Cheapest way to add on to our house?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by wombatcat, Sep 14, 2006.

  1. wombatcat

    wombatcat Well-Known Member

    Mar 29, 2005
    Hi all,
    DH and I (and a 13 year old girl) are currently sharing a 2 bedroom house. We have a basement but the basement is never completely dry and mostly damp/wet, so we don't use that space except for the water heater. We really would like (at the minimum) one more bedroom. We don't want to move, we love our land and location (for the most part anyhow) our options are to either demolish the house and rebuild (this would probably be the smartest thing because our house is rather run-down and needs lots of upkeep but....that's expensive, since we still owe money on the run-down house....we have also thought about having a contractor add a room (or two) to the house and DH would do all the plumbing/electric/drywall etc....
    And we have talked about having a "real" house moved onto our land and connected to our house, giving us LOTS of extra square footage, and we have also discussed the possibility of having a mobile or modular home attached to our house. The problem is, we really don't know what is the most feasible, most cost-efficient and easiest. We also don't want our house to look completely thrown-together, we'd like to be able to sell it someday. So we'd like your input. We aren't going to do this right next week or anything, we just want some opinions as to what you would do in our situation, so we can start planning.
    By the way, adding a second floor to our 1-story house is a great idea but we worry that the foundation could not handle the added weight, so we are not planning on doing that. We live in the country on 15 acres and there are a few building regulations but not too many. Thanks for any help you are able to give!!!
  2. PyroDon

    PyroDon Well-Known Member

    Jul 30, 2006
    S.E. Ks.
    If you question your foundation and still would like to add on the cheapest route would likely be pouring a slab and getting a garage kit for starters .
    if you opt for a none kit I can tell you a framed and side 24x30 garage will cost roughly 6grand including the slab now finishing and insulations will of course add to the cost .
    The two story garage I built for my sister was roughly 10,000 in materials 24x36 clear span two story , for another ten grand it would make a very nice 4 bedroom two bath house . fairly simple construction framed up all the walls by myself in less than a day set floor trusses one day , upstairs walls and roof trusses the next . sheeted and sided ect all in less than a week with one helper . Once you have the Box dried in you can take your time on finish work .
    Some thing popular round here is putting up a metal buiding and finishing the inside for a home .

  3. coalroadcabin

    coalroadcabin Well-Known Member

    Jun 15, 2004
    I would find a good home inspector (or a good builder if you can find one) and have him do an assessment on the condition of your current house. You say it's a bit run-down and requires a lot of maintenance so there could be some hidden structural issues that would cost a lot to repair in the near future. If the builder says the house is in good shape but just needs sprucing up, I would do an addition to the house. It may not cost as much as you think, especially if you can do the work yourselves. Either that or buy a new double wide or modular and put it somewhere else on your property for you to live in and rent your current house to add to your monthly income (renting can be a pain in the neck though, so think long and hard about whether or not you want to be landlords)
    If your house has some serious structural issues (rot, severe insect damage etc.) then I would consider a tear-down and then place a two story modular that would fit on the existing foundation-that would increase your sq. footage without the addtional foundation costs.

    Just my 2 cents, and worth every penny!! :)
  4. Ross

    Ross Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 9, 2002
    My parents house is built 2 stories (with 20 inch thick walls with stuco outside) on a piled stone foundation! How bad is yours........... Up is an option in most cases, maybe your walls are not strong enough, but mine was 2x4 on 16 inch centers and its two stories (I added a 2x3 on edge to make it a 2x6 wallbut only for insulation) . Lot's of variables, to consider. Adding a garage is a good idea, very workable. I've seen mobiles added too and they were simply taken away when it was time to sell. I plan to expand my dining area but will frame it myself and hire the drywalling done. Either on slab or a 4 foot foundation, both work Ok here with good drainage.
  5. morrowsmowers

    morrowsmowers Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2004
    If you have a peaked roof you could add a large room and maybe a bath in an attic space and make a master suite out of it. That will give you all some privacy and give you two bedrooms downstairs. That has been done a lot in our area (southern NJ) without a large amount of work or cost. If you don't have to do any alterations to the roof you could do it in stages by yourself and hire out only what you can't do. Might even get away with doing it without permits and inspections.

