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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All

Bought a house 5 years ago. Brick construction, single story with full basement (concrete walls). The attic was converted to living space (with permit) before I bought it, but it has 43-inch knee walls and only 6 ft headroom for about 8 feet of width. Virtually no closet space

https://i.stack.imgur.com/KvISf.jpg

https://i.stack.imgur.com/F8GnN.jpg

The fact it was converted (with permit) by the previous owner presumably means that the foundations are strong enough to support a second floor. (Basement has concrete walls that extend about 5 feet below grade.) I was going to dormer the entire length of one side, but after doing some calculations, I figured that the exterior material costs are only about $5K more to replace the roof and build 8 foot walls all round (I provide all the labor). So it seems like a no-brainer. I built my own 22 x 24ft garage with truss roof (had to register as GC to get permits), so it's pretty much same thing but 40-foot long and 12 feet up off the ground :smile:

Anyway, I know the architect/structural engineer will provide all of this detail, but that's gonna take some time (with the social distancing), so would like to get an idea sooner about some things I'm stumped on.

BTW Opening up the finished first floor or basement walls would be a show-stopper.

The trusses need to be 24-inch on center. When I built garage I put extra studs under truss locations to carry load to the slab. (I did have a double top plate, so maybe it wasn't necessary). This house has a double top plate too. I'm not opening up first floor walls or basement, so should I just space trusses at 16-inch so they are over the studs ($800 extra in trusses, so no big deal)?

Normally, in 2-story framing, the floor joists for 2nd floor are square at the ends like diagram below. But as my roof goes all the way to the floor level on second floor (and it's 12/12 pitch), the joists are cut at 45-degrees.

https://i.stack.imgur.com/KbRLi.jpg

https://i.stack.imgur.com/nJmwh.jpg

So how would I support the new 2nd floor walls?

  • Can I just put blocking between the joists that gives me a continuous area (except the 45-degree cutout) for the new bottom plate
  • Can cut a 90-degree notch wide enough for a 2x4 bottom plate?
  • Can I offset the new studs by to be next to the joist?. Or can I bring the 2nd floor wall in a little? (load would be cantilevered)

The other issue is that the siding on the second floor needs to extend past the brick exterior, so i has to be at least 3 inches (maybe more looking at the photos (need to figure out what that void is between the top plate and the what looks like sheathing. So if the new walls are on top of the existing studs how do I "extend" the framing to make surface to attach the siding too. I was envisaging something like this. I'm guessing I would have to install new joists and build the new walls on the cantilever.

https://macandd.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/Expansion-8.jpg


Or would I have to add some kind of "fringe" like this:

https://greatadditionsblobs.blob.core.windows.net/project-images/Sulaiman00.jpg

Thanks in advance

mark
 

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retired framer
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The wood wall inside appears to be the bearing wall?

 

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retired framer
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You have no soffet venting now, will you be looking for that with the new roof?
you are close to property lines can you have tails and soffet or are you stuck with the size of building you have now.


You would want solid blocking between the joists (joist material)
and a squash block on each side of the joist ( 2x4, 2x6, or scraps of joist)
 

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I'd say wait a couple months and see what happens with this virus thing. You seem to have a good idea what you need, even prices, so my two cents:
1. Add wood framing to match the wood frame below. Cover the brick by adding 2" xps foam boards outside for "super" insulation and cleats for the siding. This way, you don't need any cantilevering.


2. If the knee walls are 43" with 12/12 roof slope, remodel 2nd floor would be about 16' wide. This is fairly big one bedroom. Is the cost worth it? Don't know where the stairs are, but if thinking 2 beds, hall way could eat up a lot of valueable space. Minimum width hallway also makes moving furnitures difficult/impossible. Bath may have to be shared. Rearranging just the stairs could make this project a total renovation of the house.



3. Existing 2nd floor joist bays probably has lots of electric wires, minimum. These MUST be identified before the new floor goes up. I don't see how you can't open up some parts of the first floor ceiling. You'd probably want to insulate the floor for sound also. This kind of work can't be done without expecting accidents, sacrificing dust/noise and probably taking the family out of the house during some of the construction.


