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Old 12-24-2010, 10:46 AM   #1
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Converting enclosed patio to living space


I am in San Diego, California and have an enclosed patio that is roughly 400SF. I wish to add this to my gross living area and get it permitted for a bathroom as well.

I know the height of the ceiling is not to code and was wondering if I could possibly get this grandfathered so it would be ok. I think it has around a 7" ceiling at one point, but it angles up to about 8". The walls are all finished and 1 outlet is currently in a wall. I can easily remove this and install new electrical if required.

I need to submit a plan to the city for the permit to be issued and am wondering if there are any inexpensive online resources to do this, or if I can find an architect over the internet to do this at a low cost.

The plumbing is located where I would like to put a bathroom due to a laundry room which is currently located where the bathroom will be going, along with the sewer drain access.

I was thinking if the roof is going to be an issue, if I should possibly raise it prior to inspection so that can be grandfathered in as well. Thanks!

Bryan

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Old 12-24-2010, 11:57 AM   #2
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Converting enclosed patio to living space


There are footing and foundation requirements that might not have been conformed to as it was a porch.
Is this a legal structure as it stands?
Ron

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Old 12-24-2010, 12:24 PM   #3
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Converting enclosed patio to living space


The rest of the patio I removed in the past was about 6" thick, but I don't know about any footings. The exterior walls are reinforced concrete block with re-bar. I am not sure what the footings are like there. I guess I can dig it up. What do you think about the ceiling height issue? Thank you!

Bryan
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Old 12-24-2010, 12:48 PM   #4
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Converting enclosed patio to living space


Quote:
Originally Posted by sandiegoman View Post
The rest of the patio I removed in the past was about 6" thick, but I don't know about any footings. The exterior walls are reinforced concrete block with re-bar. I am not sure what the footings are like there. I guess I can dig it up. What do you think about the ceiling height issue? Thank you!

Bryan
It depends on the local Building Dept. If you are in an earthquake zone, be prepared for a long to do list.
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Old 12-24-2010, 12:52 PM   #5
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Converting enclosed patio to living space


Oh yeah, I am practically on a major fault. Thanks for the input, I guess I better follow the steps and go to the building department.
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Old 12-26-2010, 07:51 PM   #6
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Converting enclosed patio to living space


I am not sure which code edition San Diego enforces but as of 1-1-2011 the California Residential Code allows a 7' high ceiling. Your problem is much greater than a ceiling height. It starts with the planning dept. with maximum lot coverage and setbacks. Then you get to the building dept. that will require a foundation. Depending on the soils type, the foundation will be designed per the CRC or the CBC. Next is the slab which requires a moisture barrier and patio slabs seldom have that and typically slope away from the dwelling. Light and ventilation of the existing dwelling must be considered and any egress windows that may open onto the existing patio. Partial height block walls would require engineering to qualify as part of the new walls. The roof structure if built as a shed roof also requires engineering if the pitch is below 3" in 12" and a minimum 2"x10" is required for R30 insulation. Then again, San Diego might not pay any attention to all of that. Good luck with it.
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Old 12-26-2010, 08:48 PM   #7
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Converting enclosed patio to living space


The permit for the living space addition should come before or better during and include the additional bathroom.

In your area, you fortunately have do it properly to have the area count for living space on the future listing and appraisals when you go to sell. - Otherwise you will find yourself between and a rock, a hard place and a possible buyer when it is too late to change anything except the selling price if the buyer is agreeable.

Dick
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:41 PM   #8
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Converting enclosed patio to living space


I had a similar experience. The architect over the internet does not pay |
attention. The building and Safety Department never told me anything over the phone or over the internet. Things got seroius when I began to
pay money from my wallet. They did not approve because of size in relation to the existing house and why I wanted to build. ETC.ETC.
The best advice is to find a engineer or architect who will advice you
about the proper way. But he wants a lot of money.Good Luck
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:49 PM   #9
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Converting enclosed patio to living space


Yeah, luckily I have worked with the city quite a lot, I am also an appraiser, so I know even this little 400SF addition and bathroom must be permitted to add value. Since I split my lot myself I know all the setback information and such. I was mainly worried about foundation and ceiling height.

I think I am going to go to the city with my filled out permit applications, have photos of the interior and a simple hand drawn sketch with all the dimensions. I know my plans can be reviewed over the counter since it is under 1000 SF.

I was just hoping I wouldn't have to change the roof, but I figure I will probably have to level the slab and possibly take apart a wall or reinforce it.

Of course I am trying to add a bedroom and bath for the least amount of $$$ because I will be listing it for sale in the spring. Oh joy.

Bryan

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