How Much Does It Cost To Add A Second Story In 2024?

All homes are unique, especially when you begin adding customized additions. Consider these factors to determine your home’s second-story price tag.

Location

Where you live has several hands in determining your home addition budget. Prices can vary due to:

  • The cost of local permits
  • Labor and material costs in your area
  • The local climate and how it affects HVAC and insulation requirements
  • The style of local homes
  • The increase of local property taxes by adding more square footage

Labor

You’ll need a dedicated team of contractors to make your second-story build a success. A general contractor—the pro that often oversees the design, budgeting and hiring for the project—typically charges between 10% and 20% of the total project cost.

Additional labor costs for adding a second story are similar to the price of building a house. Labor will account for between 30% and 60% of the price, covering plumbers, electricians, carpenters, HVAC specialists and all the specialized pros for your project.

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Materials

The other half to two-thirds of the costs go toward materials. Some of the most important materials and their average costs—not including labor—for a second story include:

Building Up vs. Building Out

There is a lot of debate about whether it is cheaper to build up or build out. If your foundation is solid enough to bear the weight of a second floor, building up will cost less in most cases.

Not having to pay for new foundation installation, ground leveling and utility adjustments will often cost less than changing the structure of your existing home. However, this highly depends on your design. In some cases, tearing off the roof and building up requires more costly changes than building on open land.

Permits

There is no question that you will need building permits to add a second story to your home. Budget an extra $1,000 to $2,000 depending on the extent of the build and your local laws.

Site Preparation and Demolition

Demolition will account for the first major phase of adding a second story to your home. The roof, attic and ceiling need to come off, adding to the hourly total of work by your crew. In some cases, the team will use a crane to disconnect the roof, or part of the roof, in one piece for later.

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