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Hi Everyone,

We have a 1958 rancher, 26 by 40 brick over block (see pic), we've lived in for 23 years. I love the house but it has one issue I really hate: a hall bath that serves the entire family and every other soul who passes through. It's right off the center hall, about twelve feet from the entry and dining area, so when people are over (since they always sit at my kitchen table) if you take a shower, you have to either carry clothes or make the towel dash to your room. Also, my girls are teens now, which means three women in one bath. It gets plenty of use, so I guess that's good.
Our house is built on a slope with a wraparound driveway to a garage under the bedrooms, so we can't expand out the back. We talked about a bumpout over the driveway, but that was expensive. I'm wondering if it would be possible to go up and add two beds and a bath where our attic is.
Our joists up there are 2 by 6 on 24" centers. We already have a stair in the center of the house going down to the basement, so there's a natural stair spot in my daughter's closet.
I definitely don't want to tear the actual plaster ceiling out. Would it be reasonable to add bigger joists upstairs and raise the roof to cape level? I know I'll need a structural engineer, but I'm posting here to see if it's even worth bringing one through. If it matters, we have very deep eaves, and I don't need a full second floor. I mean a cape style roof with dormers, about half the size of the main floor.
My husband and I are pretty handy and can do things like basic framing, plumbing, electrical, drywall, flooring. We would try to do as much as we could to save on the expense.
Am I delusional? When I mentioned the idea to the bumpout builder he looked at me like I was crazy. Of course, the bumpout estimate was over $80K, so to have them do a second floor it would probably have been close to $200K.
Any thoughts anyone can provide would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Civil Engineer
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It is almost always possible to add a second story on to a ranch, several people within 5 miles of my house have done the project.
So no, you are not delusional, it can be done. The issue is cost, and no one on an internet chat forum can give you a realistic cost for the project.

The starting point would be to talk to your building inspector to find out the regulations. Then you need to draw up plans, which may require an architect, unless you find a contractor who can prepare the plans for you. Once you have plans, you can get bids from local, experienced contractors to do all or part of the work. If you plan to do some of the work yourself, best to explain this to your potential contractors, some may not be willing to work on that basis, since any problems you encounter performing your share of the work will almost certainly impact the contractor, and you are not subcontracted to him.
 

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Before I'd consider adding a second floor and all the cost, plus possible damage to the existing living space and inconvenience involved I'd be looking for a larger home.
It would take huge crew and a class A contractor to do this in a timely manner.
Once that roof is off the rest of the house is left exposed, one rainstorm blows through and there will be at least some damage.
Often times the water and power will need to be shut off.
Anytime I've seen it done or have done it the cost will be the same as building the home you have now from scratch.
Some of the added cost is from deconstruction and dumpster cost, having to pay for a temporary power pole if needed,
Only cost your saving is not having to build a new foundation.
 
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From a cost and return on investment point of view I agree with Joe, take a look around your neighborhood and see what a larger home is going for. Selling yours to step up recovers all of the available equity you currently have. Adding a second level involved destroying some of that current value and results in a bigger home worth far less than what you had plus the construction cost. Only reason I see to remodel would be zero homes available where you want to live.

Not sure where you are located but in most areas any major remodel will require the house and new construction to be brought up to the current higher codes. The one creating the new plans would specify that but it adds to the cost.

As Daniel listed a talk with your local building department is always helpful.

Bud
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks Bud9051 and stick\shift. It does seem like it would be a major undertaking, more than we should/could probably invest. I should probably make peace with the family bath, at least for now. Champagne taste, beer budget!!!
 

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Thanks, Joecaption - It does seem like too much to manage on more than one front (we still have 100 amp service ;) - probably would open more than one can of worms! Thanks for the advice!
 

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Adding another bathroom or half bath would require far less space if there is a place for that. I've seen a toilet and a sink in a 3' x 5' space and when you got to go it looks like heaven.

Bud
 
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