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Old 01-25-2012, 11:29 PM   #1
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Addition between garage and home


Hello everyone!

This is my first post!!

Ok so we are purchasing a foreclosed home and were wondering about the average costs for an addition between the garage and the home.

Currently there is an addition that was not to code and needs to be removed per the city's orders...due to no footings around the addition and no permits...

We had a contractor look at it and quoted us $20,000 to put footings and bring the house back up to code...

So I was wondering...what if me and husband just demo the addition ourselves then have a contractor just build a new addition and then continue to the 2nd floor? Wouldn't that be cheaper than hiring a contractor to basically perform surgery on that addition and attempt to place footings?


Here is a picture of the home and we also live in Milwaukee Wisconsin




Thank you guys so much in advance.

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Old 01-26-2012, 12:20 AM   #2
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Addition between garage and home


From the picture, it looks to me that what you mean by the addition is that narrow hallway between the house and the garage. Tearing it down and replacing it with a roofed breezeway would serve the same purpose and would cost little (you could save the roof, replace the walls with posts or beams and the floor with a deck, and it wouldn't be subject to the same building rules).

An addition of the first floor and the attic would be much wider to make any sense, and would cost much more than $20,000, whoever does the demolition work.


Last edited by abracaboom; 01-26-2012 at 12:24 AM.
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Old 01-26-2012, 12:20 AM   #3
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Addition between garage and home


Have you gotten a second opinion on the $20K? That sounds quite high to me. That said, it ain't a walk in the park to work under a building, and siding is likely going to get hammered and need replacing. Your best bet on prices is to contact a half dozen contractors and see the spread. Materials are usually (so the folks here have said, and it sounds reasonable to me) about 40% of the bid, plus or minus.
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:09 AM   #4
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Addition between garage and home


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Originally Posted by abracaboom View Post
From the picture, it looks to me that what you mean by the addition is that narrow hallway between the house and the garage. Tearing it down and replacing it with a roofed breezeway would serve the same purpose and would cost little (you could save the roof, replace the walls with posts or beams and the floor with a deck, and it wouldn't be subject to the same building rules).

An addition of the first floor and the attic would be much wider to make any sense, and would cost much more than $20,000, whoever does the demolition work.
The roof of the breezeway is original. So are you saying if we demolish the 4 walls and take out all the flooring it would cost little to finish that breezeway?
The contractor wants $20,000 to put footings under the current breezeway so that it can pass building codes...but that seems so high...

All I want is that breezeway and maybe a simple 15 X 15 above...would that really cost more than 35k...? Sorry for my lack of knowledge on the issue.

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Have you gotten a second opinion on the $20K? That sounds quite high to me. That said, it ain't a walk in the park to work under a building, and siding is likely going to get hammered and need replacing. Your best bet on prices is to contact a half dozen contractors and see the spread. Materials are usually (so the folks here have said, and it sounds reasonable to me) about 40% of the bid, plus or minus.
I haven't gotten a second opinion mainly due to the fact that this contractor who contacted the building inspector said that if there are multiple contractors contacting the building inspector it might tick the inspector off.....But I don't understand how footings can cost 20k is it due to the hard labor of trying to get it under an existing addition?
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:22 AM   #5
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Addition between garage and home


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The roof of the breezeway is original.•• Oh. That sounds like it will be even easier. If the roof is OK w/ code, then I don't see $20K in building a new set of walls and floor there, assuming it won't be conditioned (heated for living) space.

The contractor wants $20,000 to put footings under the current breezeway so that it can pass building codes...but that seems so high...•• He may be right on; hard to say from afar, of course. Have you asked said contractor about rebuilding after you demolish it instead of putting footers underneath?

All I want is that breezeway and maybe a simple 15 X 15 above...would that really cost more than 35k...? •• Now the room above is an entirely different animal. You'll need more significant footers, wiring, plumbing (at least for heat), access to it, a designer (perhaps), etc, etc. That will require money.


I haven't gotten a second opinion mainly due to the fact that this contractor who contacted the building inspector said that if there are multiple contractors contacting the building inspector it might tick the inspector off.....•• More likely, someone with a shorter bid will get ahold of you. I would be suspect of a tale like that. Fishy.
See above, after the bullets. Very different animals in the works here. An enclosed walkway, with a roof that is kosher and can stay, is one thing; a room above is very different.
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Old 01-26-2012, 01:42 AM   #6
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See above, after the bullets. Very different animals in the works here. An enclosed walkway, with a roof that is kosher and can stay, is one thing; a room above is very different.
Thank you so much for the information! I think we will go ahead and do the demo of the current addition. I also wanted to tell you that only a PART of the roof is original...i believe about 4 feet...But the rest of it is just flat as you can see in the attached photo from google maps. But even so do you think it will be less expensive to just build it from scratch after we demo it?

Also what do you think about instead of building an addition to the 2nd story..maybe remove the deck and building towards the back of the garage and put another bedroom there? Or would that be too "unique" and deter sellers? I am just worried that the current 2 bedroom house will not sell well come the time we want to move 5-10 years down the road.
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Old 01-26-2012, 08:55 AM   #7
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Addition between garage and home


With any remodeling/new construction project, the key to getting useful bids is to fully define the project. In your case, that means asking contractors to bid on a job with actual plans and specifications. Plans normally consist of scaled drawings showing the existing work to be removed, and the new work to be installed. There are free drawing packages available on the web that would allow a skilled DIY'er to prepare the plans, or if you are uncomfortable preparing the plans yourself, you can hire an architect to prepare them for you.

You also need specifications (specs). The specs consist of a written document setting out the quality of the new work, for example do you want porcelain tile floor, vinyl tile, stone etc. The more detailed the specs, the more likely you are to get realistic bids. Specs do not need to be elaborate, but I have worked on too many projects where the homeowner asks for bids with no specs, and gets a wide range of bids that are based on contractor assumptions about the fit and finish of the project, and the homeowner cannot make intelligent comparisons.

Again, if you are uncomfortable preparing specs, you can ask your architect to prepare them for you, of course in consultation with you. Some part of the specs will come from local building code, for example the foundation requirements are probably in the building code, and you can cite the specific section of the code, i.e. prepare foundation as per Section XXX of the building code. Your building inspector can help you understand exactly what the requirements are for your addition, there are going to be foundation, access, and material requirements.

Getting bids without plans and specs is likely to lead to frustration, misunderstanding, and ultimately disappointment with the project.
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Old 01-26-2012, 09:15 AM   #8
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Addition between garage and home


If that is for the foundation just for the breezeway that is to high. Also I would be a little leery of a contractor who would make a statement about ticking the inspector off, sounds like he is after that job and is blowing smoke. If the breezeway isn't 15 feet long you can't get a room 15 feet wide up there unless you go up higher than the roof of the breezeway and forward or backward. What are the dimensions of the breezeway now?
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:59 PM   #9
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Addition between garage and home


OK, so the breezeway is original and the addition is that rinky-dink thing with a flat roof you can see from the back yard. I don't think that's worth rebuilding, much less for 20 grand. I would just tear it off, and spend my money on an addition going into the backyard (instead of sideways). You have more room there.

An addition towards the garage, with a proper roof, would mean getting rid of the breezeway and joining the garage roof to the addition roof, losing that attic window facing the garage in the process.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:22 PM   #10
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Addition between garage and home


Moderator Gary,

If you put a sticky about pricing ....it will eliminate the repeated posts about prices homeowners are getting.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:20 PM   #11
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Last edited by BigJim; 01-26-2012 at 06:27 PM. Reason: Post made in anger
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