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DIY - Forum Do It Yourself for Non-Fishing Items

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Old 12-12-2012, 04:57 PM   #1
Ian
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Adding a Second Story

Anyone ever added a second story to a home? Either from the home owner or contractor side?

Currently shopping for homes and wondering...
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Old 12-12-2012, 05:20 PM   #2
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Yeah I did it. Knocked back of house out and added second floor to combine the 2. I sub contracted all the structural, framing, and exterior work and electrical and heating and I did all the interior, hanging blueboard, paint and trim by myself. A lot of work but a lot of savings and I was also 15 years younger too. Not sure If I would take on that amount of work now, although I just redid 3/4 of a cottage on Cape last year but that wore me out and got old fast. Still got work to do but no timeline, except wife's which will never be possible, so that helps. If you like the location I would consider it. We did and are still happy. Hardest part is finding and hiring a competent builder that will make you happy with work and time line.

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Old 12-12-2012, 05:54 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply! I found a place in a neighborhood I have loved since I was a teenager. Its a ranch and space is just not there... building up using a renovation mortgage might be in the cards...
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Old 12-12-2012, 08:16 PM   #4
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Hardly ever see someone buy to add a floor. Usually people add on to a home they love, or have exhausted the listings for sale that fit the need. So I hope you love the house and neighborhood. And you better get the house for low money. Structural drawings, designs, fixtures, zoning, etc. Lots to consider. How much do you think you are going to spend per square new foot? How long do you intend to live there? You will be surprised at how much existing space you are going to lose to a staircase....
Just being devil's advocate. I did it in a previous marriage as a homeowner and am now a GC/remodeler.
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Old 12-12-2012, 09:02 PM   #5
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My stepdad and I raised the roof of a 3 car garage with a ton of cinder blocks and hydraulic jacks. Once the roof was slightly higher than we needed, we framed in the walls, lowered the jacks and built an apartment.. It was a pretty simple process.
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Old 12-12-2012, 10:06 PM   #6
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it'd be far cheaper to buy a larger home....builder 39 years an counting.
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Old 12-12-2012, 11:59 PM   #7
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You guys saying just buy bigger aren't shopping in the Glastonbury, CT market . My estimations currently put me at $290,000 after purchase and renovation. That puts me over 2k sf with a 2 car garage and basement. Property is up in the expensive section of town sized at 1.4 acres and has a small pond in the back yard.

Still early in the mental cog process, but the renovations should put the house well into the upper 300k range. Normally I would agree, but I like doing work myself and consider myself well above average in the "capability" department which should help keep costs down.

This isn't a "hope for it after purchase" kinda thing. Its going to go through rigorous planning and estimation... just putting the feelers out on feasibility (which seem encouraging)

EDIT: Also, thanks for keeping the responses coming. If this idea gains traction I will keep some updates coming.

Last edited by Ian; 12-13-2012 at 12:05 AM..
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:47 AM   #8
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3-400 thou may get you a 26x36 ranch on a quarter lot here....by a second floor I'm looking at taking the roof off,putting up 4 walls an a roof....all new wiring..plumbing etc....once you touch anything here it all has to be brought up to code,not just what your playing with...that means you need to do the whole house.$$$. new home to build costs around 200-225 sf to build [here] remodel can run between 385 to 450sf...thats why buying a larger home thats abit older say 20 years is alot cheaper and the materials in it are far better then what you can buy today.
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Old 12-13-2012, 06:55 AM   #9
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One thing I've heard (I am not a builder or architect) to consider: will the first floor support a second story. One story homes were mostly designed to support only a roof not an entire second floor. Are the current ceiling rafters able to perform as the second story floor. Of course this can all be correct but for $$$$.

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Old 12-13-2012, 07:29 AM   #10
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Don't forget you'll be paying for two mortgages every month until you move in.....
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:35 AM   #11
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Don't forget you'll be paying for two mortgages every month until you move in.....
Great point, we would be living with family while the house is uninhabitable. That was the first hurdle/logistical speed bump I had to clear. No kids yet and most of our belongings are already in (free) storage, so we are in pretty good shape there.
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Old 12-13-2012, 09:40 AM   #12
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One thing I've heard (I am not a builder or architect) to consider: will the first floor support a second story. One story homes were mostly designed to support only a roof not an entire second floor. Are the current ceiling rafters able to perform as the second story floor. Of course this can all be correct but for $$$$.
IMO this is the single largest unknown for the whole project. If this gains steam and I decide that I am going to offer short money on the house, I will be shopping for an engineer/architect to consult on the feasibility from a structural standpoint. Pulling the roof off a ranch provides some flexibility with playing with the existing ceiling (the to-be floor) and that consultant will be able to fill in the "unknowns" regarding those kinds of opportunities.
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Old 12-13-2012, 10:07 AM   #13
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all good points from the builders. Lots to ponder.

Grapenuts are you the flakes or just the nuts today?

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Old 12-13-2012, 10:21 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scratch59 View Post
IMO this is the single largest unknown for the whole project. If this gains steam and I decide that I am going to offer short money on the house, I will be shopping for an engineer/architect to consult on the feasibility from a structural standpoint. Pulling the roof off a ranch provides some flexibility with playing with the existing ceiling (the to-be floor) and that consultant will be able to fill in the "unknowns" regarding those kinds of opportunities.
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If you really, really, really like the location, there is always bring in the bulldozer and start from the ground up! Seems to be a fairly common occurrance now adays.

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Old 12-13-2012, 11:19 AM   #15
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If you really, really, really like the location, there is always bring in the bulldozer and start from the ground up! Seems to be a fairly common occurrance now adays.
While nothing is out of the question, I am hoping to extract at least SOME value out of the existing structure (which is in good shape, just a cosmetic nightmare.) The property won't be had for short enough money to doze and rebuild.
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Old 12-13-2012, 12:57 PM   #16
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all good points from the builders. Lots to ponder.

