Author Topic: Addition destruction and rebuild DIY?  (Read 551 times)

Jon Bon

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Addition destruction and rebuild DIY?
« on: June 23, 2018, 06:57:38 AM »
So I have a nice 1917 1000 sqft house, quality construction, and serves us generally well. I also have 2 or 3 (hard to tell) Pretty low quality additions put onto my house. The extra 600 sqft of space is nice for my family of 5, but the quality is such that I really dont want to spend the time and money updating it. The additions are guestroom/den with an attached bath as well as a second family room. We use all these rooms regularly but they are quite awkward.

The bathroom was obviously thrown on, has a strange step down through a doorway into the bathroom (not safe, not code) Joists are 24 on center, copper pipes run thru un-insulated crawl space.
The Den - No one new how to drywall, so every joint just has trim on it, has one of the worst drop ceilings I have ever seen, and at 10x11 is pretty small for a bedroom.
The Family room - Nice large rectangle room. Used as a playroom by the kids. However TONS of windows looks like a back porch or 3 seasoned room that was 'finished off' by someone not all that skilled. So it does have HVAC run to it but in the wintertime it gets pretty arctic, shown by the not 1 not 2 but 3 240 volt baseboard heaters back there!  Here is the kicker, if I can reuse the foundation it makes the project not only doable but downright affordable. My area does not have larger houses that I can afford, so moving is not really an option.

TLDR

Plan: Demolish additions, rebuild plus master
When: 2019?
Why: Quality is garbage, needs renovation
How: Mostly me, and very skilled BIL

Now my skill level is pretty good. I just completely DIY-ed a detached garage, finished in about 3-4 months. I have lots of other secondary reasons of why I want to do this as well. For instance I will need a new roof in approximately 5 years, so lets do the whole roof while we are at it type deal.

So MMM community, what advice can you give me?

Am I crazy?

So the plan would be to demolish all the additions off the back of the house. Then essentially rebuild the same footprint with a master bed/bath above it.

Syonyk

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Re: Addition destruction and rebuild DIY?
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2018, 11:16:24 PM »
I mean, hiring a job out is just hiring people who know how to do things, so as long as you know how to do things at or above code spec, you can do it yourself.

It'll take longer than you expect, cost more than you expect, and you'll forever be seeing that one mistake in a corner where you screwed up, but it's quite reasonable to do something like that yourself.  Just, perhaps, take a few weeks of vacation, if relevant, so you can focus on it.

BudgetSlasher

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Re: Addition destruction and rebuild DIY?
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2018, 09:24:16 AM »
I were in your position I would do three things.

One: I would brush up on code, both in terms of what would need to be done in the new structure and what it would take to bring the current structure to code or as close as to current code as you want to. Many of your complaints seem to be cosmetic and or the result of a an acceptable porch being poorly converted. Other than the floor joist spacing, which I'll cover below, most of your issues are cosmetic. Also, brush up on if you build a new structure there what codes the foundation will have to meet and whether you can prove the existing foundation meets them.

Two: have an understanding of how everything is built (such as walls and roofs) not just the floors and the finishings. Again, many of your complaints seem to cosmetic, you are trusting the current foundation for your proposed rebuild, why not extend the same trust to the framing, studs, rafters, etc. Perhaps your floor concern is the only real framing issue. I could be a crappy addition or decently built and simply finished by a low-skill homeowner to save money.

Three: what permits and inspections are required (of that you feel you would obtain) for a tear down and rebuild versus what are required for a remodel. This is kind of a combination of the two above. But will determine how much of a pain it is will be. Here permits are not need to do things like flooring, siding, paint, roofing, "routine maintenance", move non-load bearing walls, or any project that wouldn't realistically increase the home's value by more than 10%. The result, whether permits were needed or not there are a lot of homes here that don't looks so great on the outside but are amazing inside. No permits, no notice to the town, and no assessor poking around.


So I have a nice 1917 1000 sqft house, quality construction, and serves us generally well. I also have 2 or 3 (hard to tell) Pretty low quality additions put onto my house. The extra 600 sqft of space is nice for my family of 5, but the quality is such that I really dont want to spend the time and money updating it. The additions are guestroom/den with an attached bath as well as a second family room. We use all these rooms regularly but they are quite awkward.

The bathroom was obviously thrown on, has a strange step down through a doorway into the bathroom (not safe, not code) Joists are 24 on center, copper pipes run thru un-insulated crawl space.