I'd say you could start looking for an engineer/architect and I don't see why initial exploration work can't be done with distancing and proper precautions. There is less risk here than going to a grocery to get needed food.:smile:
 

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Also, is the plan to knock down the brick at the gables, and put up stick built walls and siding—or are you an excellent mason with lots of time on your hands?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You have no soffet venting now, will you be looking for that with the new roof?
you are close to property lines can you have tails and soffet or are you stuck with the size of building you have now.


You would want solid blocking between the joists (joist material)
and a squash block on each side of the joist ( 2x4, 2x6, or scraps of joist)
Thanks for reply. sounds straight forward enough!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'd say wait a couple months and see what happens with this virus thing. You seem to have a good idea what you need, even prices, so my two cents:
1. Add wood framing to match the wood frame below. Cover the brick by adding 2" xps foam boards outside for "super" insulation and cleats for the siding. This way, you don't need any cantilevering.
good idea. Only concerns would be cost and lost sq footage, but I'll price it out

2. If the knee walls are 43" with 12/12 roof slope, remodel 2nd floor would be about 16' wide. This is fairly big one bedroom. Is the cost worth it? Don't know where the stairs are, but if thinking 2 beds, hall way could eat up a lot of valueable space. Minimum width hallway also makes moving furnitures difficult/impossible. Bath may have to be shared. Rearranging just the stairs could make this project a total renovation of the house.
I'll have 1,000 sq ft minus stairs, so I thin I can easily get master suite, 2nd bedroom and hall bathroom. Maybe even a 3rd small bed (will be identical to first floor, which has 2 beds, kitchen, huge living room and entry way. Will start playing with layouts this week.

3. Existing 2nd floor joist bays probably has lots of electric wires, minimum. These MUST be identified before the new floor goes up. I don't see how you can't open up some parts of the first floor ceiling. You'd probably want to insulate the floor for sound also. This kind of work can't be done without expecting accidents, sacrificing dust/noise and probably taking the family out of the house during some of the construction.
been in the crawl spaces behind knee walls so I can see all electrical. i've rewired a few houses, so no problems with electrical. Pretty sure I know where plumbing goes, but will have to lift floor sheathing to double check and probably relocate some, esp if I do a second bath/WC. Live on my own and have 2 beds and full batch on first floor and bed and full bath in basement, so I can manage the dust, etc.

I'd say you could start looking for an engineer/architect and I don't see why initial exploration work can't be done with distancing and proper precautions. There is less risk here than going to a grocery to get needed food.:smile:
LOL. It's my master suite right now, so i'd rather not start ripping anything apart until I make a final decision on whether to proceed. I already have appointment with 2nd architect on 4/6 (already saw one, but visit was rather brief

Thanks again for detailed reply!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Also, is the plan to knock down the brick at the gables, and put up stick built walls and siding—or are you an excellent mason with lots of time on your hands?
Yeah, gonna have to knock down the gables. Would consider keeping them, but would have to sub that out and other than the unused chimney that's coming down, I don't have matching brick, so I think it would look awful.
 

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Yeah, gonna have to knock down the gables. Would consider keeping them, but would have to sub that out and other than the unused chimney that's coming down, I don't have matching brick, so I think it would look awful.
So then yes, you'll be putting up stick and siding? What's the plan for the little gable over top of the front door? Gonna knock that down too?
 

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It will cost a great deal to strengthen the walls to take the added load of a second story addition. Two alternatives that would be more practical would be to extend the house out the back and use it to create a new master bedroom with a new master bathroom and walk in closets, or to jack up the house and build a new first story.

There is a community in the SF bay area that has many 800 square foot Victorian houses and a great many were lifted 8-10 feet up and then there was great access to upgrade plumbing and electrical and to build strong walls to support the elevated section of the house. This approach also eliminated having to open up the roof during the construction so if it rained no problems were created or delays in the work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So then yes, you'll be putting up stick and siding? What's the plan for the little gable over top of the front door? Gonna knock that down too?
Was thinking about that. It would have to come down for the siding, etc., to go up. Would look weird anyway having a different pitch to roof

Was thinking about a covered porch, but don't want to do too much at once :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
It will cost a great deal to strengthen the walls to take the added load of a second story addition. Two alternatives that would be more practical would be to extend the house out the back and use it to create a new master bedroom with a new master bathroom and walk in closets, or to jack up the house and build a new first story.

