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Old 09-29-2011, 11:48 AM   #1
zacs
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Addition construction advice/guidance needed

We are in the beginning phases of looking at a major addition to our home.

This is not something we will do for a few years, but I need to start some preliminary research now.

I guess my first question is, where do I start? What we want to do would be considered pretty major project. I want to put a second floor on our ranch, which would add about 1800 sq. feet.

I would think I need an architect, right? How/where can I find one?

Another question: Is it possible/feasible to raise the ceiling height of my current one story (ranch) when I add on a second floor?

I have some more questions, but lets start there.

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Old 09-29-2011, 12:04 PM   #2
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Good luck? Is it only an option to remodel the current vs. sell and buy a new home? Considering the current state of the housing market you might want to at least run through the financials of this option......you could get much more than you remodeled for the $$?

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Old 09-29-2011, 12:24 PM   #3
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One of my neighbors just did the very same thing. Cost him $250K to do it. If I were him, I would have just bought another house. Not saying that his is the same project as yours but sounds pretty similar.

Call a few places and get some estimates, it free to get an estimate an feel out what you are getting into. They might have some valuable advise for you too.

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Old 09-29-2011, 12:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
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Good luck? Is it only an option to remodel the current vs. sell and buy a new home? Considering the current state of the housing market you might want to at least run through the financials of this option......you could get much more than you remodeled for the $$?
We've thought about it. we really like where we live.

I guess understanding the process of the addition and what is possible and what is not, and how it works, and how much it costs is needed in order to make that decision.

There is a house down the street from me that I would buy tomorrow, but I don't think it will be available in 2-3 years when I will have the money saved up to do it.

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Old 09-29-2011, 12:32 PM   #5
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Call a few places and get some estimates, it free to get an estimate an feel out what you are getting into. They might have some valuable advise for you too.
Yeah, thats what i'm trying to do. Figure out who to talk to. Architect? Contractor?

And if so, I need to find some good ones..

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Old 09-29-2011, 12:38 PM   #6
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Most contractors have architects they work with regularly, so ask around and find out who is fair and good in your town.Raising the first floor ceiling height would not be a wise choice as far as return for the $$$. Is it doable? Yes but not worth the cost or headache. You may want to ask your local building inspector for recommendations.

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Old 09-29-2011, 01:45 PM   #7
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Design/Build firms would be your best bet. I would also recommend you go with a member of NARI.

http://www.nari.org/
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:31 PM   #8
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You may also need an architectual engineer. We had the same thought some years ago but found out they would have to add at least one steel beam for load bearing purposes. Bigger bucks than we were willing to spend. Ended up adding to the back

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Old 09-29-2011, 02:36 PM   #9
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I'd look for an older couple that wants to trade down in size. More of them than you think

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Old 09-29-2011, 05:21 PM   #10
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don't waste your time, the contractors time and the architect's time, why, because your not going to do it for 2-3 years, the price you get now will be no where near what it's going to cost 2-3 years down the line, I've been doing this for 20 years and if I was a contractor at your house looking at this and you told me it wasn't going to happen for that period of time I would say thank you very much, call me then,
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:54 PM   #11
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Where do you start.......first you pay to have your lot surveyed...and make sure the boundary is marked somewhere near where you want to put the addition...Then get a copy of the deed....see if there is any covenants...Then go see the building inspector and find out what your minimum setbacks are.

You don't need an architect you need a competent builder he will work with you to come up with what you want.

Do the other stuff first. It's costly but so is removing the whole thing if there's covenants and a neighbor anywhere in the area complains.
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Old 09-29-2011, 05:55 PM   #12
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And don't hire any friends or relatives or relatives of friends.
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Old 09-29-2011, 06:49 PM   #13
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What Salty said, but if you are just going up in the same footprint you shouldn't need to pay to have your lot surveyed. There may also be an existing plot plan you could use to review offsets.

Also, if you are on ISDS you will need to see how many bedrooms it was designed for, you may need to increase (and in some areas this may need to be bottomless sand filter $$$). Also find location on plot plan on file at RIDEM.

A good contractor should be able to come up with a set of plans for permit, including having an engineer stamp any beams, trusses, or other non standard framing.

If you aren't looking to do this for a few years, I would put together some rough floor plans and material specs to get prices from contractors later. This isn't that hard to do yourself if you are familiar with whats needed. There's a girl in Wakefield that does plans, Red House Design
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:47 AM   #14
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Thanks Bill. Yeah, i'm just looking to stay on the same footprint, just go up a level, including over my garage.

I already have a layout/plan in mind, it would still be same # of beds so no ISDS issues.

but if raising ceiling height on the first level is big $$ and hassle, I may not do it. I think it would need to be done along with the addition, though, because I think it would be hard to sell a higher end home in my neighborhood with low 1964 ceilings on the first floor. People looking to buy a nicer 3000+sqft house in my neighborhood want the nice high modern ceilings.

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Old 10-04-2011, 04:29 PM   #15
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I've done two or three of those. The only time it made sense was when we made a cape into a colonial. Chances are, you have small rooms downstairs and will add large bedrooms upstairs. You will lose a surprising amount of space to the stairway itself, thus making one of your downstairs rooms even smaller.

If you do an entire rip out the walls remodel of your whole house, you'll probably want to change the location of windows et.c.

Raising the ceilings downstairs more than a few inches would be very difficult and expensive.

My brother in law tried to get me to do a second story on his house. I refused to even talk about it. He hired someone who did a decent job, then he sold the house at a loss and bought another one.

I'm going to have to go along with those who have recommended moving.....Sorry

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Old 10-04-2011, 06:20 PM   #16
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Gotta agree with Stewie... And I have also done this to my own house when I was married, before kids. Took a cottage to a salt box. Does not make economic sense, nor will you get all the room you are looking for.

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Old 10-05-2011, 06:04 AM   #17
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lets see,if you were down on the elbow of the cape that wood run you about 423-450,000.00 and that wouldn't enclude any new septic for those new bedrooms.

new con. per sq.ft runs around 175-200.00, about half the builders are going 240.-250.......don't shoot the builder..aim at all the subs who get 100.00 an hour.insurance is very high..permitts have gone way=way up....lumber yards have gone down alot in prices, but if your into plastic trim you can tripppplle the trim price. .....your far better off buying a home thats 15-20 years old..far better materials in it then whats used today.reel wood..reel nails...reel paint..better built in most cases.larger land mass.
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Old 10-05-2011, 12:31 PM   #18
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I still say find someone who wants to trade, Their kids have grown and they want to downsize. They exist.

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