How Much Does It Cost To Add A Second Story [All Confusions Cleared]

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If you’re considering moving to a big house, adding a second story can help you. It not only gives you more living space but also increases the house’s value. But to add a second story, you must have a big budget.

How much does it cost to add a second story?

Making a partial second story costs nearly $40,000 – $100,000. Adding a complete full second story costs $160,000 – $350,000. This price range includes planning, permit, framing, plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and interior costs. The cost rate is lower for the partial second story. But higher for a full second story.

That was the sneak peek. To know more details about the cost read our piece till the end!

So, let’s begin!

Second Story Addition Cost Calculator

The average cost to add a second story is $100-$300 per square foot. If you add a partial story it would cost you nearly $39,435 – $91,005. For a full second story, the cost would be nearly $155,430 – $337,301.

For better understanding, we’ve included a cost calculator for you-

FactorsPartial StoryPartial StoryFull StoryFull Story
Area 500 sq. ft.700 sq. ft. 2,000 sq. ft.2,700 sq. ft.
Planning & Designing$1,000-$7,500$1,400-$10,500$4,000-$30,000$5,400-$40,500
Permit$75-$425$105-$595$300-$1,700$405-$2,295
Framing$23,075-$30,750$32,305-$43,050$92,300-$123,000$124,605-$166,050
Plumbing$2,925-$4,360$4,050-$6,260$11,250-$15,750$15,375-$20,060
Electrical$1,160-$2,720$1,640-$3,760$4,880-$11,240$6,400-$14,400
HVAC$7,950-$9,700$11,000-$13,440$31,350-$37,500$42,000-$51,050
Interior$3,250-$10,000$3,600-$13,400$11,350-$30,400$15,150-$42,400
Total Cost$39,435-$65,455$54,100-$91,005$155,430-$249,590$209,335-$337,301

Not sure how we’ve come up with such a big amount? Don’t worry, we’ll show you the total cost breakdown for the second story addition. But before that, let’s get to know what partial story and full story means.

2 Types Of Second Story Addition & Their Cost

When talking about the second story various designs come to our mind. We see stories that fully occupy the roofing area. Then there are some stories that are half the size of the floor beneath. 

You’ll even see a second story built on a garage. We’ve mentioned the types of second stories that are common these days-

Full Second Story Addition Cost

A full second story house is usually built over 2,000 sq. ft. or more. By full story we mean it occupies all the area of its ground floor. The cost of adding a full second story is near $160,000 – $350,000. 

Partial Second Story Addition Cost

A partial second story is built over half the area of its ground floor. Usually, a partial second story is built on 500-700 sq. ft. of area. The cost of adding such a story is near $40,000 – $100,000. 

Building a partial second story is like building a tiny house. The cost for building tiny houses is similar to the partial-second story cost guideline.

Second Story Addition Cost Breakdown

Adding a second story is a big home renovation project. You’d have to evaluate the cost for each step and all the criteria. To do that, first, you’d need a solid budget plan. Here we’ve broken down the total cost for building a second story. Hopefully, this will help you make your own budget plan.

Planning & Designing 

Architect fee per square foot is $2-$15. Partial stories for buildings are usually This cost depends on a few factors. Concept development & drafts, construction document, and project administration fees are included in the architect fees. Instead of charging separately, most architects charge a combined amount.

Architectural Design Cost By Stories

Partial StoryPartial StorySecond StorySecond Story
500 sq. ft.700 sq. ft.2,000 sq. ft.2,700 sq. ft.
$1,000-$7,500$1,400-$10,500$4,000-$30,000$5,400-$40,500

Sometimes you can hire architects on an hourly basis. Architects charge $125-$250 per hour based on the type of design. Hiring them on an hourly basis is recommended for small projects only. 

If you’re adding a partial second story then going by hourly rate is alright. But for a full second-story, it’s better to go by per sq. ft. rate.

Permit

Building permit costs between $0.15-$0.85 per sq. ft. The cost range varies depending on a few factors. Such as the type of your building, its location, market value, etc. 

