urgent ..pls help -construction question

urgent ..pls help -construction question
Background ***************** My friend is buying a home in the SF Bay Area, California. It is a stucco house, I believe. The chimney is brick.
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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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote: | urgent ..pls help -construction question | | Background | ***************** | My friend is buying a home in the SF Bay Area, California. | It is a stucco house, I believe. The chimney is brick.
<snipperoni>
| So there are 2 issues | 1. can we remove the chimney completely
If it's not needed, then there wouldn't seem to be any reason keep it.
| 2. can we flatten the tile roof on top of family room and build | varendah on it ?
Yup - but this should be discussed in detail with an architect or structural engineer before you touch the first tile. I'm pretty sure that it'll need to meet earthquake criteria no matter where you are in the bay area.
| Is this possible ?
Of course.
| and what would be the costs ?
Probably astromical.
| any complications ?
I would think that "earthquake-proof" will be all the complication you'd want.
| any issues that I should be aware of ?
Building codes - both state and local.
| 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.
You're invited to take the above with a grain of salt - all except the part about getting expert help - since I live a thousand miles away, haven't ever seen the house/site, and have almost no knowledge of your city, county, or state building codes or law.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto
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wrote:

Maybe This Old House could help....they've been there before!!!!!!!!!
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Maybe - but that sure is going to make for some smokey romantic evenings.

Maybe - but you're going to want to cut a hole in it probably - to let that smoke out on those romantic evenings.

Well Linda, it's more than difficult. It's impossible. One has to look at work like this to examine structural implications. Most of what you've described can be done, no matter what the current structural issues are - given enough money. What you really need is an architect who will look at the existing structure and provide plans for the changes you desire. There are a ton of local code issues to be aware of as well.
--

-Mike-
snipped-for-privacy@alltel.net
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In addition to the issues raised by the other respondents--
Where you remove the chimney, it will be difficult to patch the stucco to match the existing. You may have to paint the entire back--using masonry paint if you are wise.
Usually a working fireplace adds to the value of a house. Your friend my take a hit in the house value when they remove the fireplace.
If they put a flat, outdoor verandah over an interior space, it must be constructed very, very well to prevent water leaks into the interior space. If it does start leaking, it is very, very expensive to repair. (Think of tearing up most of the verandah and replacing it.)
The alterations may change the appearance of the house sufficiently to lower its value.
For all of those and the other reasons, they need a building professional whom they can trust to give them some advice. They should be prepared to pay, whether or not they do the project, after all what professionals have to sell is their time. And we all know what free advice is worth.....
And have a fat checkbook.
Old Guy

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