Room Addition, how hard?

I have a back patio that is about 20' x 16'. It is a solid slab of concrete and there are steps down from the back mudroom to the patio (about 16" lower than main house).
If I wanted to build a Deck that could ultimately be turned into an addition, would this be the proper way to go? Or could I hire an architect or contractor to design and addition (or is the software that will help me) that I could get the plans approved by the city and build it myself?
If we don't build an addition in this space, we'll have a "sunroom" added, but I don't want that because we live in Florida and we get enough sun already!
How would someone with this amount of space go about building out this space?
What type of cost would there be involved in just getting good plans?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
First make certain you have a foundation that will support the weight of a room addition.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Patio "slabs" tend to be slanted so water will drain off and do not have foundations which will support walls.
If you eventually want an addition, then the "slab"/foundations will need to be inspected and pass inspection. Also will need to be level and not slanted.
Decide what exactly you want to do. If addition, check yellow pages for architect and get quotes for plans.
I suppose you could always remove the current slab and build just the foundation/floor. Then wait to build the rest of the addition.
Also so far as room additions go, I would think you would have better resale value if the addition is the same floor level as the rest of the house and not a step down.
Also everybody I know is growing older. With old age comes walkers and wheel chairs. Might be glad room is same level at a later date!
Note: If you are going to have to remove the current slab, the new addition could be a different size. Might decide now what you want to use the new room for. Might want to place furniture out there or tape off where furniture would go and see if it will be large enough, etc. A room without furniture looks quite large. Stick the furniture in and suddenly there is not enough room! Need more storage? Need outdoor storage for garden tools? Add extra space/small room with outside door for this?
"PCGumshoe" wrote in message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for the responses... I really just don' t know what to do with the house.... I hate it here, but I'm not going to resell until the market picks up and I can recoup my losses... It doesn't make sense to do a lot of work only to rent to a tenant for 2 or 3 years....
If I'm going to stay here, it makes sense to make it nice for me.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

1. Even with a sloped patio slab, you can add leveling material to the top of the slab to bring it to level. If the patio's foundation won't support sidewalls, you can pour new footings for walls on the edge of the patio slab.
2. The amount of hassle you get from city/county building inspectors in Florida will vary greatly depending upon your location. Big cities + Palm Beach County may be sticklers, but if you're out in the country -- Hendry, Highlands, Okeechobee, etc., -- you'll find a more relaxed building code.
3. You could also go to one or more local builders / contractors and have them visit your place and discuss ideas and costs with you, at no cost to you --
4. Especially if you have a reasonable idea of what you want, you probably don't need an architect, you may just need a draftsman, and one of the local builders may be able to take care of that for you.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Whoa boy! One step at a time. To help you decide what to with your property, interview and then hire a good architect. In that process alone you'll know up front what his fees are. Sit down with your expert and brainstorm the sensible options and when you have decided on a course of action he can help with selecting a contractor. Contractors are normally not designers, so you need to let each expert do what he does best. Let the architect decide whether a deck is a good foundation for an addition and if so it will be correctly designed and code compliant. Ultimately, the more competent people you have working with you the faster and lower cost the project will be. Good luck.
Joe
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.