NJ Home Improvement Contractor:Tips for a Larger Floor Plan on Your Raised Level

Are you thinking about modifying your home and adding a Raised Level. You may not realize it but there are different ways you and your NJ Home Improvement Contractor can make your soon to be Raised Level floor plan larger.

Raised Level Above Your Garage:

Have your NJ Home Improvement Contractor recommend ways for you to build above your garage. Let’s take a look at your garage, yes that’s right!!!. Many times you can also build your raised level above your attached single or double car garage allowing you more livable square footage in addition to the area above the main area of your home. If your home was built from the 1960’s upward, chances are the foundation under your garage can support a second level. You cannot be certain unless your NJ Home Improvement Contractor actually digs a few test holes alongside your actual garage foundation. He will be looking to see where the bottom of the foundation ends. Here in the Northeast,many local building codes require the foundation bottom to be a minimum of three feet below grade due to the frost line. This can be verified by having your NJ Home Improvement Contractor call your  local building department. In case your foundation does not meet  the local code depth, your NJ Home Improvement Contractor can modify the depth and fill with concrete to meet the needed code requirement. Once this is established, you can start adding the new Raised Level above your garage. With the combined square footage of the area that comprises above your main home and the additional area above your garage, you can have a beautiful new combined floor layout. Best part of this is that many building departments are becoming more strict in regards to the zoning requirements and setbacks within your town. It’s becoming harder to receive a permit when applying for additions to your home based on these new lot coverage requirements. If you slightly exceed these new requirements, the home owner will have to go through a variance meeting that involves usually a two -three month wait where you would go before your town and apply for the right to receive the permit to extend your home. By building above your existing garage for added square footage, you are building above an existing structure that  many times already conforms to your local building department requirements in which you may not need a variance.

Cantilever Your Raised Level

With the proper planning, your NJ Home Improvement Contractor can provide you with a larger floor plan for your raised level by cantilevering the new floor. When we say cantilever, it is simply referred to as an “overhang”. Many times, your new floor plan can incorporate a cantilever for additional square footage. When cantilevering, your NJ Home Improvement Contractor can add or sister new floor beams alongside the existing floor beams to create an extended beam that hangs out either past the front , rear , left or right side of your home. The most practical use to cantilever your raised level is in the front or back walls of your home. Many times a cantilever can extend two – three feet. For this example we will use two feet as our model. If you cantilever your front floor area two feet across the front top floor of a home that’s thirty feet wide, you just gained sixty more feet of floor space. Lets add to this example. If you do the exact same for the rear of the top floor you will pick up an additional sixty square feet for a total of one hundred twenty square feet. It a fairly easy way to gain more square footage. The only area of concern here is now you are extending your home towards the front and back property line. This could possibly infringe on these setbacks which would have to be looked at by your architect to confirm validity but for an architect, this is 10 minutes worth of investigating and you will have your answer if you think you are already close with your front yard setback.

As you can see, there are a few possible ways to gain added square footage  on your  new raised level. Discuss these options with your  NJ Home Improvement Contractor and hopefully you will benefit from the items mentioned above.