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Old 12-14-2008, 12:19 PM   #1
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Worth remodeling (or buying)?


I am buying a ~100 year-old house in St. Louis. It has an ~1000 sq. ft. basement.... that has never been touched, with a door that leads to the yard and at least 2 windows on 3/4 walls. I really, really, really wanna finish this space and turn it into a gym, laundry, extra bedroom, and storage room.

However....

The middle of the basement concrete floor has an open drain that the AC drains into, and the floor is sloped all around so that the ceiling height at the drain is ~84" and by the walls it is ~75". I also have pipes and AC ducts here and there, so I cannot level the floors without having people over 6"2 scraping their heads on the ceiling and people over 5"2 hitting their heads on the duct work. To compound the situation, the floors are not level from location to location, and you can easily see this by standing on the opposite wall.
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Another huge headache I have is the stairs that lead into the basement. They are not to code and a structural engineer deemed them "unsafe". Apparently, the original stairs were somewhere else, but after a remodeling project they were placed next to the staircases that lead to the second floor. Unfortunately, they are directly in front of the door that leads to the yard. If they were code compliant they would need more steps and you would be unable to open the door. The only fix I see is to install a landing, however, the stairs cannot turn right because there is a metal beam there, and they can't go left because there is a 3/4 bath in that space, including all the copper water pipes. As far as I can see, the only solution would be to get rid of the 3/4 bath (bad) in order to fix the stairs... but I just don't think that's worth it.
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Thanks for any input!!!
Sorry about the huge images!

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Old 12-14-2008, 06:41 PM   #2
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Worth remodeling (or buying)?


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The only fix I see is to install a landing...
Don't think you can do that eather, no head room for the landing (need 6'8" if i rember correctly).
Elevator or move the stairs back farther into the house or create a hallway out into the back yard.

It does look like an awful big rise on them steps, they cant be much fun to walk up and down.


Being they are not to code; who has to fix them, you or the current home owner ?

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Old 12-14-2008, 06:57 PM   #3
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Worth remodeling (or buying)?


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Don't think you can do that eather, no head room for the landing (need 6'8" if i rember correctly).
Elevator or move the stairs back farther into the house or create a hallway out into the back yard.

It does look like an awful big rise on them steps, they cant be much fun to walk up and down.


Being they are not to code; who has to fix them, you or the current home owner ?

_
Not sure who will fix it. I am pushing the seller to discount the price of the house by the fix price ($2K by structural engineer- I'm not sure he realized that the stairs would hit the door though). As far as the landing, I meant I would remove the 3/4 bath and cut out a space for the landing.

One other thing had occurred to me- how about installing a spiral staircase? I could also open up the space on the first floor... here is what the space looks like...


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Old 12-14-2008, 07:47 PM   #4
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Worth remodeling (or buying)?


Gb; what about running to a landing and a 180 turn staying parallel to the first set. This way you avoid the I beam.
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Old 12-14-2008, 07:59 PM   #5
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Worth remodeling (or buying)?


I think thats where the 1/2 bath is the poster was talking abuot.

For spiral stairs, i would talk with an inspector first... pretty sure theres something to the effect you can not have a single stair case consisting of only spiral stairs between two levels unless they are really big/wide, but maybe with the exit you have in the basement this will not apply. I could be wrong with that, but im pretty sure its something an architect i talked with a couple months ago said.
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Old 12-17-2008, 02:48 PM   #6
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I would think that as long as you have egress from the basement, spiral stairs are ok. Check local code to be sure.....

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