second story addition

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  #1  
Old 02-03-00, 08:18 AM
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My wife and I are looking at a house with minimal problems except for it is lacking one bedroom and needs a new roof soon (no water damage though). Officially it is a story and a half house in a "L" shape with one part of "L" two stories and the other leg one story. We would like to add a master bedroom on over the one story (Since we will be replacing roof anyway) but have no idea if it would structurally support it. I have heard horror stories about older houses (this ones over 90 years) not using full studs in walls (rather two scraps pieced togeather) but if you build up on exterior walls aren't they always "support walls" anyway?? Can a contractor help us find anything out before we buy the property (i.e. without ripping into the walls)??? Please, help.

GNuGuy
 
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Old 02-03-00, 09:14 AM
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I would recommend looking at the property with a reputable remodeling contractor, as you suggest. It would also be wise to find an equally reputable home inspector to look it over with you. There are framing considerations in the walls, as you mention, and equally important, for the floor of the new space. ( a floor needs to be stronger than a ceiling, so strength needs to be added to it to carry the proposed loads) If the inspector and contractor have doubts, they should know a structural engineer who could do the necessary calculations and determine if your ideas are practical. Proceed with caution... I hope this gives you some direction.
 
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Old 02-03-00, 09:34 AM
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Thanks for the prompt reply TTT, have any advice on good ?'s to ask contractor . . . to know whether he's any good . . . I'm not from around here. . . so reputation's are unknown. Also, to eliminate possible un-needed costs who should I talk to first?? Contractor or Inspector, I'm not trying to skimp, but if one could tell me more than the other, then it may turn out that the first may say my plans are not possible, and I wouldn't even need to bother the other.

GNuGuy
 
  #4  
Old 02-04-00, 04:34 AM
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GNU:
I can see you getting off the right track very quickly. If you talk to a contractor, talk about your addition. don't talk about buying your house or anything else. Just ask him about the addition. He will give you a price. End of story. An Inspector will Inspect what is there. Not the future.
If your house is 90 years old, you will have solid actual measurement 2x4 studs. I can tell you right now that this addition you are thinking about will be expensive. I have done several of them. Probably $25,000, minimum. If you just want to know about the structure get a structural inspection. You have to hire a structural engineer. About $500.00 Good Luck

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Jack the Contractor
 
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Old 02-04-00, 08:19 AM
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Gnu'
To establish references, ask the contractor(s) for similar jobs they have done and how they overcame problems of new construction over old. Check with the local Homebuilder's Assoc to find out about contractor reputations. Depending on your level of confidence with the contractors you talk to (many are quite capable of reliable structural inspection/ assessment) you may get all the answers you need from them and avoid the structural engineer. Good advice from Jack to avoid talk of buying the house, etc. since the prospect of getting a job might bias their opinion of the whole house. And the price guesstimates you get might answer ALL your questions! And depending on what part of the country you are in, Jack's $25,000 could be rather conservative!
 
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Old 02-04-00, 10:18 AM
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First of all, I've got to say thank you to both TTT and 'Jack The Contractor', your replies have been both prompt and VERY informative, if everything works out I'm naming my garage after you two (big honor amongst my friends). . . now another follow up. I'm fairly handy (I waterproofed and finished my parents basement; a bedroom, bathroom, den and shop area for my dad in 92' and all is still well and have been roofing houses since highschool (80's)) and I was hoping to do much of the work myself (like the roofing, drywalling, running the electric/phone/cable (I'll have electrical both inspected and tied in by a real electrician though, don't worry) and I could even get some friends (the same ones who'll help with the roofing) for tear down if needed should I bring this up to the contractor when we meet??? I want to be honest about what I want done, but I really enjoy doing this kind of stuff myself too, (plus I can save a lot of money) . . . I'm rambling here, I'll just ask the ?. will this make a contractor angry if I only want framing done??? What sort of costs may expect for this??? Or could I just do it all myself and just get a structural engineer???
 
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Old 02-07-00, 09:36 AM
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Don't be shy about what YOU want a contractor to do or not want to do for YOU. Remember who pays the invoice. . .YOU do!

If you are really handy with hammer and saw, then have at it yourself. That's why this is Doityourself.com. If you have any reservations call a pro. That's what we do for a living.

You should be able to determine the age of the age of the house and its structural integrity without too much trouble. i.e. copper wiring shows a date from about 1950. Circuit breakers versus fuses. Sheetrock versus plaster.

Some signs that may tip you off. If these signs all show up, you probably have a stable building to work with.

We are about to take on a very similar project for one of my step-daughters in West Plains, Missouri.

Good luck with your plans.

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MTAC - VB,MO
www.carpenter.cjb.net
Home repair & Construction

"Where the character and work are always upright"
 
  #8  
Old 02-10-00, 12:01 AM
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Costs vary greatly in different areas. You might be able to get some square foot price ranges for similar remodeling work to give you a rough idea. A note of caution: make sure you are "comparing apples to apples" with the square foot estimates! Let any contractors know up front what you are asking them to estimate. What would make them mad would to be "lead on" thinking they were doing the whole project only to find you were shopping their prices. You may even be able to find a contractor that specializes in framing only... a win/win deal! More Than a Carpenter has good advice from experience.
 
  #9  
Old 02-10-00, 04:55 AM
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Gnu:
This is what I would do. Call several contractors and tell them you want a bid for framing a room, or two. Give them the approximate sq. feet. They will give it to you. Framing will be about $2.00 per sq ft.
However, they will have to tie into your existing home, and this will be extra and may run into a few bucks. Also, another thought is calling carpenters. they will do it also. This is an important area, so do not try to scrimp & save here. Buy cheap, get cheap. Remember this saying. Expensive paint does not cost you money, it saves you
money. This is a fact. Think about it.
Good Luck

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Jack the Contractor
 
 

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