Permit Cost By Stories

Partial StoryPartial StorySecond StorySecond Story
500 sq. ft.700 sq. ft.2,000 sq. ft.2,700 sq. ft.
$75-$425$105-$595$300-$1,700$405-$2,295

You can apply for a permit once you get your architect design for a second story.

Framing

Framing is the whole structure of your house. Building the framing for your second story includes lumber, roofing, flooring, and insulation cost. As you can see, it’s a very important part of the whole construction. To build a strong framing for your second story you should use good materials.

Here’s the total framing cost for a partial and full second story construction-

Total Framing Cost For Partial Second Story

Cost of Each Factor500 sq. ft.700 sq. ft. 
Lumber$17,500-$20,000$24,500-$28,000
Roofing$3,500-$5,250$4,900-$7,350
Flooring$1,800-$4,500$2,520-$6,300
Insulation$275-$1,000$385-$1,400
Total$23,075-$30,750$32,305-$43,050

Total Framing Cost For Full Second Story

Cost of Each Factor2,000 sq. ft.2,700 sq. ft. 
Lumber$70,000-$80,000$94,500-$108,000
Roofing$14,000-$21,000$18,900-$28,350
Flooring$7,200-$18,000$9,720-$24,300
Insulation$1,100-$4,000$1,485-$5,400
Total$92,300-$123,000$124,605-$166,050

Not quite sure from only seeing tables? Don’t worry! We’ve broken down all the factors and their costs below.

Lumber

Lumber is a much-needed material when adding a second story to your house. The lumber cost per sq. ft is $13 to $15. As for the labor cost, it’s $22 to $25 per sq. ft

The table below explains the cost for partial and full second story addition-

Lumber Cost For Partial Story
Per sq. ft.Lumber CostLabor FeeTotal Cost
500 sq. ft.$6,500-$7,500$11,000-$12,500$17,500-$20,000
700 sq. ft.$9,100-$10,500$15,400-$17,500$24,500-$28,000
Lumber Cost For Full Story
Per sq. ft.Lumber CostLabor FeeTotal Cost
2,000 sq. ft.$26,000-$30,000$44,000-$50,000$70,000-$80,000
2,700 sq. ft.$35,100-$40,500$59,400-$67,500$94,500-$108,000

Point to be noted, the cost varies depending on how much lumber you use. If the construction requires a lot of lumber then the cost would be higher. Basically, it depends on your story design and structure.

Roofing

The roofing cost for adding a second story is $6-$9 per sq. ft. Depending on which material you use for roofing the price would vary. 

For example, using tile, cedar, or slate will cost a lot since they’re expensive. For cheaper and good quality clay, metal, and asphalts are recommended options. 

The labor cost for adding roofing is $1-$1.50 per sq. ft

Let’s count the roofing and labor cost and see the total amount-

Roofing Cost For Partial Story
Per sq. ft.Roofing CostLabor FeeTotal Cost
500 sq. ft.$3,000-$4,500$500-$750$3,500-$5,250
700 sq. ft.$4,200-$6,300$700-$1,050$4,900-$7,350
Roofing Cost For Full Story
Per sq. ft.Roofing CostLabor FeeTotal Cost
2,000 sq. ft.$12,000-$18,000$2,000-$3,000$14,000-$21,000
2,700 sq. ft.$16,200-$24,300$2,700-$4,050$18,900-$28,350

Flooring

The flooring cost per sq. ft. is $3 to $7. Similar to framing, there’s a lot of flooring materials available to choose from. Stone, ceramic, exotic hardwood, luxury vinyl tiles are the most popular and expensive choices. Concrete, sheet vinyl, tiles are comparatively a lot cheaper options.

If you’re not sure about which one to pick we can help you. Here’s our pick for the flooring product for your second-story addition-

Product 1
Product 2

The labor cost for flooring is $0.60-$2.00 per sq. ft. The table below shows flooring cost for partial and full story addition-

Flooring Cost For Partial Story
Per sq. ft.Flooring CostLabor FeeTotal Cost
500 sq. ft.$1,500-$3,500$300-$1,000$1,800-$4,500
700 sq. ft.$2,100-$4,900$420-$1,400$2,520-$6,300
Flooring Cost For Full Story
Per sq. ft.Flooring CostLabor FeeTotal Cost
2,000 sq. ft.$6,000-$14,000$1,200-$4,000$7,200-$18,000
2,700 sq. ft.$8,100-$18,900$1,620-$5,400$9,720-$24,300

Insulation

If you are adding a second story it’s best to consider insulating your house. Adding insulation to your house has multiple benefits. It’ll keep your second story noiseless from the ground floor. 

