Is Adding a Second Story Cheaper than a Ground Floor Addition?

So, you’ve realized that you need an extra space in your home. But, because you love the current location of your home, you are not ready to move. As such, you’ve decided to either build up by adding another story or build out by creating an addition. Cost is a factor to consider when making this decision. However, the kind of the space you need should dictate how you create it. 

The Required Space 

Building out or up are boot suitable option if you need additional baths or bedrooms for your growing family. But, if you need a recreational room like a playroom or den, building an addition may be better than adding a second story. 

The Property 

The shape and size of the property should also play a role when making this decision. For instance, if there is a large backyard in the property, an addition can be the best option. But, if you have a relatively small rear yard, a second story would be better. 

Zoning Issues 

It’s important to talk to your municipality about the local zoning laws. Maybe there are ordinances in your town about setbacks that can limit the distance between your house and your property line with the neighbor. There could also be laws about how high houses can be in your town. Therefore, check with your municipality to find out if there are zoning issues to consider when making this decision.  


Your budget is also a crucial factor to consider when deciding to build up or out. Building up is relatively less expensive than building out. However, there are caveats to consider. An addition costs between $80 and $200 per square foot to build. However, you will need more time before relocating because the remove has to be removed when building up. 

Generally, there is no surefire way of determining whether an addition or a second story provides a cheaper way of expanding a living space. For some people, an addition is cheaper while for others adding a second story is less expensive. Therefore, consider these factors and work with your contractor to achieve your goal without breaking a bank.