Can I raise a Sunken Livingroom?

trofywifeJanuary 13, 2010

We have a sunken living room that does not work with the flow of the house. I was wondering if it's possible to construct a new raised floor in that space. The room is 12 x 18 with walls on 3 sides. The current floor is concrete slab, sunken 8" below the rest of the house, but at ground level. The rest of the home is raised wood subfloor. Is it possible to construct a raised wood subfloor to make this room level with the rest of the house? If so, any ideas on how and what the cost might be?


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definately possible to do. contractors do this all the time in my area, especially when a garage is converted to living space as the slab is much lower than the finished floor on houses with basements

I don't know how costly. Essentially you would be putting in floor joists, new subfloor, repair the damage done by raising the floor and new trim along the base.

you're essentially lowering your ceiling height by raising the floor, does that cause issues?

I wouldn't have a real idea what it costs to do you should get a few people in to give you estimates. You should have an idea as to what kind of flooring you want there too.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 12:53PM
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The only other concerns might be electrical receptacles being too low after the new floor framing is put in. Also if there's an entry door in the room, that will have to be addressed. Get real world estimates from reputable contractors in your area.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 3:12PM
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Windows and door might also be a concern. If there are doors to the outside they will need to be removed, reframed, new headers, siding repaired, etc. Also, if the windows are now too close to the floor (18" in my area), the glass needs to be tempered.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 10:31PM
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Thank-you for all your responses!
There are no doors in the room and only 1 window. The window is about 3' off the ground so raising the floor 8" shouldn't be a problem.
I didn't think about the electrical outlets. The drywall is being taken down so hopefully moving them higher won't be much of an issue.
The ceiling is the same height through out so that won't be an issue either.
The entire room is about 24 x 18 but only half is sunken. I have no idea what the person who designed this plan was thinking. Taking a nice big room and dividing it in half with an 8" drop.
I have put the word out we are looking for a contractor to do this for us. Hopefully we find someone who can recommend somebody.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2010 at 10:42PM
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Do not overlook a good handyman for that as well. I did three of those exact jobs.

The electrical was a problem. But by using junction boxes(by code) it was not much of a problem to raise the outlets.

You do have to know what kind of flooring you want installed, since the height of finished floor is a combination of the new subfloor and the floor treatment.

I always did a moisture test on a slab before adding pressure treated(necessary) joists. That is done simply by taping a square of plastic to the floor for 24 hours. Any moisture under the plastic means there is noisture in the slab. Usually not a problem, but does require a moisture barrier.

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 11:25AM
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We are replacing the flooring in the entire house. That's why I thought it would be a perfect time to try and tackle this project.
I am not against hiring a handyman. Just the job market is so bad here that everybody who is out of a job is suddenly a "handyman".
We are in San Diego. If anybody reading this post is in the area and would like to give me a bid on the project feel free to leave your contact info in your posting as well as a rough estimate if possible.
Thanks again!

    Bookmark   January 14, 2010 at 12:16PM
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Hi trofywife
My husband raised our floor about 4 years ago and we love it..we have a 20 x 20 den with a cathedral ceiling, so the heighth wasn't an issue. Left all electrical same and that was no issue. Our stone fireplace hearth is now about 4 inches off the floor which I like better too. We built a plywood subfloor and put down laminate wide plank flooring. No complaints .

    Bookmark   January 26, 2010 at 11:12AM
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Shelleyrenae: That is exact measurements and exact plan for what I want to do. Can you tell me how much you spent?

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 4:11PM
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This subject was also discussed here.

Here is a link that might be useful: Unsinking a family room

    Bookmark   May 14, 2011 at 6:00PM
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I realize I don't live in your house but I love sunken living rooms. We had them in two different apartments in NYC(same building). However if you plan to use your living room alot I could see how you would want to change it. Our friends have a sunken living room and it is more of a formal room so its sets it apart from the other areas. Anyway I am just commenting on a design aspect but I'm sure a flooring expert could advise you and that is who I would consult because we have had flooring work done and they always know about subflooring issues.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2011 at 8:35AM
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