    Ken in Glassboro, NJ :)
  6. tiogacounty

    tiogacounty Well-Known Member

    Oct 27, 2005
    Remember to really be careful about a scenario that involves a tear down if you still have a mortgage. You might run into a bit of trouble if the bank feels that you have removed an "asset" from the property. I would plan for a modest one story addition on a block crawl space. If you can sub out the idividual trades like excavating, block work and framing, it would be a lot cheaper than hiring a contractor. BTW, if your husband is capable of handling the mechanicals and sheetrock, you both are probably capable of building this thing without a contractor. It's not as hard as it seems and you can save an enormous amout of money doing it. From a cost basis, this is going to be the cheapest thing to do. I have seen a few places where a new mobile home was "added" to an existing structure and it doesn't look great. Good luck.
  7. QBVII

    QBVII Well-Known Member

    May 31, 2005
    ...literally, there's four of us (Mom, Dad, daughter, and son) sharing a 2 BR, 1 BA house.
    Daughter and son sharing a BR.
    We can't actually "do" anything to this house as we rent.
    We're going to do something soon, though: we're going to get rid of the couch and probably the chairs in the living room.
    I'm taking my son's twin bed out of their bedroom and putting it into the living room --- in the daytime, we'll make it up as a daybed. At night, my son will sleep there. We'll move a couple chests of drawers out of their bedroom into the living room, giving daughter more space.
    It's the only thing we can do right now.
    Hopefully VERY SOON we will be able to find something larger..........
  8. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jan 20, 2004
    Of the options suggested so far I like adding a room on a crawl space.

    If you just want an office/ spare TV room area, not really a 3rd bedroom, the big garage on a slab can give you some nice elbow room & a place for a person to go to get some distance once in a while. ;) Make a room there, & a garage/ shop area is always welcome.....

    However, how hard have you looked at the basement? Dampness can be managed. If it floods in stanbding water several times a year well then yea you have some issues. But a dehumidifier runs on $12 or so a month, and will make a world of difference. There are ways to drain out around the walls & get rid of most water issues. This would depend on the exact problem tho.

    Since you asked for the cheapest rout to go - rehabbing your exsisting basement - depending on how serious the water issue is - is likely the cheapest route to go.

    Your location (feel like filling out your profile a bit?), what the basement walls are made of, where the water comes from, how much & how often, would help us look into that a little bit. It's going to be your cheapest option really; the walls are already there, tax rates won't go up for a room renovation vs adding on a room or building to your property, and so on.

  9. veme

    veme Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 2, 2005
    How about a used job trailer? They can be had very cheap & all ready have the wiring & plumbing.
    Push it up along side your exsiting structure & break through the wall. It is easy to side it so that it matches the main house. My husband's cousin's son built his house ENTIRELY from cast off job trailers. They can be had for between $300 - 1200.

  10. stanb999

    stanb999 Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2005
    The added weight? A foundation even in fair condition would easily handle the added weight. The real problem comes in the first floor studs and headers used. Even if you needed to add structure to the first floor It would be much cheaper to go up.

    If you have such a bad foundation that you feel it needs to be replaced. Then I would do that then go up. A new foundation will probably cost less than 20 grand. Then you can add what you want. As for adding next to the present structure... If you need foundation work on the "old" section. You should do that first or along with the new addition. So you are in the same boat eather way.

    The best way to make it look "connected" on the outside is to add a 2 story addition on one one half of the old house exstending past the end of the old house. So you have a totally new look. But this if not done right it will cost alot of cash and give alot of small rooms in the "old" section. So you end up gutting the whole house and redoing it all.
  11. Jack in VA

    Jack in VA Well-Known Member

    Jul 24, 2003
    It all depends on how your house is configured.If you have a convenient place to put an inside door that opens to a leval,clear area, I would think you could frame in a 12x12 (0r so) box with a plywood floor,put up some siding and a roof and be done with it. Cost and effort all depends on what you've got to work with.If you could salvage materials, seems this could be done pretty cheap.
  12. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    The cheapest means of having a quality stick built home is to locate a house for moving. I see homes that would sell in the $140,000 range available for $10,000 or less. Moving one of these homes sounds a lot more than it actually is. I moved a home a few years ago for $10,000. The total to bring the home back to as new condition was less than $30,000 including a new brick veneer. So, for less than $40,000 I had a 1900+ sq. ft. home that was valued in excess of $100,000. This is cheaper than remodling or adding construction or even buying a current doublewide.