Author Topic: House renovation: sticker shock  (Read 3222 times)

giggles

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 139
    • Kiva - Change the world with a $25 loan
House renovation: sticker shock
« on: January 01, 2017, 07:11:48 PM »
Hello!  We have a house with a 20 year old conservatory attached.  It was installed by the original owners, and the structure has reached the end of its life. Heating/Ac unit no longer works, roof leaks, and broken windows.  We knew we would have to renovate it at some point, but I am at a loss of what to do. 

It is a 13'x16 room, and we do enjoy using it.  It is too hot to use in summer and too cold to use in winter (we are in NJ).  Think "inside of a car" hot and "standing water freezes" cold.  The extra space is nice, but it is not functional.  It has a legitimate foundation, so no need to dig one.

I have gotten about half a dozen quotes to renovate it.  Replacing with a new conservatory would run about $25,000.  A conservatory that just replaces the heating/cooling element and fixes the leaks/windows would be $15,000.   Tearing it down and replacing with a standard family room?  $55,000. 

I am wondering if it would be better to just tear it down, re-side where it connected to the house, and make the old foot print a patio.  I am guessing that would be about $15,000 too. It would be the least expensive option, we would lose some space, but the headache of the leaks would be gone.  Am I overreacting because of the cost?  We could cover it in cash, but it would be our last project for a loooooong time. I hate the idea of spending so much cash on a project, but maybe I am being unreasonable and it would be a good move in the long run?  We are not so inclined with skill or time that we could do this kind of renovation ourselves.  We can handing painting but not much more than that. 

Any other info for weighting pros and cons I am happy to provide.  Attached is a photo of something similar, not our house, but we have the same kind of set up. 

mousebandit

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 311
Re: House renovation: sticker shock
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2017, 09:06:28 PM »
Have you considered revamping it to be a food and heat-producing solar greenhouse?  Is it south-facing?  There are lots of books available on the subject, and it's fascinating.  When properly sited and set up, it can produce heat that you share with the house and winter gardening opportunities.  Just because it's not functioning well now during the extreme seasons, doesn't mean it isn't capable of doing so, with some modifications.  If you're going to be tearing things up anyways, give this some thought! 

giggles

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 139
    • Kiva - Change the world with a $25 loan
Re: House renovation: sticker shock
« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2017, 09:16:53 PM »
That idea is fascinating to me!  I don't think my husband would go for it (he wants the family room and HATES the conservatory) but at the very least I am going to check out the idea.  The room is not south facing but does have good southern exposure through mid afternoon (faces east).

I'm a red panda

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 7621
  • Location: United States
Re: House renovation: sticker shock
« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2017, 09:59:44 PM »
How would a family room affect the value of the home?
Here the conservatory wouldn't be counted as square footage, so you'd get some Roi on the family room, we're you to sell. What's the average price per square foot there? Maybe that would make you feel better about the $55k, especially if your husband greatly prefers that option.

soccerluvof4

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4282
  • Location: Artic Midwest
  • Retired at 50
    • My Journal
Re: House renovation: sticker shock
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2017, 05:16:14 AM »
Where are you as far as equity in the house and how would one of the 3 options effect it? Are you in an area that continues to appreciate?

chasesfish

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 2766
  • Age: 36
  • Location: Texas
    • Years in the making, I created a journal!
Re: House renovation: sticker shock
« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2017, 05:32:43 AM »
I'm in favor of the patio, but as others have noted, the sqft addition may be worth it with an increase of value

giggles

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 139
    • Kiva - Change the world with a $25 loan
Re: House renovation: sticker shock
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2017, 06:17:48 AM »
Price per square foot is about $210, so that would be about $43,000. 

We have one of the smallest houses in a very desirable neighborhood, and one of the best locations in the neighborhood.  Value has increased  about 10% over three years. 

Those numbers are helpful for me.  I need to double check if the conservatory is counted as a room or not right now.


Jon Bon

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 647
  • Location: Midwest
Re: House renovation: sticker shock
« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2017, 06:38:59 AM »
Posting to follow.

I too have a 20*10 addition to the back of my house that needs a lot of love. My thought would be just reuse the foundation? That should probably be 10-20% of the cost right there.

Could you reuse the framing as well? I feel like simply new roof windows and siding should not be more than 25k? I don't know about electrical and HVAC to that room but new insulation and windows surely cannot require it's own system for such a small room?

I'm motivated to start calling some contractors!

lukebuz

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 174
  • Location: Bowling Green, KY
Re: House renovation: sticker shock
« Reply #8 on: January 02, 2017, 07:55:31 AM »
How about doing a screened in porch?  Utilize what you can with the structure you have, and then make the rest screens.  You'll get more use out of it, perhaps?

Daleth

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1201
Re: House renovation: sticker shock
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2017, 08:17:54 AM »
Is its roof glass? Lord, no wonder it's so hot in the summer and cold in the winter.

You might be able to find a compromise by turning it into a sunroom--that is, a family room with a real roof, insulation, etc., but lots and lots of windows, with screens of course so that in warm weather you could sit out there and enjoy the breezes, scents, etc. (See photos below.) Then, if there's a side that gets too much sun when it's hot, install blinds so that you can block the sun at those times.

With modern insulation and high-quality windows, and blinds to block excessive sun, the heating/cooling cost should be comparable to a room rather than to a conservatory.

Sunrooms:

https://st.hzcdn.com/fimgs/6af148d20f2963a6_9734-w500-h400-b0-p0--traditional-sunroom.jpg

https://modernize.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/sunroom-glass-doors.jpg

Dave1442397

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 920
  • Location: NJ
Re: House renovation: sticker shock
« Reply #10 on: January 02, 2017, 12:03:44 PM »
We currently have a concrete patio where a sunroom used to stand. It wasn't as nice as yours - it was redwood with screens and storm windows. It had gotten to the stage where it needed to be rebuilt, but we wouldn't use it enough to bother.

giggles

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 139
    • Kiva - Change the world with a $25 loan
Re: House renovation: sticker shock
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2017, 07:25:33 PM »
We would reuse the foundation.  Walls are not saveable because they are really all windows and so many of the windows are broken or leak that they would almost all need to be replaced.  And yes it is all glass everywhere!  We would really like for it to be usable all year round.

Jon Bon

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 647
  • Location: Midwest
Re: House renovation: sticker shock
« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2017, 05:07:31 AM »
We would reuse the foundation.  Walls are not saveable because they are really all windows and so many of the windows are broken or leak that they would almost all need to be replaced.  And yes it is all glass everywhere!  We would really like for it to be usable all year round.

It looking at your picture in detail I noticed a few more details on why its going to be so expensive to convert.

You essentially have a foundation poured but no other work done. I would assume any bid to finish the room would require you to not only build walls, install windows, put on a roof etc. It would also have to include work on your existing house. As the room is connected to a completely exterior wall.  So that brick (looks like brick?) would have to be cut off and removed from the side of the house as well. New roof tied into structure etc.

Although $55,000 does feel rather expensive. This would be a huge project for someone to take on.  I would almost recommend making any addition to the house bigger.  Yes it would be more expensive but your marginal cost per sqft would be less.

Have you gotten multiple bits on this?

Lastly I feel a tear off could be less than $15,000. If your house is already completely weather tight there would need to be little to no work done there, so it would be rather straight forward as just to remove the glass from the side of the house.