I'm not sure what thrown on entails structurally. But, the specific complaints can be addressed without tearing it off. A step down to the bathroom can be shimmed or an additional lay of subfloor added. The crawl space can be insulated or the plumbing rerouted. And 24 on center joist may be ok depending on species, lumber size, distance spanned, and deflection required for you flooring of choice.

Quote
The Den - No one new how to drywall, so every joint just has trim on it, has one of the worst drop ceilings I have ever seen, and at 10x11 is pretty small for a bedroom.
The Family room - Nice large rectangle room. Used as a playroom by the kids. However TONS of windows looks like a back porch or 3 seasoned room that was 'finished off' by someone not all that skilled. So it does have HVAC run to it but in the wintertime it gets pretty arctic, shown by the not 1 not 2 but 3 240 volt baseboard heaters back there!

Drywall and dropped ceilings can be replaced for less work than a tear down and rebuild. A three season porch doesn't really need to be built tightly, so it is no surprise that is get cold out there. But, if you already have the drywall off an insulation upgrade and some air sealing will vastly improve the arctic conditions.

Quote
Here is the kicker, if I can reuse the foundation it makes the project not only doable but downright affordable. My area does not have larger houses that I can afford, so moving is not really an option.

As I mentioned earlier will your current foundation meet whatever is required for new construction in your area?

Quote
TLDR

Plan: Demolish additions, rebuild plus master
When: 2019?
Why: Quality is garbage, needs renovation
How: Mostly me, and very skilled BIL

Now my skill level is pretty good. I just completely DIY-ed a detached garage, finished in about 3-4 months. I have lots of other secondary reasons of why I want to do this as well. For instance I will need a new roof in approximately 5 years, so lets do the whole roof while we are at it type deal.

So MMM community, what advice can you give me?

Am I crazy?

So the plan would be to demolish all the additions off the back of the house. Then essentially rebuild the same footprint with a master bed/bath above it.

So you are going to "add" a master bed/bath? Is your 1917 farmhouse on a septic system? If so how many bedrooms is it designed for? You may add a room that you use as a bedroom, but never be able to call it a bedroom for the purposes of resale (welcome to the wonderful world of "large bonus room with closet.")

Of course, all of this is besides the point if you know the framing is crap as well.

Closing thoughts:

I agree with Syonyk, it will take longer than you plan and cost more. The rule of thumb I was taught (and has proven close to accurate) double the cost and triple the time of your original estimate and you'll be close.

Regarding code, my personal opinion is that code is good, but code it also always changing, so even up to code today will not meet code with the next revision. To me some code items are more a matter of convince than safety (think outlets no more than 12 feet apart or at least one outlet per room on a different circuit) or and over abundance of caution (think the ever expanding required locations for arc fault protection). I cannot even bring my 1990's house up to today's electrical code (separate circuits for outlets and lights) without ripping out a lot of drywall and running a lot of new wire (and probably adding new circuits that I don't have space for.)

Finally, whatever you end up DIY'ing try and take some picture along the way and share them with us. We all might learn a thing or 3.


TheWifeHalf

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Re: Addition destruction and rebuild DIY?
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2018, 01:01:23 PM »
We bought our 1200 s.f. 1915 house in 1980, about the size of your original you want to keep. TheHusbandHalf built a garage in 1987, and we had the intent of putting an addition connecting the 2, if finances allowed.

Then we added an addition, about the shape and placement of what you're thinking, plus an added sun room (not a 3 season room) on the back of the addition. We hired a guy to build the shell, liked what he was doing, so had him put new windows in the old part too, and had him and roof the new, to match the old, and side the whole thing.
While he was building the addition shell, we lived in the old, with our 3 kids, 7,5,4. We used the front door for 8 mos or so. When it was time to open up the back wall of the old, we hung some heavy clear plastic to help preserve heat, and in fact left it up until the furnace for the new was working. (We have completely separate HVAC for the old and new now – comes in handy for times when one needs maintenance). We're in Ohio, and we hired the guy to do the job starting in January. Looking back, it was probably average temps, and average snow for that time of year.

THH knew enough to keep an eye on things, in fact with the proper equipment and helpers, he could have built it. He got the job he has now about a year earlier, so it just made sense to hire the guy. We did the rest.
The kids had fun drawing on the subfloor, and running around like crazy kids. I think the roller skates  were used too.

