May 9, 2021 | Second Story Addition

Cost Effective Ways to Save on Second Story Extension




Striking on a tight budget and building our dream extension at the same time can quite challenging and stressful when it comes to extending the house vertically by giving the place a new look, the excitement and cost both increase at the same time.

After checking on the foundation and repairing the damages, here comes the exciting and stressful part where we have to choose the materials, design the second story and buy new appliances. It can not be denied that a second-story home addition is a bit costly compared to other home renovations. But there are always shortcuts and corners to cut in home renovation projects.


Tearing the whole roof or a part of it is a must when planning to go for a second story project. Roofing costs depend on three facts, such as material, labor, and disposal. Some of the cheapest roofing options are given below:

  • Asphalt shingles:

Asphalt shingles are one of the cheapest options we can go for and easy to work with. They are easy to install, and the cost ranges from $70 to $160 per square foot. However, asphalt shingles have a lower lifespan and not very suitable for flat roofs. The average lifespan is 15-20 years, but If appropriately maintained, then we can get 30 years from them

  • Concrete tile:

Concrete tiles are also a good option for roofing, costing $150-$250 per square foot. The lifespan is more extended than asphalt shingles, which is about 30-50 years. Concrete tiles are also known for handling inclement weather like fire or wind and keep the house warm in winter because of their weight and density.

  • Metal roofing:

The cost of metal roofing varies, but the average price per square foot is around $120. One of the best benefits of metal roofing is, it requires low maintenance. The lifespan of metal roofs is about 50 years or longer.

Choose the right time:

We might not think about this fact at first, but timing can add an extra significant amount to the final cost. What we should do is avoid the peak seasons. Some contractors give discounts at the beginning of the year. The prices always tend to be higher after the holidays. So we can try to plan the home addition at the right time. If the timing is correct, we can save up to a thousand dollars, which is a total extra cost.

Try to save on VAT:

Every home addition project attracts a VAT of around 20%. But we can also cut this cost by employing self-employed people. The benefit here is whose turnover is less hen the vat registration and therefore save us from this extra charge.

For getting VAT-free materials, we can go for second home materials, which are sold online. Again if the building is vacant for two years, the VAT is also reduced.


If we add a bathroom in the second story addition, we also have to think about this cost. A bathroom might look smaller, but it is one of the most used rooms in the whole house. To reduce the cost of the toilet, we can go for some tricky and efficient options.

Limit the tile:

tiles are one of the expensive elements of the bathroom, and we can limit the use in the bathroom. We can use tiles in high-impact areas like floor and shower stall walls. Try to use this element on high-impact areas like the floor and shower stall walls. We can also tile one horizontal strip and color the rest.

If we have already decided to go for an expensive tile, we can still use it with other cheaper tiles. Also, look for tiles at a discount, and you can save here some more bucks for buying the same quality at a lower price.

  • Consider look-alike materials:

Considering look-alike materials is always considered an excellent way to save money if we can refurbish and retain the existing materials. But if we set our heart on changing them, we can try going for inexpensive alternatives. These materials are much lower in price but look almost the same and increase the beauty of the bathroom.

  • Lighting:

No matter how much light from nature we have in the bathroom, good lighting is always needed to make the bathroom bright even at nighttime and create pleasant and comfortable surroundings. To make our bathroom look beautiful but within budget, there are no other options than LED lighting. We can find LED lights referring to our taste and style at a meager price. When it comes to saving energy, LED lights are also taking away the fame here.

Consider buying from recycling centers:

Recycled building materials and fixtures are also a perfect option if we want them at a lower price. We can find many habitats for humanities out there from which you can buy salvaged materials at half price from home-center prices. But we also need to keep in mind that not all contractors work with salvaged materials. So we have to discuss this fact with the contractor while hiring them.


We can save on painting by doing it ourselves. We need some painting brush, old clothes to wear while painting, some rollers and some bright colors of your own choice. We can look into magazines and online for painting ideas and hacks. If we can paint the second story ourselves, the cost of painting will be saved. We can also go for some DIY ideas to create art by ourselves.


Lighting is essential for every house. To save our extra cost on lighting, we can try using the natural light more at daytime by installing light tubes in suitable places of the house. The installation cost of these tubes is also a shallow and undoubtfully and efficient option.

When the sun sets, we can brighten up the house with cost-efficient LED lights. LED lights’ lifespan is much higher than other lights, and they also come in many designs and styles.



Deciding to add an extra story to the existing house is all about balance. We have to keep in mind many facts and issues before going for it. But it is not a very simple project and needs regular observation and guidelines. If we are very concerned about the overall cost, we should look properly for every option possible to cut the cost and let our contractor know about this fact to help us in this matter.





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