Grapenuts are you the flakes or just the nuts today?
going nuts today an having to work with flakes[sub's] isn't helping.... an no I didn't hire them they were already here...piss ant mindless wonders.I feel for a home owner trying to find someone to do work that won't f everything up.
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Old 12-16-2012, 09:28 PM   #17
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I use to do it .. A guy I use to work for use to make 2 story Garrisons out of single story ranches .. Day 1 ,,, get about 30 workers from every gin mill in Brockton . Day 1 Goal . Tear the roof off and get it in the dumpster . Sister all the old 2x6 ceiling joist with new 2x10 floor joist allowing an 18" over hang in front and sheath with 3/4 ply to complete the deck . Later repair all holes from drunk guys stepping threw the ceiling .. 2 nd day , get rid of all those guys , Now your ready to build . I stayed ,, (not one of the drunk guys).. This use to be a desirable way to go because there was no digging or foundation work .. Not sure if it would fly now .

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Old 12-16-2012, 09:56 PM   #18
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I use to do it .. A guy I use to work for use to make 2 story Garrisons out of single story ranches .. Day 1 ,,, get about 30 workers from every gin mill in Brockton . Day 1 Goal . Tear the roof off and get it in the dumpster . Sister all the old 2x6 ceiling joist with new 2x10 floor joist allowing an 18" over hang in front and sheath with 3/4 ply to complete the deck . Later repair all holes from drunk guys stepping threw the ceiling .. 2 nd day , get rid of all those guys , Now your ready to build . I stayed ,, (not one of the drunk guys).. This use to be a desirable way to go because there was no digging or foundation work .. Not sure if it would fly now .
Other than the booze hounds this was going to be the general direction I was heading.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:26 AM   #19
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Quote:
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I use to do it .. A guy I use to work for use to make 2 story Garrisons out of single story ranches .. Day 1 ,,, get about 30 workers from every gin mill in Brockton . Day 1 Goal . Tear the roof off and get it in the dumpster . Sister all the old 2x6 ceiling joist with new 2x10 floor joist allowing an 18" over hang in front and sheath with 3/4 ply to complete the deck . Later repair all holes from drunk guys stepping threw the ceiling .. 2 nd day , get rid of all those guys , Now your ready to build . I stayed ,, (not one of the drunk guys).. This use to be a desirable way to go because there was no digging or foundation work .. Not sure if it would fly now .
Lots of those in Holbrook and Brockton..

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Old 12-17-2012, 12:36 PM   #20
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Hope you have tons of insurance...it'll only take one person to take a header an brake his back..or drop a lit butt down inside an open wall.....it's a whole different ball game today.
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Old 12-17-2012, 10:47 PM   #21
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If the theory is you are going to save the first floor, just what are you saving:
old wiring
rodent infested insulation
old windows
the nice avocado plumbing fixtures
antique kitchen
old siding
flooring
Oh, you are saving the framing and how much a square foot will you have into it?
Might work out for you if you are willing to invest a ton of sweat equity, I'd rather do a new one than a total gut renovation.

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There are about 4,000,000 of these on the market. Not really, but that's just the way it seems (and some guy just invented 3 more while I was writing this sentence)."
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:16 PM   #22
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raise the roof

Did one 27 yrs ago when I was young and dumb and had water front property. Lots of time and money invested but seemed like the thing to do at the time. To make a long story short would have been better off selling and buying another house, did not get alot of profit when house was eventually sold.
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Old 12-31-2012, 07:02 PM   #23
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adding a second story

I did it 25 years ago. 36x26 2x6's walls new floor joist( you don't what to be walking on your ceilings) and rebuilt 2 chimneys. Got 4 bed rooms and a full bath. I used electric heat. At the time i had forced hot air furnace. I would have had to replaced the furnace. also would have had to find 18sq. and 24sq. area for ducts. I was pretty lucky because i worked with some carpenters at the station. Not cheep but cheeper than a general contractor. Got it buttoned up. Then took about 18 mo. to finished. Don't forget new electric panel and the heating system. Good luck either why. Mike
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:39 AM   #24
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You have a lot to think about!
I have 40 yrs in the business and the one most important suggestion I'll through out there is,,,, find yourself a quality builder,, designer or architect ($?).
If the codes are even close to what we have to go through here in MA you will need professional help. Permitting is a whole new trade now!!!!
If you are willing to spend a little more because of location make sure the resale numbers work for you down the road.

Septic??? Will the foundation support a second floor?? first floor walls,,,,
No two jobs are the same but more often than not we span the new floor joist from front to back with EWP. This eliminates the need to address any new gravitational loads other than the exterior walls.
best of luck

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Old 02-04-2013, 11:17 PM   #25
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This project got shelved. The idea wasn't the reason, mostly had to do with position of The house on the property
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:10 AM   #26
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If built on slab no frost wall ... slab may not be able to hold extra weight....check with building inspector for height requirement in your city or town if any....whole house will need to be hard wired smokes and carbs.....think about open concept first level and install sufficient beams above ceiling....install gas fireplace and have bear rug for the lady...
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:20 AM   #27
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If built on slab no frost wall ... slab may not be able to hold extra weight....check with building inspector for height requirement in your city or town if any....whole house will need to be hard wired smokes and carbs.....think about open concept first level and install sufficient beams above ceiling....install gas fireplace and have bear rug for the lady...
If the house itself had fit the plan in my head better, I would be going forward. The further I got in my head on plans for where I wanted to go, the less I liked the house itself... or at least the things I couldn't change about it. Namely its proximity to the road.
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