What Approvals You’ll Need When Adding The 2nd Story To Your Home

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Adding a second story to your home can take it up a level. These extensions have been known to have immeasurable worth to many homes’ appearance. If your family is growing, an extension will offer luxurious bedrooms for every child, a retreating space, and a vastly entertaining and open-plan living area. 

The ease of finding the URL of companies doing renovations makes such a plan even more achievable. However, before you commence this project, you should check out the approvals that you need. This article highlights some of these permissions. 

  1. Planning Approvals

Most countries regard building an additional story as permitted development – not needing planning permissions. However, you need to seek your local council’s approval before commencing the project if your house falls under the following categories:

  • Doesn’t have an additional story
  • Your house was not previously residential

Some local councils may also require you to obtain a permit if you intend to erect more than one story. In some countries, residential houses shouldn’t go above 18 meters high. Also, the additional stories shouldn’t add more than 3.5 meters to their total height. These stories must also be built on a principal part of the house.

The engineering operations should also focus on developing the existing walls and strengthen the existing foundations. The materials you use to construct the house should have a similar appearance to those users on the current house. The windows should not be placed in walls or roofs that are slopping and forming a side elevation of the structure. 

  1. Building Regulations

You’ll need building regulations approval before adding a story to your existing house. Most of these regulations apply to no more than two stories high. If you intend to add three stories or more, you may have to get permits for that. 

Building regulations will ensure that the structural strength of the new story is strong enough and stable. It should also offer a safe escape from fire. The stairs designed to access this new floor should also be reasonable and have sound insulation. 

  1. Wall And Foundation Approvals

You need to book an appointment with an inspector from your local council authority. This inspector should check whether your house’s walls are stable and strong enough to carry an extra load. Your contractor is supposed to brief them on how the new load will be supported. Most contractors continue the walls down through the house to the foundation or give it adequate intermediate support. 

If you intend to build a house having an existing load-bearing wall that doesn’t reach the foundation, the inspectors will check their beams to ensure they’re strong enough to carry the new loads. Lastly, they’ll confirm if the existing foundation can carry loads from the additional story. If they aren’t strong enough, you may have to increase their strength through underpinning. Fortunately, they’ll advise you on how to do this. 

  1. Floor And Beam Approvals

Second-story floors need to offer structural support to the room’s users, contents, and floor weight. Inspectors may inspect your building to ensure that the new floor joists can accommodate the new loads. If they can’t support them, you may need to buy timber or steel beams to reinforce them. These floors should also be soundproof to prevent you from interfering with your neighbors or lower occupants of the house. 


Building a second story in your house requires many approvals. Though they may seem tedious, these approvals are put in place to ensure that your building is safe and perfect. 

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