Upgrade a Basic Bookcase

Put a personal spin on an off-the-shelf bookcase with these easy DIY makeover ideas.

View Video

Stairway Railing Ideas

Stairway railings serve more than a functional purpose -- they give stairs a visual presence and make a staircase a work of art. Find ideas for the perfect railing for your stairway.

View Slideshow

Beach Chic Porch Renovation

A family put a new roof over their heads by turning their back deck into a coastal-inspired covered porch. Learn how they made the big change from their existing porch to their new, cozy family hangout area.

View Slideshow

Give a Plain Mirror a Makeover

Take a plain mirror to the next level with these easy DIY embellishments.

View Video

DIY Outdoor and Garden Projects

Sprucing up your outdoor space doesn't need to be a massive undertaking. Use these inspirational small projects -- including painting rocks to hanging new house numbers -- to instantly improve the look of a garden, patio, deck, or backyard.

View Slideshow

Add Storage Around Stairs

Step up your home's storage capacity by making the most of underused areas below and beside your stairs. Here's a look at 18 homes that beautifully optimized stairwell and staircase spaces.

View Slideshow
Popular in Home Improvement

Second Story Addition

Modular construction may be a cost-effective way to add a second story.

Q: My husband and I want to add a second story to our Cape Cod-style home. I've heard about using a prefabricated addition. How feasible is that?

A: You're probably thinking of what's commonly called modular construction. This is how it works: A complete addition—including roofing, floors, insulation, plumbing, and wiring—is built off-site to your specifications while your contractor constructs any necessary components to join the addition to your home. For a second-story addition, for instance, your contractor will build a stairwell, then, just before the addition is shipped, remove your home's roof, strengthen the joists as needed, and install plates to set the unit on.

When the addition arrives, it will take the crane operator and crew about a day to set it in place and weatherproof it. Subcontractors will connect the new and old heating systems, plumbing, and wiring, and then your contractor will complete the finishing details. Keep in mind that your foundation, framing, and footings will need to handle the additional weight of a second-story addition and that main-level additions may require extending your home's current foundation. Plus, you may need to increase the size of your furnace as well as the capacity of your electrical system. Please note: You'll need the assistance of an architect experienced with modular transitions.

So what's the payoff? Modular additions are typically ready in about a third the time of stick-built ones and can save homeowners big money. For more information go to www.buildingsystems.com.

close
close
close
close
close

Loading... Please wait...