If you own a cape cod or ranch home and are interested in expanding for your growing family then you have a few options available that can dramatically increase your living space with an add a level.
As a Bergen County Contractor serving Northern New jersey, we have built hundreds of add a levels. Adding a top floor, commonly referred to as an add a level or raised level, can increase your homes living area. If you own a ranch, you can remove the entire roof down to the existing ceiling beams. From there you can build an entire new top floor consisting of bedrooms and bathrooms. Typically most capes average around 1200 sq foot so you will be adding that much living space. With modifications on the existing first floor, you can open this area into an open floor plan.
Cape cod owners have a few options with their existing top floor. One of the design flaws with a cape cod is that the existing top floor ceilings are low. Especially at the front and the back of the home in the upper level. The ceilings slope down and create a lot of wasted space.
To increase living space, you have a few choices. First, you remodel the upstairs by building a rear or front dormer. The homes ridge would stay and 1/2 of the roof would be removed. You can remove the rear roof and install an 8′ ceiling in the rear. This would open up and gain space. Also at the center of the rear dormer you can install a bathroom. With the bathroom in the center,you can have a bedroom on each side of the bath.
Another option is to build both a front and back full dormer. With the original ridge in place, you rebuild the front and back which you now would have full 8′ walls and ceilings. The only problem is that your roof would be low since the original ridge is still being used. I rarely build this type of project. If you decide that you want to have full 8′ walls throughout the top floor, it is best to build a full add a level.
With an add a level, all the walls and roof from the existing top floor upwards are removed. The only part remaining is the 2nd floor decking. Now, an entirely new layout is built with full 8′ walls and possibly even a 10′ ceiling in the master bedroom. The roof is all new so you can have a high roof line to give your home that curb appeal.
Deciding on which option will be best for you can be difficult so you should consult with your New Jersey Remodeling Contractor
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