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Old 12-14-2006, 05:35 PM   #1
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Addition Foundation /Build. advice


Hi evryone,

I submitted a plan to BLDG dept. and they killed it on a 50% re-construction clause in zoning. If project is 50% or more value than what is already there then they want EVERYTHING brought up to code. Anyone been hit by this problem before?

I think I will scale back my plan so I don't have to comply with that. That means
instead of demo-ing my first floor completely I have to try and use it and add depth front & back. Existing is a 22'x38' rectangle perimiter stem wall foundation built with only 2 coarses of 6" CMU (23-24" tall including footing) I want to pour an 8" concrete stemwall front and back and then run 2x8 floor joists off the existing sill over to new foundation.

This seems harder to me than just demo-ing the whole thing. The wall in back will only be about 18" between the two so you won't be able to access that area. The front will be 4-8' of new so I guess I could knock a crawl access hole out of the existing. If I line up the vents in both will that be acceptable?

Obviously I should ask the BO what he want me to do but he is one of those
"I ain't gonna design it for ya damn it guys" so worse than no help. He's made
it crystal clear that his job ain't to help idiot DIY homebuilders.
He's also not going to define what 50% means so I have to throw plans at the wall until one sticks.

If I'm saving my crappy 1952 2x8 floor system but getting rid of the walls and roof does that count as 33-1/3 % or what. If I shoulve a 6x6 post down thru it is the post considered 1/4 of a Sq Ft for new construction?

Do you see how ludicrous this whole thing is?

Does anyone know where to get books or specific info on adding to a foundation? None of the how to books I have ever seen address adding for re-model except very basic stuff like drilling a few re-bar dowels into old at joints.

Anyone have experience with this insane 50% re-build rule? How could you possibly bring an un-reinforced hollow CMU foundation up to ANY code let alone in seismic zone 2 like here in Seattle?

I thought this would be a ten on the 1-10 scale of dificulty. Now I realize it's more like 100 mainly due to IRC and very unhelpfull city hall.

Please - can you help?

I have re-wired an entire house (w/leagal permit)including new 200 Amp panel so I could help anyone with basic house wiring if you need.

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Old 12-15-2006, 12:02 PM   #2
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Addition Foundation /Build. advice


Just a guess, but I would imagine the 50% is based on money value of the addition as compared to the value of the house now. Does seem like you could split it into two projects: Do less than 50% now, finish that and then get another permit for the rest of the job which will then be even less than 50%. If you plan carefully this might not even be that more expensive.

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Old 12-15-2006, 02:58 PM   #3
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Addition Foundation /Build. advice


You're exactly right. I am heading that direction. Got an appraisal coming to get a little more leway. Pretty rediculous to have to spilt it up this way but it's deffinantly cheapest way to go. I understand the intent of the rule but in our case we have the cheapest, smallest, least well built house on the block. I don't think it helps my neighbors to have a weird 2nd story thats obviously cut right in half in hopes of finishing it later. Thats detrimental to everyone in my opinion.
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Old 12-15-2006, 06:28 PM   #4
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No-one ever accused bureaucrats of making sense.
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