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Is It Better To Build Up or Out?

Could your family use more living space? If you’re not interested in moving, a home addition is the perfect solution. The question is whether you’re better off building a second-story addition or extending your living space on the ground floor.

Meridian Construction has the expertise to help you work through your options and make the right decision for your family’s needs, project time frame, and budget.

Building Up


When is it best to build a second floor?

Consider taking your home to the next level by building up. This is a great solution if you want added space above your one-story home.

You can expect the addition to increase home value and square footage, all without sacrificing your yard space.

What are the challenges of building up?

To make room for a second story, your builders must completely remove and rebuild the roof. Extensive architectural and structural engineering plans may also be required.

You may need to shore up the foundation and add structural beams to support the extra weight. It’s also necessary to incorporate a stairwell, which takes up some square footage on the ground floor.

Can I live at home while adding a second story?

If you’re just adding a room above the garage, you might be able to live at home during the project. However, if you’re adding an extensive second story, you must plan to move out temporarily.

What kinds of rooms can I add in a second-story addition?

Common second-story additions include:

  • Attic conversions
  • Dormer additions
  • Over-garage additions
  • Crafting or hobby room additions
  • Master suite additions
  • Bedroom additions

Building Out



When is it best to build out?

Most ground-floor additions build out of the side or back of the house. This offers minimal disruption to your living space, making it feasible to live at home during your project in most cases.

In the long term, you may appreciate having a one-story house, which makes it easier to navigate your home as you age in place.

What are the drawbacks of building out?

A ground-level addition means losing some of your yard. Depending on how close you wish to build to your property line, you might even need to obtain a zoning variance.

Be prepared to work around existing sewer and power lines and pour a new foundation to support the addition.

What kinds of rooms can I add in a ground-level addition?

A primary consideration when building out is deciding what rooms you want to add. Some popular ground-level additions include:

Is It Cheaper to Build Up or Build Out?

While the cost shouldn’t be the leading factor, it’s certainly worth considering. In general, building out is less expensive than building up. It also takes less time and is less disruptive to your living environment.

Still, you want the results of your project to meet your needs and expectations. Maybe you don’t have the yard space to accommodate building out. Building up is a great option, and the finished product will make the extra cost well worth it.

Build Up or Build Out With Meridian Construction

Whatever type of home remodel you choose, rest assured that you can rely on Meridian for a job well done. We take a comprehensive approach to home addition projects to ensure you love your home for many years to come.

Contact Meridian Construction at 215-720-1863 and request a consultation today.

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