I understand that this is an open ended question with probably lots of
"it depends" variables, but I don't have much experience with building
and thought I would toss this out. We want to hire someone to add
approximately 700 sq feet onto the back of our home. Our house is
modest size with the back exterior being 35' across. We would like to
extend 20 to 25' feet out and create two evenly proportioned rooms
with three windows total and a back sliding patio door. We want
electricity of course, but no bathrooms or other plumbing. My question
is: can anyone provide a ballpark estimate of the cost of having that
done? I'm picturing a slab for a foundation and would like a fairly
seamless continuation of the siding and roof. We are going to get some
estimates and were hoping to come in at 20K or less. Does that sound
No plumbing? What kind of heat do you have? It may require a larger boiler
or furnace and associated plumbing to handle the add on.
What is the roof style and how is the new addition going to blend into it?
You may need extensive work with trusses for that 25' span and drainage from
the existing roof. The existing exterior wall may need a fair amount of
work to change window and door locations, close in existing windows.
I can see you spending 2 or 3 times your estimate.
Say what? Home construction is currently down by over 50%
nationwide. A few years ago, it was booming and you couldn't find
contractors at any price. Now there are plenty looking for work.
The news here in CT said the January building permits was the lowest since
January 2008 458
January 2009 95
Great news since 60% of my business has to do with new home construction.
Hate to tell you but no. Will be more like 5x that. I base this on a back
room that was destroyed by renters (walls kicked in etc). Rebuilding the
damaged 12x13 room to a code spec bedroom started at 40,000$ and went up.
We opted for the sunroom and are quite happy with it.
What you may be able to do for near what you have however, is called an
'enclosed porch'. Depending on your climate, these can be quite suitable for
year round or near year round use. In my area, (Norfolk VA), it's a bit too
chilly to use that enclosed room in winter unless we leave the door to the
main house open and pay quite a bit extra in heating costs. Summer though,
a small portable AC is fine. They do what is called '3 season' sun rooms
here. There are 4 season ones as well but I don't know what sort of prices
I did not go with the lowest bidder, but instead a somewhat pricier one of
excellent reputation locally. I had existing roof and slab and needed only
2 walls rebuilt plus a footer extension to new code specs. As I had a rip
out issue (which you do not apparently) there's some variation here in
pricing which you will not have. The rip out was about equal to laying a
slab had there not been one (mold damage, significant so special work and
Lower bidder- 7,000$, High 12,500$ one used: 10,500$
12x13 room. Estimates to do the whole back porch (29ft left is still fully
screened and open to elements which we like), 17,500$ total but we didnt
have the extra 7,000$ (no rip out issues to rest of porch, only 1 wall and a
small corner part).
Based on this experience, it may be do-able at your price, but with a
sunroom enclosure. Privacy curtins <grin>.
A neighbor has a unique one. The house design is close to ours with an
extended roof. They made 3 interconnected rooms, with the center one being
a hot tub/bathroom. They used a smoked glass on that part. The corner is a
library/extended family room (same as us). The center is a hot tub
/bathroom, and the other end used as a bedroom. They did it a 8 years ago
and said other than the piping for the raised hot tub, it was not much more
than what we were told for the whole 17,500$ job.
From what I gathered, it's extending the roof that costs but that's not too
bad if it's a sunroom glass roof. There are support issues though with
taking the glass roof out too far. Consider 12 or 13 ft out. That still
makes reasonably sizable rooms.
You can get a couple of ocean freight containers (10x20) for about $4000
each. Just hook 'em together.
I've heard there are several tens of thousands of idled railroad boxcars in
the country. Maybe one or two of them?
(Don't laugh. We have a restaurant here constructed from about ten
with the economic crash theres lots of unemployeed workers.
carpenters, electricians etc.
now is a good time to get a bargain.
family member in phoenix a finish carpenter contractor hasnt worked
A three story building in Atlanta, for example*
Florida has a community of homes built with shipping containers. They
exceed hurricane codes, iirc.
* Architect: Francis Kirkpatrick
Structural Engineer: Runkle Consulting, Inc.
So? What difference does it make that the construction cost could
the current value of his home?
He can do whatever he wants with his money, but there may not be much
payback in added value. That all depends on factors such as the size of the
house in relation to others in the neighborhood, style, how the addition
looks, etc. If he is going to enjoy the house and the neighborhood and live
there the rest of his life, it is a good deal no matter what anyone else
Correct. not everything is in resale value. I am already the top end of my
neighborhood and adding the sunroom made it more so.
The real difference is we like it and could afford it. Come sales time, we
will have to price under what the house would be worth in another area, but
it will *sell* faster as it has 'more' than the nearby places for the same
My realtor is also a friend who comes to dinner and says he can sell the
place as is for 170,000$ when we bought for 83,500$. He said if selling,
not to replace the carpet as wont get the money back. Would take him about
2 weeks in today's market.
Now in a better more upscale area? (not that this one is bad mind you, just
older and smaller houses) He said 210,000$ easy and might hit 240,000$. Not
possible here, but it's that level house and buyers arent totally stupid.
My main cost detraction is 1.5 baths in a 4 BR house but there's no easy way
to add another and cant recoup the cost if we did it (nor do we need it, the
second toilet is handy but need no more).
Sounds low for 2009 where I live (Tennessee), but who knows you may
get a "resession" deal. Nobody here can tell you if 20K is
reasonable, but you knew that already. A "good deal" may not be so
good if you don't check references, insurance, bonded workers, etc.
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