Cost of Adding a Second Story | Toronto & Montreal

An overvaluation in the Toronto property market has pushed many homeowners to consider renovating their homes to meet their changing needs in lieu of moving. And when living space is a major requirement, a house extension or room addition is usually the go-to renovation project.

Depending on your location, your lateral living space may be limited, especially downtown. If your property is too narrow to extend laterally, extending vertically may be the only viable option.

A second story addition can be a partial floor or same living area as your main floor.

Home Extension vs Second-Storey Addition

Adding a ground-floor extension definitely isn’t cheap, but the complexity of a second floor contributes to its generally higher cost. There are several options you can implement with a new floor; you may wish to simply add extra bedrooms, but often another bathroom or two is ideal.

As part of building an additional floor, demolition and rebuilding of the existing roofing system is the first glaring difference that will entail additional work. The interruption to electrical systems, plumbing and HVAC throughout the walls and attic will also be more significant as the layout of these systems will have to be altered to accommodate the structural change. Stairs will also need to be added to connect to the two floors. The impact of this is often overlooked and it will mean sacrificing some space on the main floor, and is an additional cost that isn’t a factor with an extension.

partial two story house

Formulating a Budget

The two primary factors you need to consider when establishing a budget for your second story project are typical market costs for your location and the individual elements that will make up the additional floor (e.g. amenities, number of rooms, HVAC, etc.).

For comparison purposes, we can categorize three levels of project scope for a second story addition as:

Economy – This may consist of primarily extra bedrooms with standard power outlets, no HVAC, a modest-sized bathroom and budget fixtures and finishing.
Standard – From a functionality standpoint, an additional floor may consist of three bedrooms, an ensuite, a mid-large-sized main bathroom, and HVAC system installed throughout.
High-End – While the functional elements may consist of those similar to standard addition, higher-end fixtures for the bathrooms, a luxury-style finishing and an entertainment balcony are typical features you could expect to include at this budget range.

second floor under construction

The table below shows typical per square foot prices you can expect to pay based on our customer’s projects in Toronto & Montreal. While these are average figures, an important factor affecting square foot pricing will be the overall size of the floor. A bigger space will tend to attract a lower per-square-foot price in line with the economies of scale.

  Economy Standard High-End
Toronto $205 / sq. ft. $300 / sq. ft. $360 / sq. ft.
Montreal $180 / sq. ft. $240 / sq. ft.

$300 / sq. ft.

Picking the Right Contractors

A general contractor that specializes in home additions is the kind of expert you should work with to manage this type of project. Besides providing ideas for the initial planning stage, their role also consists of consulting with engineers and architects to put plans together and oversee all work done from roof lifting, framing, plumbing, HVAC and electrical, down to the final finishing.

RenoAssistance has gathered the best home addition contractors in Greater Toronto and Montreal. They all meet our strict criteria in order to receive our 360° Verified seal of approval.

Give us a call at 1-888-670-9742 or submit your project online to speak to an Advisor now. They will discuss your project with you and refer up to three 53-point Verified Contractors to provide competing quotes for your project in order to ensure you get the best price. Best of all, our service is FREE and there’s no obligation to follow through with any of the contractors we refer. You literally have nothing to lose!

Happy renovations start here!