I think our first concern was the heating and the insulation. The addition, like the old, had 2 x 4's for the exterior wall. THH did the same in the addition like he did in the old house. He added wood to each stud so it ended up we have 6" thick walls, meaning more insulation. (It was cheaper to do it that way than have him use 2 x 6's for the exterior walls.) Downstairs we added a new family room, sunroom, mudroom to the garage and a back porch, plus a closet under the stairway up to the master bed and bath upstairs, plus a walkway to the old upstairs. Our septic tank is the size for a 3 bedroom home, and that’s what we ended up with.(The old house had 2 bedrooms because we had made the downstairs 3rd into a half bath and laundry room.
Something I really like is the old stairs to the old upstairs is still as it was, and we have a new back stairs, which makes a continuous loop.  There was an exterior upstairs door in the old house, we just kept the opening.
The fact that the walls were open, and we did the electricity, allowed us to make the outlets and switches on the outside walls, air tight.

We redid the old bathroom so the tub/shower for that, and the tub/shower to the new master bath were lifted up when there was an opening in the framing. They are one piece units, popular back then, and I still like them – they will stay as long as I do.

Where the old hooked to the new, if I remember right, there’s a wooden beam going across above, and the ends are supported by wood posts to reinforced old foundation. That way the whole of the old foundation was not being used for the whole addition. I remember when they dug the hole, he placed what I call pillars (probably the wrong word) and they support the floor. I remember he had a line of the along the old foundation, probably to carry most of the weight.
 It was a big day, for me at least, when they delivered the 28’ steel beam, and put it in place, so we were able to have 28’ with no walls. Then the sunroom is attached to the back

In our case, it was cheaper because:
 1.We hired the guy and he worked when work was slow, so I suspect his price was a little lower (not positive of this though) He was just a small time builder, with the reputation for good work.
 2. When it was airtight, with heat, we worked on it as time allowed. I always say, “A house is not something we have, it’s something we do!)

We have always gotten permits whenever a permit was needed. About a year after the main building was finished, I was home alone and the county ??(not sure what her position is called) was at the back door to check on our addition. She kind of looked around where she was, did not come in past the door, and said it looked how they did it when they were young. It was obvious some things were not ‘finished.’ She said she was just going to write it down as finished, I suppose just for more tax money. To us, it was great so that we really could go as slow or as fast as we wanted. See, in the 2 counties to the west, especially the nearest, there’s a big problem if you don’t finish the work in a set amount of time. That county, I’ve heard, is much stricter. That is the county our builder was from, so they knew his work too. Our county is more relaxed, more ‘farm.’

Just my opinion, but if you think the additions that were put on are not of the quality, or design, that you want to live with, tear them off. If you don’t, there will always be ‘something’ that will bother you, and you’re just going to put too much work into the home to not get what you can live with  Like I said, just my opinion, but that’s the way THH has always thought. Maybe that’s why we always get permits? We try to not cut important corners.  One of the reasons we bought our house is because no one had come in and done any major work.

Jon Bon

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Re: Addition destruction and rebuild DIY?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2018, 02:26:42 PM »


I agree with Syonyk, it will take longer than you plan and cost more. The rule of thumb I was taught (and has proven close to accurate) double the cost and triple the time of your original estimate and you'll be close.


Yeah I am totally with you here! I quote people that line all the time, keeps being true! Although as I get more experienced I get better with my timelines and budgets!

Yeah I have thought about keeping the existing structure and trying to renovate. I have opened up a few walls and found some things that were poor build quality (like 6 screws per sheet of drywall) and some stuff that was straight up dangerous. Like having to re-frame my daughters room because the stud walls were just a 2 foot 2x4 set (not secured in any way) on top of a 6 foot one! No headers over windows etc etc. Overloading attic joists with additional structure while adding no new support.

The goal is to put the master suite above the 3 season room. However to do that we would have to re-structure existing roof lines as it does not work with the design. Also the 3 season room has a pitched roof with no attic, so the stud walls would have to be redone or replaced. So there are lots of little reasons why tearing down the old stuff makes sense.

I just built myself a garage, and I totally see why doing new construction is often cheaper then trying to renovate the existing. I dont think trying to build on top of my existing 3 season roof would be cost effective or even advisable.

