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Old     (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       06-21-2012, 12:02 PM Reply   
I've been considering one of these two alternatives for my back patio for about a year now. I won't be doing the work myself in either case.

I've got a contractor I'm familiar and comfortable with to do a slab and sunroom, as well as re-arrange (re-do) an existing door and several existing windows. But I am unsure whether he is qualified to do a full-blown addition.

At this winter's home show, I asked around for several recommendations, and each time wound up talking to a custom home-builder (showing off much more expensive homes than my own).

Would a custom home-builder capable of very high-end homes be interested in doing a mere addition?

By what factor does anybody guess a home addition is over a pre-fab sunroom?

I have never made up my mind if I am going to live in this house permanently. I like the area but have always been indifferent to my back patio / back yard.

Any body have any thoughts about what I am getting into, and what to do to get the best satisfaction for adding something that's missing about the back of my house?
Old     (williamburell)      Join Date: Sep 2011       06-21-2012, 1:33 PM Reply   
Without knowing your area or the size of the project I would say bring in 3 contractors to get bids. Have a basic layout of what you are looking for. Doesn't cost a dime to get an estimate. And yes homebuilders are in the crapper right now in most areas due to the economy and will do pretty much anything. Right now you get alot more bang for the buck with construction.

after bids you can compare to a prefab and see what figure difference you are looking at.
Old     (pesos)      Join Date: Oct 2001       06-21-2012, 2:11 PM Reply   
Interested in this topic as I am starting to consider what I want to do homewise - love my neighborhood and have an absolutely sick multibridge view of the bay I would be stupid to give up. But the house is basically a 1 bedroom, around 1350 sf - going to need more room. I'd like to build down, expand the existing garage at street level and build into the hill - possibly a theater/family playroom where we don't need natural light - one level up for bedrooms, at that point it's at the existing house level - great room/kitchen/dining - then top floor is master suite.

At what point does it make sense to just tear down and go from scratch? there are some existing issues that concern me (leaks/water damage) and the existing construction is nothing special (was a tiny 50s cottage that got built up bigger in the 80s)...
Old     (wakeboardingdad)      Join Date: Aug 2008       06-21-2012, 7:30 PM Reply   
"Would a custom home-builder capable of very high-end homes be interested in doing a mere addition?"

In this economy, I would think so.

I don't care for prefab, but to me it depends on the roof line(s) and how much you want to spend or how much future maintenance you want?
Old     (jaegermaster)      Join Date: Sep 2002       06-22-2012, 6:21 AM Reply   
Coming from experience in building I would go the addition route. I think you will get better return on you investment down the road.

My folks just did a sun room. Slab on grade, wood stud walls and lots of windows. It is basically an addition meaning dry walled interior walls, ceiling, electrical etc.

As far as things to incorporate into the addition:

Electrical, gas for BBQ/future fire pit, water (even if you don't need it now, leave it in the wall and put a cover plate over it), ceiling fan(s), audio.

Just my $.02
Old     (john211)      Join Date: Aug 2008       06-22-2012, 9:07 AM Reply   
Thanks for suggesting gas and water. That'll be easy as they're both right there (gas fireplace, outdoor spigot).

I will seek perhaps 3 bids. I have a diplomacy issue, however, if I do not go the pre-fab route. It can be done by an acquaintance ... who needs the work.
Old     (vette74)      Join Date: Jun 2008       06-22-2012, 9:21 AM Reply   
I design at least 1 of these a week. The biggest problem I see are the framers for the homebuilders are not use to building porches they build houses with walls they think that 2-2x12's can span 20' or so. Make sure you get a framing plan from them or better an engineer and don't let them span more than 10' with 2x12's after that you need an engineered beam unless you like sagging.


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