It’ll also keep the thermal level of the house at the best temperature. Cooling and heating appliances will work more effectively. You won’t face issues like air transfer from downstairs to ceiling quite frequently.

Insulating your second story will also save energy by containing heat. In most cases, heat loss causes a great amount of energy loss. But with proper insulation, your house will be kept warm for a long time. As a result, there will be less need for energy absorption. 

While you’re at it, upgrade your existing house insulation system as well. It’ll save you the hassle of going through the same renovation project.

The insulation cost per sq. ft. is $0.30 to $1.50. Depending on the insulating product the cost range will vary. Labor cost ranges from $0.25 to $0.50 per sq. ft.

The table below explains the insulation cost for a partial and full second story addition-

Insulation Cost For Partial Story
Per sq. ft.Insulation CostLabor FeeTotal Cost
500 sq. ft.$150-$750$125-$250$275-$1,000
700 sq. ft.$210-$1,050$175-$350$385-$1,400
Insulation Cost For Full Story
Per sq. ft.Insulation CostLabor FeeTotal Cost
2,000 sq. ft.$600-$3,000$500-$1,000$1,100-$4,000
2,700 sq. ft.$810-$4,050$675-$1,350$1,485-$5,400

Plumbing

Plumbing is a big part of the home renovation project. Adding a second story will cost you plumbing fees as well. But that depends on how many plumbing appliances you want in your second story. 

For a full second story, it’ll cost a little less than the grounding floor. That’s because the second-story addition doesn’t require plumbing routes built from scratch. 

For half story addition, the cost will be even lesser. A half story addition may only contain 1 bathroom and a small kitchen.

The average plumbing cost per sq. ft. is $4.50-$5.60. Although, the plumbing cost is usually not counted by per sq. ft. cost. Rather, it’s counted by the fixtures and components used in building the project. 

Plumbing for new story additions generally takes 1-2 weeks depending on the complexity. The labor cost for plumbing is $75-$130 per hour. Depending on how many hours the plumber is working the total cost will increase. 

Partial story addition may take 3-4 days to complete. A full story addition may take 1 or 2 weeks.

The table below will give you a rough idea of the total plumbing cost-

Total Plumbing Cost For Partial Story

Per sq. ft.Plumbing CostLabor FeeRequired Labor Time (hour)Total
500 sq. ft.$2,250-$2,800$675-$1,5609-12 hours$2,925-$4,360
700 sq. ft. $3,150-$3,920$900-$2,34012-18 hours$4,050-$6,260

Let’s check out the chart for full-story-

Total Plumbing Cost For Full Story

Per sq. ft.Plumbing CostLabor FeeRequired Labor Time (hour)Total
2,000 sq. ft.$9,000-$11,200$2,250-$4,550’30-35hours$11,250-$15,750
2,700 sq. ft. $12,150-$15,120$2,625-$4,94035-38 hours$15,375-$20,060

Electrical

The average cost for electrical work is $2-$4 per sq. ft. The cost mainly differs on the power, outlets, and number of electric fixtures. Second story house doesn’t need an electric route to be built from scratch. That’s why it will cost you less than building the first floor’s electrical cost.

The labor fee for electrical work is $40-$120 per hour. The tables below show the total cost for electrical work in a partial and full second story addition-

Total Electrical Cost For Partial Story

Per sq. ft.Electrical CostLabor FeeRequired Labor Time (hour)Total
500 sq. ft.$1,000-$2,000$160-$7204-6 hours$1,160-$2,720
700 sq. ft. $1,400-$2,800$240-$9606-8 hours$1,640-$3,760

Total Electrical Cost For Full Story

Per sq. ft.Electrical CostLabor FeeRequired Labor Time (hour)Total
2,000 sq. ft.$4,000-$8,000$880-$3,24022-27 hours$4,880-$11,240
2,700 sq. ft. $5,400-$10,800$1,000-$3,60025-30 hours$6,400-$14,400

HVAC

HVAC installation is pretty important when adding a second story to the home. The newly added story will be more exposed to the weather. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to your HVAC installation. So that, you won’t have to worry about energy loss or extreme weather conditions.