I really appreciate the feedback!



lthenderson

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Re: Addition destruction and rebuild DIY?
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2018, 06:39:27 AM »
No headers over windows etc etc.

Headers aren't needed unless it is in a load bearing wall.

I'm with the poster above. It is almost always much easier and cheaper to rip off the drywall, fix any structural issues to the existing structure than to tear off the old addition and build the same addition back. It also gives you many luxuries since you won't have a hole in the side of your house and you aren't worrying about getting it done between rains, etc since presumably the siding is still intact on the outside. Also, many municipalities don't require permits for remodeling but require lots of permits (and associated inspections) for new construction. I haven't seen you mention anything specifically that can't be easily fixed.

I know where you are coming from though. Having to rework someone else's "handiwork" is very discouraging and at times I've wanted to throw in the towel and just rip it all down and start over. But at the end of the day, you need to really put your emotions aside and look at it from an unattached perspective. Once you cover up the ugly with new drywall, it is quickly forgotten anyway.

Jon Bon

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Re: Addition destruction and rebuild DIY?
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2018, 07:02:06 AM »

Headers aren't needed unless it is in a load bearing wall.



Yeah this is true, but when all the windows are cracked, because they ARE load bearing makes you start to wonder. Trust me I could go on and on about the things in this house that are wrong, and some that are downright scary.

However I will try and keep an open mind on this.

For instance just the 3 season room.

It has a flat metal roof with no attic, so its cold and leaky and gross, so that would nee to be replaced.
The walls have a pitch to them, so they would have to be extensively modified to get a second story on top of them.
The windows and doors are GARBAGE, leak air like crazy, not even water tight.
Drywall needs completely redone.
Electric is probably ok, but would not pass inspection (who needs staples!)
Room has strange unmatched siding with a bunch of caulked seams, this needs replaced as well.

So after doing all that I HAVE already rebuilt everything right? So why would I go thru extra trouble of trying to fix half-assed stuff when doing it fresh and more importantly the right way would be (I think I can safely assume) faster and cheaper?!

It is just kind of one of those houses if you assume that anything on the additions had been done correctly you would be assuming incorrectly!

I will keep an open mind on this and talk to a few people with more knowledge (and less emotional investment) in houses and see what they say. I feel like I should take a picture and it would really help explain things.

*Goes to take a picture*

Be back soon!



Papa bear

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Re: Addition destruction and rebuild DIY?
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2018, 03:26:02 PM »

Headers aren't needed unless it is in a load bearing wall.



Yeah this is true, but when all the windows are cracked, because they ARE load bearing makes you start to wonder. Trust me I could go on and on about the things in this house that are wrong, and some that are downright scary.

However I will try and keep an open mind on this.

For instance just the 3 season room.

It has a flat metal roof with no attic, so its cold and leaky and gross, so that would nee to be replaced.
The walls have a pitch to them, so they would have to be extensively modified to get a second story on top of them.
The windows and doors are GARBAGE, leak air like crazy, not even water tight.
Drywall needs completely redone.
Electric is probably ok, but would not pass inspection (who needs staples!)
Room has strange unmatched siding with a bunch of caulked seams, this needs replaced as well.

So after doing all that I HAVE already rebuilt everything right? So why would I go thru extra trouble of trying to fix half-assed stuff when doing it fresh and more importantly the right way would be (I think I can safely assume) faster and cheaper?!

It is just kind of one of those houses if you assume that anything on the additions had been done correctly you would be assuming incorrectly!

I will keep an open mind on this and talk to a few people with more knowledge (and less emotional investment) in houses and see what they say. I feel like I should take a picture and it would really help explain things.

*Goes to take a picture*

Be back soon!

Tear it off!!!!!


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Jon Bon

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Re: Addition destruction and rebuild DIY?
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2018, 03:45:37 PM »


Tear it off!!!!!



Yup, that is the way I am leaning. Talked to my BIL who has lots of professional experience, he does not see any of it worth saving.

Now I just need an architect and structural engineer, those guys are cheap right?!

Papa bear

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Re: Addition destruction and rebuild DIY?
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2018, 05:19:53 PM »


Tear it off!!!!!



Yup, that is the way I am leaning. Talked to my BIL who has lots of professional experience, he does not see any of it worth saving.

Now I just need an architect and structural engineer, those guys are cheap right?!
Sometimes I'm a bad influence.


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