Movin’ on Up: What to Consider With a Second-Story Addition
Electrical panels are typically upgraded to 200 amps, and HVAC systems can be replaced, added on to or have new zones added, depending on whether they are forced-air or radiant systems. Hot water can be delivered in a number of ways — from tankless heaters with recirculating pumps to tank systems and separate on-demand systems just for a master bathroom. You could consider adding an energy-efficient system too, such as ductless heat pumps, geothermal heat pumps and solar-assisted hot water or photovoltaic panels.
It’s also possible to save a wood-burning fireplace and remove a separate mechanical chimney by replacing older equipment with new energy-efficient units that can vent horizontally (instead of vertically). The space that a mechanical chimney took up can also become a convenient chase for ductwork, plumbing or electrical to run to the second floor.
Making these decisions early in the process is key. Going back to order windows for half a house when the project is already started is sure to cause delays.
A project of this size nearly always requires vacating your home for the duration. But you’ll get to move back into a home that’s doubled in size and is 100 percent ready.