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Can You Add a Second Story to a House With a Crawl Space? (3 Factors to Consider)

Can You Add a Second Story to a House With a Crawl Space? (3 Factors to Consider)

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Adding a second story to your property is a great way to increase its size and value. Still, it’s essential to consider the foundation. This begs the question, can you add a second story to a house with a crawl space?

Most often than not, the crawl space foundation can only support a one-story house. If the addition is light enough, the crawl space joists might be able to support it.

Do you want to find out more? Keep reading this article to understand the requirements of adding a second story to your house.

Can You Add a Second Story to a House With a Crawl Space?

Many homeowners believe a crawl space foundation isn’t strong enough to support a second story. Yet, that’s not entirely true.

Adding a second story to your home depends on aspects other than the crawl space. You should also consider the soil underneath your house, and the dimensions of the house.

Most single-story houses don’t have a sturdy foundation to support a second story. Still, the contractor might’ve thought about this early on and built a sturdy foundation!

Even if the foundation of the house isn’t strong enough, you can make some changes to improve the strength of your foundation.

Ideally, a professional should examine your crawl space foundation before any additions. An unstable foundation might ruin the property’s integrity and can even be a safety hazard.

How to Know if Crawl Space Can Support a Second Story

Here are some key things to help you determine if your crawl space can support the extra weight:

1 – Crawl Space Weight Capacity

The first and most essential step is to calculate the weight capacity and floor load of your crawl space foundation.

Take a close look at the crawl space joists to determine their size, spacing, span, and their lumber grade and species. The joists should give you a rough estimate of the weight capacity of your crawl space.

Naturally, thicker, denser joists made of hardwood can carry more weight.

Still, the best way to determine the weight capacity is to get an expert’s opinion. They can precisely calculate the floor load limit, including live and dead loads.

2 – Crawl Space State

You can easily judge the state of your crawl space by looking at it. If there are any holes or cracks in your foundation, it probably isn’t sturdy enough for a second story.

Additionally, if the crawl space has had mold or water damage recently, it might need some repairs! So, it would be hazardous to build an addition.

3 – Environmental Issues

Another thing to keep in mind if you’ll be adding a second story is the weather and environment. Extreme weather can seriously impact the integrity of your second story.

For example, though using lighter materials can reduce the load on your foundation, lightweight structures can be unsafe if you live in a windy or rainy area.

Furthermore, some places are prone to earthquakes, which means you’ll need an extremely sturdy foundation to add a second story.

Alternatives to Building a Second Story

What if you require extra space, but your crawl space foundation can’t support the weight? Luckily, you can still add more room without altering the crawl space.

A partial addition is a great option to consider. Instead of adding a full second story, the partial addition is about half the size. It typically fits a master bedroom and a bathroom.

You might even want to consider just adding a bonus room or an attic. They’re incredibly affordable while still offering some space.

Building out can solve all your foundation issues if you have enough land. It’s significantly cheaper than building up, especially if you’re already remodeling your home.

How Much Would It Cost to Add a Second Story?

The cost of adding a second story to your home varies according to many things. This includes the size of your addition, the materials used, and of course, the state of the foundation.

Generally, it costs anywhere between $300 to $500 per square foot. However, this figure doesn’t include any repairs or adjustments you’ll need to make to your crawl space foundation.

Final Thoughts

Can you add a second story to a house with a crawl space?

If you have a sturdy enough crawl space foundation, you can add a second story to your house, especially if you don’t use dense or heavy materials.

Yet, if your crawl space suffered water damage or mold, it might not support your extra addition. Instead, you can go for only an extra room!

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