Ballpark to build a second floor on a 50s bungalow

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Posted by: from Victoria
5/12/2016 at 12:38:23 PM

Approx. 1000 square feet with open living room/dining room/kitchen. 2 bedrooms and a deck. In Victoria. Realize need structural engineer. I am looking to buy a house - market is crazy!

So is there any easy clues to be aware if want to add a second floor what do I need to know before purchasing? Most offers now have no conditions so hard to have a second look.


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Date/Time5/12/2016 at 1:10:53 PM

Hi Karen,

Yes the market is certainly hot there, here in Vancouver as well. My folks are realtors in Victoria and are seeing the types of offers you are talking about. Many people are looking at expanding and renovating existing spaces. There are many factors to consider when adding a second story, especially in Victoria; Are there view/height restriction covenants on title? Is the existing type of framing, 2x4 or 2x6 exterior walls? 2x4 walls aren't impossible to build upon but you are basically looking at gutting the main floor as well to double the walls, 2x6 is ideal. Is the basement foundation concrete? If so how deep and wide? Slab on grade is normally designed for the existing structure only so a basement foundation is ideal. Obviously all options are subject to a structural engineers approval as you've noted. Costs can range anywhere from $100 -$150 per square foot depending on the the type of quality and finishing options you are looking for. This is a ballpark without any knowledge of your actual design wishes. Hope this helped you out.


Mike Your Trusted Handytech.

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Karen in Victoria
Date/Time5/12/2016 at 9:09:06 PM

Thanks so much Mike. Great information! Would you say it would be easier and or cheaper to raise house and update basement?

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Date/Time5/13/2016 at 7:25:59 AM

Hi Karen,

Adding a second floor is always not that easy and needs a good visibility study including the possibilities of performing such project as well as the costs related.

You are right about the market these days but that will not stay for long and you have to wait in case you are looking to search for a new house and when the market return back to the normal stage. As for the addition, first you have to consult your city and a structural engineer to figure out first if that something you can do or not. Based on that information try to get a rough idea about the cost however no any contractor would be able to give you the right figure unless has the drawings, plans and specifications on hand. The very rough price cost for this project is $250 / sqft for basic finishing.

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