Opinion on sunken living room


My house is 3br on a slab with a big kitchen/dining area where the dining area opens to a sunken great room. The great room has a fireplace and is very 70's (decoration ceiling beams, popcorn ceiling, painted-over wood panelling, etc). The carpet is bad. The great room is sunken 10 inches. We are considering raising the sunken floor to be level with the dining room and installing a hardwood floor. There are no windows and only an old patio door which could be easily raised when it is replaced due to its location.
Has anyone else done this? Is it worth it to update the look, or is this kind of thing still marketable? I am getting mixed opinions all around. Some people like them and others think it's a dated look and would be a sticking point for those who would have elderly visitors.
I think the ceiling height will still be ok, especially after the beams are removed.
Instead of raising the floor, we could just do other things to update the look like removing the panelling and installing the hardwood floor on the slab as it is.
Just a slow burn process on figuring out what direction to go with it.
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My biggest concern is the 10" of lost headroom. Beams aside, what is the clearance now? If it is in line with the rest of hte ceilings on that level, it will be OK, but if it is going to be short, it may look strange, feel claustrophobic, and perhaps not meet code. Check that before you take the next step. Otherwise, updating is a good idea.
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While they may not be as popular as they once were, I still see sunken great rooms in some new construction. Unless you personally don't like it, I wouldn't be spending money to change it on theories as to what other people may or may not like. Plus, what's popular is constantly changing. By the time you're ready to sell, things could change.
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On Apr 13, 3:51�pm, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

what about the fireplace?:(
if you or yours are older being rid of the step will be a big positive.
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I snipped the rest because the issue of marketability is what I will address. Home improvement costs can sometimes be recaptured. The best choices are:
1/ Repairs of unsightly wear and damage. 2/ Painting 3/ Carpeting 4/ Landscaping
The above list, when judiciously applied, will often generate a positive effect: more increase in the selling price than the total cost of the improvements.
Other improvements tend to be negative: less increase in the selling price than the total cost of the improvements.
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says...

Yeah.. I don't think that the living room is sunken is nearly as big an issue as the carpets, etc., as far as saleability. Heck, I remember and enjoyed sunken living rooms - adds some interest to the house. Why make it a plain old level floor?
How long will they be in the house? By the time they sell, sunken floors may be back in appeal. The real question would be whether or not *they* like the setup.
I'd keep it unless I personally didn't like it. And put the money into the other aspects of the space.
Banty
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Under the White House press room is a swimming pool. Maybe the OP could do something like that.
I think the pool was put in for FDR, for therapy for his polio.

Maybe a sunken ceiling, or a bloated roof.

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True, and it doesn't bother me personally. The room will probably look a lot better after the wood panelling and such is out. I guess if someone has a problem with the drop, they can put in a ramp. The drop moving from room to room is actually 6 inches, 10 is from ground to top of slab, I brain farted.
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You need to see whats under those bad carpets in there.
As for the sunked livingroom, I dont think i'd change it.
Others have said on here that its a matter of taste and those change all the time. If you want to put in beams to raise the floor it can certainly be done. As long as the ceiling is all the same hight and the fireplace is safely above the bottom of the new floor you should be ok.
Tom
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snipped-for-privacy@mail.win.org wrote:

You think the ceiling height will be ok?
For someone that has this dream of raising a floor and installing hardwood, you would "think" they would have enough sense to buy a tape measure and find out if their dream is even feasible.
You're stuck in the 70's, and your home sounds like a dump. Get off your lazy butt, and at least get rid of the piss soaked carpet, and slap some paint around.
Don't worry about a large project, when you won't take the time to do the small projects.
If you wait long enough, in the slow burn process, I'm sure they'll have you 6' under, before you lift a finger to clean that rat trap up.
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On Apr 13, 9:44 pm, "Ken B." <none.com> wrote:

Feasible and a good idea are two different things.

I'm stuck in the 70's because I'm asking how others would update a home from the 70's?

Yup, it's a dump all right, that's how I got it 30k under comps.

The small projects will nickle and dime you to death if you're doing them over later because you didn't plan ahead.

Feel better now? HAND, troll.
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snipped-for-privacy@mail.win.org wrote:

Stress cracks in sunken room, it could even be a separate pour of concrete than the rest of the slab, is a common entry area for termites. When you remove the carpet check the floor where it drops down, especially at the base of the fireplace and if cracks are found or if it is a separate pour, treating those areas before the wood floor is put down can save you some headaches (heartaches) of having to drill through or remove the hardwood to treat below it later.
Lar
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There are visible cracks in the part we pulled up which I intended to concrete caulk closed, but preemptively treating for termites is not something I would have thought of. Thank you!
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wrote:

FYI, I just purchased a home built in the 60s, a 3br 1-1/2 ba ranch with a sunken living room. It had been on the market for a year. The realtor remarked that if it had not had the sunken living room, it would have sold much sooner and for the original price (20K more). It dates the house and makes it difficult for us older people to navigate. Another house that I looked at was a raised ranch - these are having a very difficult time in this market, again because of the changes in the floor levels. Same with splits.
How exactly would you raise the floor? Build another floor on top of the existing joists? I want to do something like this but save the existing hardwood.
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