There is a community in the SF bay area that has many 800 square foot Victorian houses and a great many were lifted 8-10 feet up and then there was great access to upgrade plumbing and electrical and to build strong walls to support the elevated section of the house. This approach also eliminated having to open up the roof during the construction so if it rained no problems were created or delays in the work.
Unfortunately, I can't extend out back as I'm at limit of permeable area and it doesn't solve the headroom/lack of closet space on the rest of the floor.

Not sure why the walls would need strengthening. It's already a 2nd floor living space and I'm planning to take off a 12/12 roof and replace with 4/12, so that's about 25% saving in roof area/weight. I'm adding a few feet of drywall all round and 4 ft of framing and vinyl siding. AFAIK, all stick framed houses were built with 2x4's 16" OC and 2x6 construction was considered an upgrade, so I don't see an issue with first floor supporting second. Could be wrong and will obviously discuss with architect

I think jacking up house would be way more work/cost and not something I could do myself. in addition all plumbing/electrical needs redoing, so have to open up walls. Plus I'm stuck with a roof that is who knows how old and the same bad roof insulation I have now. Getting a new roof and R49 insulation is one of the big plus factors to me.

Regards

mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
You might bump a 2x6 wall out 2" so you still have 3 1/2" of bearing then with 1 1/2" of foam outside you would be out as far as the brick.
Thanks.

Will have to take a closer look when I get home as I'm puzzled right now, as there's the void behind the top plate and then some kind of sheathing. i'm hoping that void is where the brick is, but not sure what sheathing on the other side of the brick is.

When I opened up the first floor walls (removed a partition), there was 2x4 studs and then some kind of wooden sheathing. I'm assuming the brick is directly behind that sheathing. (Grew up in Europe, so used to cavity wall brick or cinder block construction: stick framing was all new to me when I moved here, and this if first brick house I've lived in over here.)

https://i.stack.imgur.com/nJmwh.jpg
 

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In your first post you stated it was a single story house. A basement does not make it a two story house. Currently the walls support the roof and any snowload on the roof. That is quite different from the load of an additional structure.
Talk to an architect that is certified to do the load calculations as most are not and so ned to rely on a structural engineer signing off on the plans. You will need that to get the building permits should you decide to go forward.

If you put $150,000 or more into this work will the value of your house increase by $150,000 or more? If not and you do not plan to remain in this house for the rest of your life you should reconsider.

Over the past 10 years I have spent over $200,000 on remodel work and hardscaping and probably increased the amount at which I could sell it by $80,000. I knew this but planned to age in place and it would have cost that much in selling and moving costs and I could do the work on my property in stages.
 

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retired framer
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Thanks.

Will have to take a closer look when I get home as I'm puzzled right now, as there's the void behind the top plate and then some kind of sheathing. i'm hoping that void is where the brick is, but not sure what sheathing on the other side of the brick is.

When I opened up the first floor walls (removed a partition), there was 2x4 studs and then some kind of wooden sheathing. I'm assuming the brick is directly behind that sheathing. (Grew up in Europe, so used to cavity wall brick or cinder block construction: stick framing was all new to me when I moved here, and this if first brick house I've lived in over here.)

https://i.stack.imgur.com/nJmwh.jpg
I think because the joists are sitting on wood and not the brick you likely have a wood frame house with a brick veneer.



 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
In your first post you stated it was a single story house. A basement does not make it a two story house. Currently the walls support the roof and any snowload on the roof. That is quite different from the load of an additional structure.
Talk to an architect that is certified to do the load calculations as most are not and so ned to rely on a structural engineer signing off on the plans. You will need that to get the building permits should you decide to go forward.

If you put $150,000 or more into this work will the value of your house increase by $150,000 or more? If not and you do not plan to remain in this house for the rest of your life you should reconsider.

Over the past 10 years I have spent over $200,000 on remodel work and hardscaping and probably increased the amount at which I could sell it by $80,000. I knew this but planned to age in place and it would have cost that much in selling and moving costs and I could do the work on my property in stages.
Thanks for tip on structural engineer. I assumed architects were qualified. The basement walls are 5 of concrete (visible) below grade., not sure how far the go below base of basement.