There’s an advantage of installing HVAC in the second story. That is you can easily run ductwork through floor trusses. The HVAC installation cost per sq. ft. is $15-$18. The labor cost for it ranges from $50-$70 per hour. 

The tables below show the installation cost for HVAC in partial and full second stories-

Total HVAC Cost For Partial Story

Per sq. ft.HVAC CostLabor FeeRequired Labor Time (hour)Total
500 sq. ft.$7,500-$9,000$450-$7009-10 hours$7,950-$9,700
700 sq. ft. $10,500-$12,600$500-$84010-12 hours$11,000-$13,440

Total HVAC Cost For Full Story

Per sq. ft.HVAC CostLabor FeeRequired Labor Time (hour)Total
2,000 sq. ft.$30,000-$36,000$1,350-$1,50027-30 hours$31,350-$37,500
2,700 sq. ft. $40,500-$48,600$1,500-$2,45030-35 hours$42,000-$51,050

Interior Construction

Interior designing takes a significant amount of money from the whole budget. Interior designing costs $5-$12 per sq. ft. To hire an interior designer you’d have to count $50-$200 per hour.

Making the interior design might take a long time. For bigger areas, it might take 4-8 weeks of work. That’s nearly 33-50 hours of work. It also costs a lot for big houses. After all, the cost for furnishing a 2,000 sq. ft. house won’t be small. For smaller projects, 1-2 weeks is enough. 

Here are the tables explaining interior design cost for partial and full second story addition-

Total Interior Cost For Partial Story

Per sq. ft.Interior CostDesigner FeeRequired Labor Time (hour)Total
500 sq. ft.$2,500-$6,000$750-$4,00015-20 hours$3,250-$10,000
700 sq. ft. $3,500-$8,400$1,000-$5,00020-25 hours$3,600-$13,400

Total Interior Cost For Full Story

Per sq. ft.Interior CostDesigner FeeRequired Labor Time (hour)Total
2,000 sq. ft.$10,000-$24,000$1,350-$6,40027-32 hours$11,350-$30,400
2,700 sq. ft. $13,500-$32,400$1,650-$10,00033-50 hours$15,150-$42,400

Some Tips To Save Your Money While Adding a Second Story 

House renovation projects are never cheap. Even more so if it’s a big project like adding a second story. Needless to say that it may leave your bank account in a poor state. That’s why you need to be careful with spending the money. 

There are a few tips you can follow to reduce the total costs-

Design Planning

Rethink your second story planning and design. Choosing a simpler design will save you money from getting a permit. The contractor and architect costs will also reduce.

Use Creativity

Think of using your creativity in interior designing. Keeping up with an interior designer may not be possible. But you can still reduce the cost by using your own ideas.

DIY

Talk to your contractor and find out the work that you can handle yourself. If you have a DIY mindset, saving money becomes quite easy.

Hopefully, all this information was useful to you.

FAQs

Question: Why does adding a second story cost more than adding space on the ground?

Answer: There are several reasons for that. When building a second story you’d have to demolish the existing roof system. You’d have to add stairs or lift space. This means you’d have to bring a lot of change to the downstairs space. Also, running electrical, plumbing, HVAC routes through walls increases the total cost.

Question: What if there isn’t enough space for building stairs?

Answer: Staircases take a lot of living space. Not having enough space for stairs is quite a common scenario. In such cases, making a spiral staircase can solve the problem. This type of staircase gives the house a modern look as well.

Question: How long does it take to add a second story?

Answer: Building a partial second story takes 3-5 months of work. Adding a full second story takes six to twelve months. The time length depends on various factors. For example, weather conditions, building material availability, labor hiring affects the time length. 

EndNote

That was all about how much does it cost to add a second story? Hopefully, our discussion was helpful for you.

You can now draw up a nice budget plan for adding your second story. 

Good luck with your home renovations! See you next time!

Richard Allen