home addition projects. We can make a master bedroom or a guestroom over the garage. The size and the type of room will vary on the size of the garage.

Check if the garage can hold the additional weight:

Before starting the further plan of the project, we must check if the existing framing and foundation of the garage can hold the extra weight of the second-story addition. If we have finished framing, we can cut the drywall away and check what’s behind it.

To check the foundation, we will need a contractor who will review the foundation’s condition by digging holes around the garage.

Matching the exterior with the existing house:

When we extend the house by adding a second story, we don’t have much choice but to match the old house with the new one by changing the color, sidings, windows, and other things. We have to style the home so that the value is also increased with the house’s addition and outlook. It should look like that the house, along with the new addition, was always there.

We want to draw the line between the original project and the new addition depending on the nature of the project. Mismatch finishes might backfire the plan and spoil the overall outlook. So we have to keep things matched as much as possible.

Keep the house safe in case of fire:

We have to follow the building code, which requires 5/8-inch-thick fire-rated drywall on the walls and the garage ceiling in time of adding a second story over it to protect the house in case of fire. Some more precautions can be taken to save the house from fire.

  • Using materials that can control smoking and flame
  • Storing flammable liquids safely
  • Control special hazards
  • Purchase fire-safe interior, furnishing, and decorations.
  • Perform general housekeeping task regularly

Build a stiff floor can be a challenge:

The general size of a garage is typically 20′ to 24′ from side to side and front to back. So building a stiff floor can be a bit difficult because of these long open spans. Designing a floor that will support the rooms and people without interfering with the car parking below can be complicated. On the other hand, the floor needs to be stiff enough to bounce, go with the code, and tiles don’t crack. The thicker the floor is, the fewer challenges we are going to face.

Think about the plumbing system:

If we are willing to build a bathroom in the second-story addition over the garage, we need to choose a warm place, and they can’t go in exterior walls. So the plumber and the contractor have to have a transparent communication system to avoid rework and make sure that the pipe runs are appropriately planned.

We need to choose the materials carefully and according to our desire. For instance, some pipe materials make extra noise, but it’s also necessary to select the sustainable ones in this case. The fixtures also have to align with the existing lines. Otherwise, it might impact the functionality and comfort of the house.

Balance the temperature of the new place:

Balancing the temperature of the new addition can be critical and can be challenging as well.

 The main job of the heating and cooling system is comforting the occupants, protecting the pipes from freezing, and energy efficiency. HVAC systems in our area are primarily placed in the center of basements, making them ineffective and inefficient in providing enough heating and cooling in the second-story addition above a garage. But the positive and good news is that there are many better options available to accomplish this work. The spray foam insulation cost is not that much and comparatively low over the past couple of years. We can consider spending a few amounts from our budget to have the floor above the garage insulated. This will help to decrease the HVAC load and increase comfort.



Adding a second story above the garage can be very challenging in some cases and substantial as well. But following the proper steps and choosing the right contractor can make the journey easier and enjoyable. We need to clearly explain our plans and thoughts to the contractor to get the dream renovation we want. Planning things accordingly and adequate research can save us from many hassles and accidents. We have to try to choose perfect materials, fixtures and get them done correctly so that we don’t have to redo them for a long time.





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