Designing the Perfect 2nd Story Addition: Tips and Ideas

Designing the Perfect 2nd Story Addition: Tips and Ideas
Published February 17, 2023 by Rob in Articles, Blog

Having a second story to a house is a major project that requires careful consideration and planning. Whether the goal is to expand the home’s living space, add extra bedrooms, or create an entirely new wing of the house, designing the perfect second-story addition can be challenging. Here are several ways to add a new floor to your humble abode.

Determine Functionality 

Before diving into the design and build process, determine the purpose of the addition and decide how the space will be used. Consider what the desired end result is and what needs to be accomplished. For example, is the addition intended for a larger master bedroom suite, a home office, an additional living space, or an in-law suite? There are numerous possibilities, and the design and layout of the area should be based on the intended function.

Select the Right Design

Once the desired function of the addition has been determined, the design can be evaluated. Think about what style and look will work best for the home and choose a design that fits with both the architecture and design elements of the existing structure. There are a variety of options, from traditional to contemporary. It can also be helpful to look at photos of second-story additions and see what design elements have been incorporated into previous projects.

Address Structural Concerns

Inspect the existing structure to ensure it can support the additional load of a second story. If the existing structure needs to be stronger, modifications need to be made before construction begins. Additionally, the existing wiring and plumbing must be checked to ensure they can be used for the addition or if additional infrastructure must be installed.

Incorporate Natural Materials

Natural elements such as wood, stone, and other natural textures can help create a warm and inviting space. Wood floors, exposed beams, and stone accents can create a cozy and inviting atmosphere and help blend the addition with the existing structure. Materials such as brick, stucco, and siding can create a cohesive look and are available in various finishes and colours.

Choose a High-Quality Roof

The addition’s roof is one of the most important structural components, and it should be built with high-quality materials rated for extreme weather conditions. Generally, metal and tile roofs are the best choices for a second-story addition due to their durability and long-term performance. If a shingle roof is selected, it must be an architectural-grade shingle that can withstand high winds and other elements.

Focus on Natural Light

Creating a space filled with natural light can make the area feel larger and more open. This can be achieved with windows in the roof, strategically placed wall windows, and light tubes that pipe in natural light from higher levels. Skylights are also an excellent option for a second floor and can bring in light without compromising the privacy of the space.

Utilize Decks and Balconies

Adding decks and balconies to a second-story addition is a great way to expand the living space and create an outdoor area. This can be a great spot for entertaining or relaxing; if done right, it can make a seamless transition between the indoors and out. When designing a second story, evaluate the placement of the decks and balconies to maximize the views from the addition.


Designing the perfect second floor can be a complex task, but planning and considering the design elements can help ensure the space is what you imagined. From determining the function of the addition to selecting the materials and taking into account natural light and outdoor spaces, there are numerous factors to look out for.

Incredible Homes can create the perfect second-story addition that meets all your needs and desires. We will work with you to create an aesthetically pleasing, functional, and cost-effective design. Reach out to us to start your dream home project!