The construction of log homes is designed with an aim to last long. Overtime, there may be a need to add more rooms to this existing log structure, which you are happy to stay in. It is a great way to obtain more living space from your home. The question arises whether to get space on the main floor side or build a second floor.
The answer will depend on aspects like
- Design of both existing and proposed addition
- Current building site
Both options will obviously impact the current home structure, so discuss with your structural engineer or architect before construction. First thing to consider,
‘Will the current home foundation bear the extra weight?’
The architect will check the proposed design to decide whether it will support or not and this may certainly eliminate the financial or logistical possibilities.
If you consider ……..
Adding second level
Obviously, foundations of cypress log homes can bear the second level weight without much changes [Cypress is a preferred wood material, since ancient times]. It means you consider adding a couple of dormers and turn attic footage into more usable space, while keeping cost and demolition to a rational level.
On the other hand, if you plan to add a full second level then there is a need to remove old roof. Now, you will need to deal with cost of demolition of really good roof as well as replace it. Adding second floor means adding staircase, which needs to be 3.5 feet wide and 12-16 feet in length.
Adding on the side of main level means building home from scratch. It will need new foundation, walls as well as access in your current home. Builder has to plan how to attach roof and walls. Building out option is more economical than adding second level, especially when you have space on the site.
Building up means workers will trespass your home, it will be exposed to weather elements, and construction noise will be unbearable making it hard to perform routine activities smoothly. Alternatively, extension means every construction activity is outside the home and moving around the house is smooth.
Matching logs and solid connections
It can be challenging to match logs. The current log walls got several years to dry and settle. The new logs may match exiting wall in the start but after several years shrink and go out of place. You can even try construction with totally dried logs. Predicting shrinkage level is tricky.
While adding solid logs to your current timber home will need a post, where both old and new meet. It allows responding independent to settlements and shrinkage. Weather-tight bonding needs skilled and experienced carpenters, who work building log homes.
With careful planning, the only limitations will be your budget and imagination. Architects help to identify unexpected possibilities or potential pitfalls, which saves you more than the cost. Make sure to check extension structure codes with local building inspectors.
Even find out if there is a need for extension permit or special permit for plumbing or electricity or foundation. Make sure to get blueprints approved from licensed engineers or architects.