We would prefer to have ceilings high enough to do an attic/loft sitting area but not right now. Would we be charged for both levels at the construction stage?
Any advise would be most appreciated.
You would want to have the load points and any beams in place, your engineered drawings should reflect this as future work. Beams could be added during the "Loft phase", provided that "pockets" are roughed in. Long of the short is, some extra preplanning now and incurring some necessary expenses during initial construction will save time, money and unnecessary headaches or "surprises" during your second phase.
The primary issue is to ensure that the structure is designed to hold the extra weight of a second story (loft)and this can be done with a structural engineer's assistace. (money well spent)Doing it in stages is fine but make sure the plan allows for the second stage so that you don't have to "renovate" in order to install the loft. It is usually less costly to do it all at the same time but I am assuming thr budget only allows for limited consruction. Just be wise and consult the proper people who understand what you want.
Enjoy your project.
I have built several structures using factory built roof trusses that incorporate a living space within the truss framing. Think of a triangle with a square inside, the top corners of the square touching the sloping sides of the triangle. Using this type of truss you can have an interior space about 12' wide on a 30' wide house times whatever the length of the building. Shingle the roof, pre-install wiring points, insulate the floor of the attic, till you are ready for the next stage. Then you open the ceiling below where you want the staircase, add steps, insulate the exterior of the box and finish as you please. You can also pre-install an end window or skylight.
Many many thanks to you all for your advice and information. I will incorporate all your points into the plans.
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