No way I'm spending anywhere near that kind of cash. Doing it mostly for resale value in a few years. From my calculations so far, costs for materials from exterior work (stud walls, perimeter drywall, trusses, windows, sheathing, siding and insulation are just over $10K, which is inline (pro-rated with what it cost me to build 22x24 garage (minus the concrete work and door). I can re-use a lot of the existing bathroom fixtures as they are pretty nice. I figure $2K for architect (had one quote for $1600), then add on interior framing, trim, paint, etc.. I reckon i can easily do interior for under $10K. So giving myself a huge buffer, i reckon i can do it for $30K tops.

I know if I went to airoom or a contractor it would be $150-$200K
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I think because the joists are sitting on wood and not the brick you likely have a wood frame house with a brick veneer.



I think that's exactly what it is. Learned about brick veneers when i helped a buddy build a deck and read that brick is not a structural member, so although the deck's ledger board can be tied to the house, it must essentially be built a s freestanding structure. So we rented the hydraulic auger and dug 48-inch deep holes for the footings all the way around

Took some measurements in the roof space today and and I have 5 3/4 inches between outer edge of the top plate and the inner edge of that "appearance board" (outer edge of brick)

Even with 2x6 framing, that still leaves me a gap of 3 3/4 inch to make up:

 

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I think that's exactly what it is. Learned about brick veneers when i helped a buddy build a deck and read that brick is not a structural member, so although the deck's ledger board can be tied to the house, it must essentially be built a s freestanding structure. So we rented the hydraulic auger and dug 48-inch deep holes for the footings all the way around

Took some measurements in the roof space today and and I have 5 3/4 inches between outer edge of the top plate and the inner edge of that "appearance board" (outer edge of brick)

Even with 2x6 framing, that still leaves me a gap of 3 3/4 inch to make up:
That board will be the fascia behind the gutter, from he outside you could see how close that is to the brick.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 · (Edited)
In your first post you stated it was a single story house. A basement does not make it a two story house. Currently the walls support the roof and any snowload on the roof. That is quite different from the load of an additional structure.
Talk to an architect that is certified to do the load calculations as most are not and so ned to rely on a structural engineer signing off on the plans. You will need that to get the building permits should you decide to go forward.

If you put $150,000 or more into this work will the value of your house increase by $150,000 or more? If not and you do not plan to remain in this house for the rest of your life you should reconsider.

Over the past 10 years I have spent over $200,000 on remodel work and hardscaping and probably increased the amount at which I could sell it by $80,000. I knew this but planned to age in place and it would have cost that much in selling and moving costs and I could do the work on my property in stages.
Technically it's two story with low headroom, as the second floor was converted to living space (checked the permits with the village)

No way I'm spending anywhere near that kind of cash. Doing it mostly for resale value in a few years. From my calculations so far, costs for materials for exterior work (stud walls, perimeter drywall, trusses, windows, sheathing, siding and blow-in ceiling insulation are just over $10K, which is inline (pro-rated) with what it cost me to build 22x24 garage (minus the concrete work and garage door).

I can re-use a lot of the existing bathroom fixtures as they are pretty nice. I can do all the framing, electrical and a lot of the plumbing myself.

I figure $2K for architect (had one quote for $1600), then add on interior framing, trim, paint, etc.. I reckon I can easily do the interior for under $10K. So giving myself a huge buffer, i reckon i can do it for $30K tops, to get it to a state where I could list it for sale.

I know if I went to airoom or a contractor it would be $150-$200K

I'm in no rush to finish (except for making it water tight). I can demo the inside over the course of a few weeks of evenings and weekends (mostly drywall and carpet). Plan is to remove entire roof sheathing panels with shingles attached (was thinking of trying to remove shingles and keep sheathing, but a lot more work and no idea about condition of sheathing. It;s less than $500 to use new sheathing. Rafters are easy to get down and will reuse the lumber for framing or other projects.

I could also fabricate most of the stud walls before removing the roof. My buddy and I framed 22x24 garage (so half the area) in a weekend and we got the trusses installed in a single day. Sheathing and shingles on the roof took another 2 days (4 of us). My plan is 9 straight days off work and some buddies to help out a lot.

I can get huge tarps with grommets that I'll anchor to ground with guy ropes and stakes for temporary weather proofing.
 
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