I'm not sure where this topic should go, or even what a properly descriptive title would be. So if any Mods want to move this or alter the title feel free. Here's my question:
My wife and I want to move somewhere with more space, and are looking at a few places that are 2-level, duplex-down condos (we're in Chicago). So the main living area/kitchen is on top, with stairs going down to a basement. The problem is that, in an effort to create more light in the basement, the builders have not taken the upper (living room) floor all the way to the end. On the upper level there is a balcony that you can look over and see down into the basement. It seems like all the places I'm seeing that I like have this feature. See pic for an example:
In that pic ^ the 'hole' to be filled is triangular, in other places the floor is cut straight across, so it is rectangular. Below is a pic of a similar situation in a different place, this pic is from the basement level looking up. So you see what I'm getting at:
Its nice and all but I have an 8-month old who will be walking soon and it is just too dangerous. I know he'll be climbing all over that balcony, and its a 10-foot drop to the basement floor. So my idea would be to take away that feature by removing the balcony and extending the floor to the wall/window. Matching the wood floor would be a bit tricky, but not too bad I think.
The question is, how major of a construction job is this, and roughly how much $ would I be looking at. The gap they'd be filling would be approx 14' x 4' - obviously I'd be getting a contractor in as I am clueless myself. It kind of seems like a massive job, but for all I know it might be a piece of cake.
Basically, if this was a $5k job then I would not be deterred from buying the place. If it's a $20k job that is fraught with difficulties then I would have to scrap the idea altogether
Concrete footings (Chicago area frost lines).
Possible increase in heating for the added SF space.
Tying in the new flooring seamlessly with the old flooring.
Possible roof structure and roofing work.
Insulation, drywall, finished carpentry.
+ Other issues that will .... and may arise....