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Old 03-01-2012, 07:28 AM   #1
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reframing a building


I have to admit that I can loosely call myself a DIY builder. Actually, I am contracting out the rehab of a 3 unit building that I own in Chicago, but I was wondering if anyone has heard of a building being reframed entirely while it is still standing? This is a difficult task because the original frame is rotted and poorly constructed, at many places not attached appropriately. I cannot teardown and rebuild, however, because then I lose the building's 3 unit 'grandfathering'.

Do any of you know good contractors in the Chicago area that are capable of a piece by piece reframe, or at least have some knowledge about how to do such a project?

Thanks

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Old 03-01-2012, 08:19 PM   #2
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reframing a building


check your local yellow pages looking for contractors that specialize in renovations and structural alterations. they will be made up of crews that are accustomed to doing exactly what your looking to be done

however i will mention though if its the entire building you can save a ton of money and time by simply starting fresh.. some buildings just arent worth saving. ive worked on a few places like this.. what the finished product is expected to be compared to whats existing are sometimes too far apart for it to be cost efficient, the last one i worked on was originally planned as a compete remodel but changed to a knockdown rebuild and was a savings of $200,000


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Old 03-01-2012, 09:40 PM   #3
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reframing a building


^ Thanks, Woodwork.

The problem is, once I tear down the building I lose the "grandfathered" zoning and can only build a single family home in its place. Right now a 3 unit building is what is standing.
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Old 03-01-2012, 09:55 PM   #4
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Who cares if it is "Grandfathered". If the structure is so unsafe, that no matter what, you have to put more work into it than it is worth, it is better to just tear down and rebuild.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:55 AM   #5
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^ Let me clarify:

This is an investment property. If I lose 3 rental units I lose a lot of potential income, on top of losing long term value, as well as losing all the money I so far have sunken into it.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:13 AM   #6
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reframing a building


For load bearing walls you will need to construct a temporary wall right next to it before you tear out the original.
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Old 03-02-2012, 08:14 AM   #7
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I have seen what the OP is talking about.
Is the building a masonry 3-flat?
I've talked to building owners who have done it and "flippers" as well.
All the masonry and concrete basement are left existing and the roof, floors and all partition walls are removed and rebuilt.

The logistics of building from scratch in Chicago are very difficult!
Set backs, parking, grass, etc can suck up a lot of time and money compared to a complete renovation.

As long as the masonry and concrete are sound the ones I've seen are beautiful!
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Old 03-02-2012, 06:47 PM   #8
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reframing a building


I think that here in Maine, as long as one original wall is standing........it's considered a "renovation" and theoretically remains subject to any grandfathering....

not saying it's a good idea, just remembered having a laugh when I first heard about it.
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Old 03-02-2012, 07:03 PM   #9
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reframing a building


NH and VA are the same as long as they use the same foot print they let it go. In NH you had to do that same stupid thing, leave a wall standing. Made no since but that's the rules.
My boss got nailed because he had the framers cantilever out over the old foundation, and of all the sides he did it on the side close to the water. We had to go back and cut it all back even with the old foundation.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:09 PM   #10
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"
I have seen what the OP is talking about.
Is the building a masonry 3-flat?
I've talked to building owners who have done it and "flippers" as well.
All the masonry and concrete basement are left existing and the roof, floors and all partition walls are removed and rebuilt.

The logistics of building from scratch in Chicago are very difficult!
Set backs, parking, grass, etc can suck up a lot of time and money compared to a complete renovation.

As long as the masonry and concrete are sound the ones I've seen are beautiful!"


We've shored things up, put in temp support walls and replaced the existing, one wall at a time, all in the name of making repairs. Some were 3-story. Still needed permits in most cases, but it sure beat a rebuild in certain circumstances.
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Old 03-02-2012, 09:11 PM   #11
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reframing a building


we have a very large number of heritage buildings here in town. but the problem is that the committee that says yes or no to deciding if its ok for the owner to renovate is so strict that they require exact replication of the existing.. teh problem with this is that unless the owner is a millionaire its not going to happen the costs are just too much... so its more common for these houses to slowly fall apart or just be torn down
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Old 03-04-2012, 03:57 AM   #12
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reframing a building


As mentioned already- One thing I have seen on "renovations" is they will tear everything down-except for one wall left standing-and build new all around it, pretty well a new building except technically it is a renovation. Might want to look into it and see if something like that would work for what you are doing.

Keep in mind you may have special costs with asbestos and lead paint issues for the demolition, if you are keeping the place in tact.

I guess you will have to source a good local general contractor, who can do this efficiently as possible time and cost wise.

Last edited by chrisBC; 03-04-2012 at 03:59 AM.
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Old 03-19-2012, 05:18 AM   #13
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I see this done regularly on the "leaky home syndrome" houses that are such a problem here, many are only 10-15yrs old and need all exterior walls replaced entirely. One I worked on, all that held up the roof on one side was the outside stucco and the drywall! There are contractors here that do these and nothing else.

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