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Old 03-22-2011, 08:34 PM   #1
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Sunroom extension support footings repair + cost


Hi,

I am in the process of purchasing a home that is in need of support repairs to a rear sunroom / covered patio. At some point in the life of the home, a sunroom extension was added (on top of an existing elevated porch of some sort I think). When the extension was added new support posts were also added, but they are not properly supported.

The rear of the house has a poured concrete patio. The supports from the porch rest directly on the concrete. I was told by my home inspector that this is not proper and instead the support posts should rest on concrete footings that are built into the ground at least as deep as the frost line (the frost line in my area is 24").

The repair would thus be to dig out proper footings below each of the support posts. This is pretty much identical to footings used for a wooden deck I believe.

How serious is this issue? Would the support posts need to be buried or attached to the footings in some way? Would I require new special support posts of some sort? The current ones are in good condition, but I am concerned that they might need to be longer to reach the new footings.

The other concern is that the footings will need to go through the current concrete patio, which will add to complexity and cost (I'm not sure how thick the poured concrete is).

The seller is offering us a credit to make the repairs, we are just trying to determine an appropriate amount to ask for. Any ideas of an estimate per post (there are 4 total)?. We are having an engineer look at it but I don't think there will be time to get an estimate from a contractor.

I appreciate the help.


Last edited by gentlemansbeard; 03-22-2011 at 09:17 PM.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:47 PM   #2
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Sunroom extension support footings repair + cost


Call in local contractor or 3 to look over the issue and give you an estimate.
I can't see it from here.
It doesn't seem like a big job, though.
Ron

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Old 03-24-2011, 01:35 PM   #3
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Sunroom extension support footings repair + cost


we got an estimate from a general contractor of $14,300 which includes:

-Plans, permits, inspection
-Cutting through concrete
-Installation of footings.

This seems exceptionally high to me to install 4 footings. I guess cutting through the concrete is expensive, but I didnt expect that much.

Can anyone please comment on this estimate. We need to make a decision about how much money we are willing to accept from the seller to stay in the contract today. I am fairly certain we will not get $14k, so I need to figure out a base amount.
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Old 03-24-2011, 02:59 PM   #4
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Sunroom extension support footings repair + cost


Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlemansbeard View Post
we got an estimate from a general contractor of $14,300 which includes:

-Plans, permits, inspection
-Cutting through concrete
-Installation of footings.

This seems exceptionally high to me to install 4 footings. I guess cutting through the concrete is expensive, but I didnt expect that much.

Can anyone please comment on this estimate. We need to make a decision about how much money we are willing to accept from the seller to stay in the contract today. I am fairly certain we will not get $14k, so I need to figure out a base amount.
Size of building?
Where are you located?
Any other estimates gotten?
Ron

Last edited by Ron6519; 03-24-2011 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:10 PM   #5
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Sunroom extension support footings repair + cost


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
Size of building?
The size of the room is about 15' x 10'.

There are actually 3 support posts that will need footers, 2 that must go through concrete, 1 that goes directly into the ground.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
Where are you located?
This is in Montgomery County MD.

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Originally Posted by Ron6519 View Post
Any other estimates gotten?
We do not have any other estimates, nor the time to get them. The home inspector seemed to think it wouldnt cost more than a couple thousand dollars but obviously this contractors estimate contradicts that.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:17 PM   #6
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Sunroom extension support footings repair + cost


Heck, I'm moving to Montgomery County!

No seriously though. Asking "How much should this cost..." questions in any online forum is wasted time for all parties. Way to many variables to address.

His price is outrageous! Oh....wait, you didn't tell me the house was at the end of 3 miles of mud driveway and its a high side lot with no access to the back except one flight of stairs through the house and we'll have to bucket all the concrete from the driveway.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:18 PM   #7
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Sunroom extension support footings repair + cost


This being a DIY site, have you considered doing the work yourself? I personally excavated (using a shovel) foundations for my deck. Each foundation consisted of a hole approximately 3.5 feet deep, suitable for a 10 inch diameter sonotube. This was in very rocky soil, hard digging. It took me three days to excavate the footings and place the concrete (mixed the concrete by hand in a wheelbarrow).

You are talking about four posts, not quite as deep as mine, however you have to cut through or otherwise demolish the concrete patio above. If you are motivated, and have a little experience, you can probably get the job done in three or four days. You will need to rent some equipment, specifically a demolition hammer, possibly a gas powered auger. Figure $75 per day each to be reasonable. Then you need to place concrete, if you have access you can purchase concrete at perhaps $300 per cubic yard, but you will probably need only a fraction of a yard, so maybe you mix it yourself.

