Rennovation Advice and Structural Engineer Recommendations

Hi BPN!

We are considering doing some renovations to our house and are trying to wrap our heads around what will be feasible.  We are considering remodeling a substantial attic into living space and would like to get the opinion of a structural engineer of whether that would require significant foundation work or if our house could support essentially a second story.  Does anyone have recommendations of a person or firm we could contact to tell us this? Second, we'd love any advice on how to approach what is potentially a major renovation with a lot of options that we really aren't sure how to sort through!  The attic expansion is only one of a few options we've considered.  We have very little concept of what any of these would cost.  If anyone has tips for how to get a sense of budgets, or how to start sorting through the options (e.g. do we hire a designer/architect even if we are still a ways from being able to start the project)?  I've been listening to some renovation podcasts to get a general sense but any local experience would be quite helpful!  Thanks in advance!

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A one story house was probably not designed to support a second story.  You will want to start with the city to see what they will allow you to do.  I just checked and for our property there is a height restriction of 16 feet.  Are you in Berkeley?  There are more restrictions.

To see if your house will support a second story you will need to hire a structural engineer. 

I have used Ben Corotis from ADBC ARCHITECTURE in Oakland  Ben is BOTH a structural engineer AND an architect, so the combination is perfect.  He redesigned a small deck and stairs for my 1906 quirky Victoria farmhouse, so is great at looking at unusual structures and advising and designing..