To demolish the kitchen or not...any advice?

My house is 100 years old. Obviously, with a structure of this vintage, it is bound to have some issues. Here is the one that stands out: The kitchen used to be a back deck. I have no idea at what point it was enclosed and made a part of the interior, but I know they didn't do the best job at it. This part of the house, which also includes the one bathroom, sits over a crawl space. The perimeter masonry work around the crawl space wasn't meant to support anything bigger than a deck and wasn't reinforced when the kitchen was built. In fact, there is no frost footing. It is just cement and stone sitting on the surface of the dirt. *This is where you begin laughing* Obviously, I wasn't aware of this when I bought the house. It is now a growing concern of mine and I'm thinking I need to fix it. My pipe dream is to rip off the back end of the house (kitchen and bathroom) and dig out a basement or at least pour a proper frost footing (I do live in Minnesota, so frost is a given). My dream continues to include a larger kitchen. It would also allow me to continue the second floor over the kitchen, as it doesn't currently do this, which would allow me to expand the upstairs bedrooms as well. As you can see, my best-case scenario is a pretty lofty dream. Realistically, I can't live even temporarily in a house that doesn't have a bathroom or a kitchen so arrangements would need to be made there. I also shouldn't be allowed anywhere near cement. Other than the masonry work, I'm golden, but what a cost! Does anyone have any better ideas of a more realistic solution?
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Seems like the best approach is to either move or do the job right. It was fairly common to build additions on ground such as you have. If you like the rest of the house, make the investment.
As for a bathroom, you can get by with a camping type potty or a rental. Good to have while you are working there anyway. Microwave and toaster ovens can do a lot of cooking. Most of us have survived for some time without at least one of those rooms.
My only advice is to find out ahead where you think things will really stop. You know h ow these projects start by a simple fix of a doorknob and next thing you know, the house is gutted. Figure you cost then at 30% for all the unseen problems and you may come close.
Good luck with your adventure.
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From my personal experience I find that doing it right saves doing it over which is both a pain and a lot more work and expense.
--
Joseph Meehan

Dia \'s Muire duit
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Comments so far are " do it right ". What is "right"? There is a ripple effect to changes of the scale you are considering. Circulation paths, windows, structure, and so on. I suggest you pay an architect who does residential projects and has experience in renovations. Yes, architects cost money, and if you choose carefully they are a good value. I do a lot of this kind of work in South Carolina, (even though my family has roots in Frontenac and Bloomington Min). There is a lot to be gained from consulting someone trained and experienced in residential design. T
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wrote:

Test for lead paint and asbestos, right?
.snip.

Consult a local _authority_ , before any demo work.
-- Oren
..through the use of electrical or duct tape, achieve the configuration in the photo..
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Oren wrote:

NO! NEVER test for lead or asbestos! You may assume they are there, but NEVER test for either.
If the test comes back positive, several things MUST happen and none of them good or cheap.
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Many times I have headed to the river with a bar of soap after dark. One of my favorite tricks is to put the new bathroom/kitchen in a new location so that the old one can continue to be used. For instance I would want to locate the bathroom near the master bedroom. I would want the master bedroom to suitably large with adequate closet space. A large kitchen may be nice if there are a lot of cooks in it otherwise a small one saves a lot of walking.
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[snip]

[snip]
If you're going to redo the house, one of your considerations should be to have more than one bathroom -- if it's a two-story, one upstairs and one down, at least. The downstairs one could also be accessible from the outside, so that you can use it while doing yard work or car repairs, without tracking dirt throught the house. (I know Minnesota has nine months of hard winter followed by three months of poor skiing, but you still may want the bathroom access --)
Our hurricane prep kit includes a temporary kitchen with a hot plate, small microwave and small refrigerator, all of which can be powered by our generator, and we could probably use those supplies for a few weeks during renovations or power outages working out of our garage. Overall, however, trying to renovate a house while you're living in it is about like trying to change the bedlinens while you're still sleeping in the bed. Maintain your sense of humor and eat out a lot.
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Well get estimates, go to architect. If you need a loan, find out how much the payments will be. Either you can afford it or you can't.
Also I suppose you can drop the basement or upstairs to reduce cost. Or design for adding upstairs later, but just 1st floor for now. Then add on upstairs down the road.
Then get a port-a-potty during construction. A funnel with a hose leading outside works great for #1. Flush with milk jug filled with water. Get membership at health club for showers. You can live for years with just a hot plate, toaster oven, and a microwave - paper plates, plastic forks/spoons. Summer do the camping thing - Coleman stove, BBQ, etc.
"jkroschel" wrote in message

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As someone else pointed out, it all depends on what the immediate problem is and what you want to do. It's not clear there is an immediate problem, other than you bought a house like this without knowing about it. I take it you did not have an inspection before buying it? Seems any reasonably competent house inspector should have caught this. I'd try to determine if this hack job was done by the seller. If you can prove that it was done while they owned the home, that they didn't get necessary permits, inspections, etc., you may have a good legal case against the seller.
In any case, you do have a bit of a sticky wicket now because it's pretty likely whenever you sell it, the next buyer will have an inspection and find it. In which case, it's a big problem.
And as others have suggested, I'd do it right, by getting an architect. If it's done right, it may add enough value to the house that you come out even or actually ahead.
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An option I considered before starting my kitchen renovation was building a 2nd kitchen in the basement (in my case). Just a tiny one, but with a fridge, stove and sink. Now, this wasn't just to tide me over during the renovation, but would've been handy to have down there for either (future) entertainment purposes or if I ever decided to rent out the basement space. Already had the fridge, could run the plumbing myself, but would've needed a short gas line run.
In the end I decided not to take the time to do it because, being single, I can get by w/out a real kitchen (the bathroom sink, microwave and a fridge that got moved around in the kitchen worked out ok).
Depending on your specific circumstances (# people in household, is there a space that could be utilized for 2nd kitchen, would it be of any value/use later, etc.) that's another option.
Not having a bathroom AND kitchen is going to be a pain in the keester. The more people in the household, the worse it's gonna be. Plus, renovations ALWAYS take longer than expected. You can decide if you can live w/an outhouse, no sink in the house, etc., then consider alternatives. Personally, I wouldn't get rid of an only bath and kitchen at the same time.
Just my 1.2 cents.
Renata
wrote:

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Is there room on the lot to place a trailer to live in, while construction is going on? Used trailers, including FEMA trailers, are available pretty cheap. Even areas where trailers are banned by code sometimes have an exception for temporary use during remodeling. If you don't trash the trailer, you can usually resell for a good chunk of what you paid for it.
If there is a SWMBO and kids involved, I'd rent a house or apartment elsewhere for the duration. The 'money pit' horror stories of marriages that go in dumper during live-in remodel projects are not myths.
aem sends...
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