Adding a 2nd story addition or lifting house

I've read a few posts about people looking for suggestions about remodeling or moving due to the need for more space. I have a few questions that I'm hoping a few people might have answers for.

1. Has anyone added a partial second story (600-800 sq ft) to a Craftsman Bungalow? How much did it cost? I know every job is different but this can help me better understand how much it might set me back. I'm looking to add on 2 kid bedrooms, full bathroom, 2nd living room.

1a. How long did your project take?
1b. Would you recommend the group who made your project happen? If so, who did you use?

2. Has anyone had their house lifted to add a new first floor? How much did this cost? Our house had already been retrofitted but if it's more cost effective to lift the goose I don't want to rule it out.

2a. How long did your project take?
2b. Would you recommend the group who made your project happen? If so, who did you use?

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

We added a 2nd story (but only about 500-600 sq feet) master bedroom/bath and nursery to our craftsman in Rockridge 2 years ago (we ended up selling it and moving back to SF).  Pics are here to see the end result (added the staircase towards the back of the home)  It took about 6 months and was extensive (couldn't live there for most of it).  We used Jarvis Architects and Ryan Campbell Construction - couldn't recommend both more highly.  The entire project cost approximately $350K for us and given the cost/sq foot in the area it was more than worth it.  Happy to chat more if you'd like.

My coworker added 2nd floor in Albany. Another 500 SF approx. you can't really get price/SF since its not as simple as building it from scratch. As my understanding she spent almost 300K. She got a contractor to build frame of 2nd floor, adding foundation footing, and she has different trades contractor for plaster, plumbing, electrical. She also changed all her plumbing pipes to pvc and improve sother misc. stuff. Hopefully, you can get the ballpark number from it. Good luck!

Hi! We just got permitted and are breaking ground this week on a house lift. I’d be happy to talk about our experience so far. Feel free to give me a call in the evenings or weekends. 530-559-5221

Good luck!!


I am an architect and have been doing these types of projects for many years in the East Bay, so I will see if I can answer your questions. 

1. Cost of adding 600sf - 800sf on the second floor- prices have gone up dramatically in the last few years. Currently, I would estimate between $600-$800/sf for the addition. This amount includes the work you have to do on the main and foundation level to access it and support it (i.e. adding stairs, shear walls, upgrading or replacing the foundation, upgrading the electrical and mechanical systems, etc.).  Costs are dependent on the soil and site conditions, extent of remodeling required on the main level, quality of finishes, etc. 

2. Construction normally takes between 7 - 9 months for a project of this size.

3. Lifting the whole house and building a new ground level addition equal in size to your existing house, would be much more expensive. This requires a much larger addition (I'm assuming your house is larger than 800sf and is most likely located on a flat site?) and would require the existing house to be remodeled, since you would most likely want to have the bedrooms on the second floor and have the kitchen/living/dining on the new ground floor.  The cost per square foot would be similar but the overall project is much larger than the first option. 

4. This type of project would most likely take 8-12 months to construct.

Feel free to contact me if you want more information. 

Kathy Rogers,

Sogno Design Group

We added a second story to our house in Albany in 2016-2017. We already have a basement and therefore did not look into lifting the house. It took years before we felt like we understood the options and how they translated to final costs. From my research, I can tell you there is a huge range homeowners pay for remodeling services including second stories. The type of finishings you choose (floors, tile, cabinetry) impacts the total cost, but just as important is who you hire and when you build.