You need to install a post base on the concrete footers, this is quick and easy. You may need to replace the posts, as they may be impossible to salvage. This will require temporary support of the structure while you remove one post at a time and install the new post.

Figure out what your time is worth, you can probably do the whole job in 40 hours or so. You also need a permit, and some drawings for the building inspector, plus an inspection fee. Add it all up, then decide if you want to tackle it yourself, if not get some more bids.
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Old 03-24-2011, 05:30 PM   #8
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Sunroom extension support footings repair + cost


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Heck, I'm moving to Montgomery County!

No seriously though. Asking "How much should this cost..." questions in any online forum is wasted time for all parties. Way to many variables to address.

His price is outrageous! Oh....wait, you didn't tell me the house was at the end of 3 miles of mud driveway and its a high side lot with no access to the back except one flight of stairs through the house and we'll have to bucket all the concrete from the driveway.
I'm just trying to get a ballpark. There are no unusual circumstances here. The house is right on the Street and there is plenty of space to work. I think there are actually pretty few variables - we are talking about digging 24" deep holes and pouring concrete.


Quote:
This being a DIY site, have you considered doing the work yourself?
Yes! Thats actually how I got here originally, I was not sure what I would be able to do myself and what I would have to pay for. The purpose of this post was more like a worst case cost scenario, should I buy this house.
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:01 PM   #9
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Sunroom extension support footings repair + cost


Where in Montgomery Co is the house located. I lived there for 10 yrs. Certain areas have an extreme amount of rock and can be very difficult to dig holes...
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Old 03-24-2011, 06:09 PM   #10
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Sunroom extension support footings repair + cost


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Where in Montgomery Co is the house located. I lived there for 10 yrs. Certain areas have an extreme amount of rock and can be very difficult to dig holes...
Takoma Park
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Old 03-24-2011, 09:28 PM   #11
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Sunroom extension support footings repair + cost


Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlemansbeard View Post
I'm just trying to get a ballpark. There are no unusual circumstances here. The house is right on the Street and there is plenty of space to work. I think there are actually pretty few variables - we are talking about digging 24" deep holes and pouring concrete.



Yes! Thats actually how I got here originally, I was not sure what I would be able to do myself and what I would have to pay for. The purpose of this post was more like a worst case cost scenario, should I buy this house.
If the building wasn't filed for, wasn't inspected and doesn't have a C of O, I wouldn't buy it unless the owner legalizes the structure.
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Old 03-25-2011, 02:40 PM   #12
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Sunroom extension support footings repair + cost


You know of course that if you get this job done, when the county inspector comes over to check you work, anything else he/she finds must be fixed too.

I think materials are cheap. Concrete is cheap. Contractors will already have the tools. So you have to guess at how long it will take then figure that a contractor might charge $30/hour or so. So if it took one guy 4 days at 8 hours per day then that's $1000 for labour. I am basing this SOLELY on the fact that I had a bathroom addition and the general contractor told me he paid his guy $28/hour (in the San Francisco area, btw)

Permits, add some money, probably less than $1000 (our bathroom permits were about $2500)

Plans? I have no idea, but the contractor told me he paid an engineer $1000 for looking over and approving the bathroom plans.

So I'm guessing you want a ballpark so you can ask for the money and then DIY at your leisure.

It will take you longer to do than a contracor because you don't have the tools or experience. But if you did one post per full weekend, that's not too bad.

I think breaking through patio will be the hardest part, especially if you've never done it.

A friend had me and some other guys help demolish a part of his patio for drainage. After 2 hours with a jackhammer, we had a hole the size of a cereal bowl. Because we had no idea what we were doing and the bit kept getting stuck. He eventually just hired a guy to do it. That day of work cost him jackhammer rental, pizza and beer. But again, we had no idea what we were doing, we just assumed that a jackhammer would do the work based on some Bugs Bunny cartoons we saw as a kid. We should have figured out how to do it before renting the equipment and buying the beer.


But good luck! I'm in a similar situation where I want to cut through some ratproofing concrete in my crawlspace and sink in some columns so I can add a beam to the floor (for a large aquarium). I bought a cheap SDS rotary hammer and plan to perforate the concrete (rat proofing is just to keep pests out, usually 2 inches thick) with holes, and then smack it with a small sledgehammer and chisel (crawlspace is like 3 feet tall). But my time constraints are different than yours.

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