I've one estimate (too high)done. I have a roof on a house 22' by 24'
that is low (4ft at peak). I want it ripped off and put a gambrel style
to utilize the upstairs space. That involves removing and disposing the
old roof. Laying down a sub floor, erecting rafters, sheathing and
shingling. Does NOT include siding, windows or any inside work, I will
finish it myself. I thought $17,000 was too much considering I can have
a brand new 2 car garage on a slab built including siding and doors for
$6900 in this area. Anybody have a similar job done? How much?
If I wasn't me I wouldn't like me either..........
Not to mention there's no mention made of whether there's adequate
foundation and other structural for adding the second floor loads, etc.
Who's doing that? The existing ceiling rafters won't support a
load-bearing floor so it's floor joists before subfloor and, as noted,
something to hang/set them from/on...
At $30-something/sq-ft doesn't sound out of line; no...
I'll second that- unless you already have 2x8 joists on the correct
centers in the 1st floor ceiling (unlikely with an attic that shallow),
this is more like adding a 2nd floor than replacing the roof system.
First floor structure and foundations will need to be taken into
consideration in any case, especially if this new attic is to be rated
as living space. If you really want to pursue this, you need a site
survey by a qualified architect or engineer. You can save some bucks if
you can come up with a set of 'as built' blueprints for the place. A
professional opinion will likely be required before they let you pull
If you have room on the lot, I'd compare the costs with doing a 1st
floor bumpout or ell. Engineering is simpler, and disturbance to
existing footprint is likely to be a lot less. And it won't fry the head
of the folks in the inspector's office.
2x6 don't span a whole lot. Not by todays standards anyway. They on
16"? Might be good enough to put a floor directly on. I'm guessing
since it's a small house and the proposed 2nd story floor space is in
the center that there will be some potential load bearing walls under
it. What's in the basement, posts? A 2x4 interior wall can carry a
fair load but it will need support under it in the basement. If it's
stick built the load will have to transfer through interior walls as
well as exterior. A manufactured truss can transfer more of the load
to the exterior walls. Still, tear off the old, dispose of it, build
the new and roof it, $17k doesn't seem so bad. Get a couple more and
that'll tell you. I'd also want to ask for some details on how they
plan to do it.
The other thing to look for is how far some of the interior walls that
might become load bearing are from the 6x6 beam. You need them to be
pretty close otherwise you are transfering load via the floor joists
of the 1st floor. They will deflect. Image lines through the
existing structure going up from the basement support to your new 2nd
story floor. You don't want a lot of horizontal travel via the 1st
story floor. If the basement is unfinished you can also place
additional steel posts under the interior walls that will become load
bearing if needed. From what you have said it does sound like your
plan is doable. The contractor you pick should be thinking about all
these things and should look in your basement and ground floor to
confirm how he plans to support the new floor. Ask him questions, he
shouldn't mind explaining his plans to you.
While there's not a downside to having an engineer involved, except
cost, I'm think a good general contractor could also evaluate this and
come up with an acceptable solution. Since the op is already
concerned about costs adding a grand or 2 to have an engineer
calculate loads is probably not his prefered path. Just saying.
Can't see from here...
I'm not tellin' anybody to add a second story on existing foundation,
etc., w/o having such "minor details" verified...
Permitting will probably require it anyway. Just sayin'...
Agreed. We'll be doing the same thing in the fall, and our contractor scoped
out the foundation before he gave us the quote. Not only will new joists be
required for the new second floor, he's got additional structural supports
going into the basement. We've had the plans drawn up and some architectural
drawings done, so the inspector will "get it". Our tiny town has an ancient
building inspector, and if he can't see it like a photograph from every
angle, inside and out, he won't approve it even if you have detailed
blueprints. We learned that from past experience. We wanted to build a
pre-fab garage, and he wouldn't approve it until he saw a "picture or
drawing of the finished garage, on your lot." Huh? How do you take a picture
of something that doesn't exist yet? Answer? Photoshop is your friend.
So...we have our drawings so he'll approve the new permit. He never even
looks at the blueprints! I love living in the boonies, but small town
gubmint is tricky.
I'm not suggesting that this forum is the go/no go authority on this.
I just suggesting that a competent general contractor should be able
to figure out how to support this without requiring an engineered
And probably most places by now need "sealed plans" (blueprints with the
seal of a registered architect) to get a building permit. Although
there are still some place like here, no plans needed, no blueprints
needed. Pretty much the rule here is to build it on your land and don't
cross the property line. That's about it. Only thing they inspect are
sewage and electric. For real.
And I'm saying there's more to being sure of adequacy of the modified
overall structure than simply deciding how to hang a set of upper floor
joists and OP's clearly trying to "cheap out" and hope for the best.
We have absolutely no way of knowing what the foundation is, what the
columns in the basement are resting upon, what the tie collars are like
if they exist, etc., etc., etc.
Yes, a "competent general contractor" can tell some of this but may (or
may not) have the expertise to evaluate the effect of the proposed
modifications on the overall structure.
I've seen enough build perfectly adequate new structure on inadequate
existing that I'd not be willing to make that as a recommendation to OP.
There was, in fact, published in FHB a year or so ago a similar
modification to an existing house done by a contractor. I noticed some
weaknesses in what was done that are very common but the "obvious" way
to make the additions/modifications at relatively minimal cost and
requiring minimal modification to the existing structure.
Interestingly, an issue or two later were two letters from licensed
structural engineers pointing out the structural weaknesses inherent in
the modification as implemented. I can foresee such issues in OP's
desired plan of action. Granted, it ain't foregone that it will but it
surely isn't wise to leap w/o adequate design.
And, as noted, if there is a permit required in OP's jurisdiction, it
may not be adequate to try that route, anyway.
I'm simply trying to make sure to avoid the potential train wreck...
Sure, I'm just saying that a good contractor should be able to handle
this. It does not absolutely require an engineer. It's just a 22' by
24' structure. I would expect the contractor to be able to articulate
how he planned to carry the load down to the foundation.
You guys sure are doom and gloom a lot, sheesh.
A) Is nothing to add over what you said before and I'll reiterate the
observation the good contractor can do the building, sure...whether the
good contractor is also able to determine the ability of the existing
building may begin to stretch his ability to take standard framing
practice and apply it.
B) _THAT'S_ not the question...do you know there's enough foundation for
essentially doubling the house? Are you confident enough that any good
general contractor is sufficiently trained to risk your $20k+ on his
I'm saying prudence is generally a wise investment...and certainly
anybody that would ask for opinions of such a move on usenet needs some
imo (altho I'll note OP only asked about costs, but that's generally
also a bad sign for getting the truly "good general contractor" when
start going for lowest cost.
And, my last comment I'll make--I wouldn't expect it to be but a few
hundred bucks for an opinion on feasibility and suggestions for
incorporation assuming the project conception is, indeed, a reasonable
one for the structure.
I'd think that quite a reasonable investment either way before making a
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