urgent ..pls help -construction question


urgent ..pls help -construction question
Background ***************** My friend is buying a home in the SF Bay Area, California.
The home has a nice view at the back. The family room is on the first floor and the bedroom upstairs face the back. The bedroom sits on the family room which is below. The family room is larger than the bedroom on top. It has a pointed roof which ruins the view from this bedroom.
1. However the family room has a big fireplace that faces the back - this ruins the view from that room. Can the the fireplace and chimney be removed ? so a French door can be inserted in that space and the view can be enjoyed ?
2. Upstairs in the master bedroom ..the view is ruined because of very tiny windows and also - the chimney - the pointed tile roof Can the chimney ( because of the fireplace in the family room below) be removed and the roof flattened so a varandah can be built ?
So there are 2 issues 1. can we remove the chimney completely 2. can we flatten the tile roof on top of family room and build varendah on it ?
Is this possible ? and what would be the costs ? any complications ? any issues that I should be aware of ?
I know it is difficult to comment without seeing the home...but if you can pls give us your input it would be very highly appreciated.
Thanks
Linda
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No one here can give the right answer. Given enough time and money, yes, most anything can be done. You are looking at some major renovations removing the fireplace, flattening roofs, etc. It must be looked at and planned by someone familiar with the engineering of it all. It may be required by the local building department before issuing a permit. Flattening a roof required major changes, proper design and engineering for trusses or other supports. Most fireplaces and chimneys are self supporting and not a part of the structure for fire safety reasons. If that is the case, it can be removed and new framing put in place.
Cost? Probably tens of thousands of dollars. Maybe $150k or more. Unless, of course, you are in some historic area where such renovations would not be allowed.
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Edwin Pawlowski wrote:

have friends who removed chimneys to gain space, heavy dirty DIY if your comfy on roof or get someone to do the height work. chimney comes down one brick at a time just like how it was built.
anything using that chimney as a flue? might need a new furnace etc.
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If your friend hasn't already put in a bid, maybe the sellers would allow you to have a builder/carpenter walk thru with you and give an estimate of how much it could cost, and if what you want could even be done? At least you would know ahead of time, while you can still back out.
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only the permit office has your answer, inquire of them with the property address. a local architect could advise you on historic limitations? zoning limits? how much of the settled home does the big fireplace support? how tall can an observation deck be built? what are the limits on playground decks and swimming pool decks? fences? and how do all those apply to the neighbors of your view?
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buffalobill wrote:

In this case, I wouldn't say municipal permits are the most critical issue, with the exception being if it's an old historic district house or if it's controlled by a homeowner's association. The changes as described don't change the footprint of the house, it's height, etc. Almost anywhere you can remove a fireplace, chimney, replace it with french doors, and add a veranda off a bedroom above. This is usually just a straight forward building permit. The biggest question is how much it would cost, how to architecturally blend it into the existing design and if it's worth it.

I don't see what neighbors playground decks, swimming pools and fences and have to do with any of this.

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