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Old 01-17-2008, 03:48 PM   #1
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Connecting main house to guest house...


We bought a house over the summer and have already outgrown it :-) Our house has a guest house 30' away from the back door of the main house -- straight back. We thought we might be able to affordabley add on a room (15' x 30' family room) that connects the main house and the guest house, turning the guest house into a master bedroom.

Our first thought was to hire someone to do this, but we have had three estimates and they are between $5500 and $8200...this seems realllly high sense we have priced out lumber and sheet rock at Lowes and it came to $900 for what we need (there are already two walls, the back of the main house and the front of the guest house) so we decided to do this ourselves. (except electric, we will hire someone for that!)Now we don't know where to begin! Obviously, with a foundation, which we are thinking pier and beam...then onto framing and so on...just kind of overwhelming I think.

Please, any tips or suggestions!!!

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Old 01-17-2008, 04:08 PM   #2
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Connecting main house to guest house...


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Originally Posted by hlavine View Post

we have had three estimates and they are between $5500 and $8200...this seems realllly high sense we have priced out lumber and sheet rock at Lowes and it came to $900 for what we need

I dont understand your comparison, you figure 900 bucks in sheetrock and lumber but you didnt include your labor, ( your time IS worth something) let alone permit fees, roofing, etc... I bet you spend MORE doing this project yourself. IMO.

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Old 01-17-2008, 04:10 PM   #3
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Connecting main house to guest house...


I think I would have just paid... Seems like both prices were very low.

Pier and beam will probably be the easiest and cheapest for you to do.

Do you already own all the tools to do this project? Are you sure your material list is right? What about windows, roofing, insulation, HVAC, painting, trim, blah, blah. A room is not just 4 walls of studs and drywall.
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Old 01-17-2008, 04:13 PM   #4
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Connecting main house to guest house...


Materials is $900 - my town doesnt require permits for this small of a job...but your right, I didn't include roofing. My mom just built her house and they put a simple tin roof for $600...for a much larger area. This is in the back of the house, unseeable from the road or sides so we might use that... As for my time...it's my house, my labor really means nothing to me sense by adding this family room and attaching the guest house to add on to the main house sq footage I have added value to the house...
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Old 01-17-2008, 04:17 PM   #5
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Connecting main house to guest house...


The materials is not for finsihed product (nor were the quotes) We will paint, carpet, etc later on. The only thing we havent priced that we want is a sliding glass door to the back yard...no windows...
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Old 01-17-2008, 04:26 PM   #6
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Connecting main house to guest house...


When I first read you thread I thought that price range was really reasonable. The electrical would be a snap, so I'm wondering if you have the skill to tackle this job. But then the best way to learn is to do it. Personally I'd suggest building a small shed first. There are alot of books that will walk you through step by step. And if you have the aptitude and desire to continue, by all means do so.


Where to start? Your county building department first. If you live through that, then go to your drafting table and draw up the plans that will be required by said county. After you get acceptance then string lines, stakes and level would be a good place to start. And start thinking about how the roof lines will match.

One step at a time, don't get over-whelmed (easy to say, hard to do).
There are alot of skilled folks here willing to help when you get to that point.
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Old 01-17-2008, 04:42 PM   #7
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Connecting main house to guest house...


Dang, I just did a few estimates on the lumber and at $900 I could only get to your subfloor. Then $250 for studs (2x4), siding and roof ply $800, pre-fab trusses $1,000...etc, etc....
But then I live in California
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Old 01-17-2008, 04:46 PM   #8
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pre-fab trusses $1,000

Umm, not sure what that is...I priced the ply flooring, studs, walls and sheet rock - In Texas btw. Did not price sliding glass door, roof or pier and beam foundation yet...
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:01 PM   #9
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Connecting main house to guest house...


Your labour is nothing to you but the guys you were having bid it did not think the same LOL I think may be able to do it yourself but you got some good prices and from what you're posting you may not be taking everything into consideration for your material only price
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:28 PM   #10
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i priced material at a lowes in texas online. i came up with around 2200.00 just to get it under roof (dried in). that was for a floor system two stud walls sheeting and truss roof system and metal for the roof. that does not include your foundation. you still need siding, insulation, and sheetrock among other things.
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Old 01-17-2008, 05:48 PM   #11
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Connecting main house to guest house...


hlavine, what type of roof will it have? Gable or shed? If gable, I'm thinking with 30 feet lenght it would be cheapest, fastest and easiest to go with pre-fabricated trusses. A gable roof has the high point usally in the middle with pitch to both sides. If you build a shed roof (one side being higher) then it will be much cheaper and no need for trusses.
How are the existing roof lines on both buildings. Are they the same? If you are building gable end to gable end then you won't have too much difficulty, yet, if your connecting two eaves it will be more difficult.

Do you get snow and or high winds there?
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:27 PM   #12
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Connecting main house to guest house...


I am new to this site, and I can see how you are wanting to save money. In my opinion, have you considered buying the materials and paying someone to install it for you. This might ensure that you won't have a leaking roof or other issues. And do the parts of the project you are comfortable with. Look at the big picture and see how much you really save. Nobody likes to come to a job to fix something that someone else has done incorrectly. Just my two cents. Good luck
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:29 PM   #13
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Connecting main house to guest house...


No snow, well...we're suppose to get some tonight,lol, but im in central Texas, so when we do its just a dusting. yes on the high winds. The house has a covered patio with the roof jutting straight out, I thought I might be able to connect it somehow to that and then attach to the guest house straight in. The guest house has pitched roof...but it doesn't have to match. Like I said, this is in the back, and I have 8' privacy fencing all around, it won't be seen...Our initial thought was to just build a hallway connecting the two sense all we REALLY need is the extra bedroom, not the extra family room, but I thought that would be a waste of space, hence the idea for a family room addition.
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Old 01-17-2008, 06:55 PM   #14
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Connecting main house to guest house...


No, I think your idea of making and additional room between the two structures will be very benificial for your useage and difinietly smart moneywise. I'd stick with it. Don't get scared or cheap-out on it. The house will increase substanially with this idea. I hate the phase but it sure rings true here, 'it's a win/win situation'.
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Old 01-17-2008, 07:02 PM   #15
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Connecting main house to guest house...


Oh yeah, I asked about the snow 'cause I just got a good slap from the county about a deck I just finished. Since I'm at 4,000 ft elevation I'm in 'snow-load' country and was required to have a civil engineer design the deck first. Luckely I had a bunch of 6x6 pt posts and 6x10 pt beams laying around. The engineer laughed and asked how many elephants I was going to entertain on it.


Last edited by SeanR; 01-17-2008 at 08:24 PM. Reason: wrong width beam, fixed
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