Addition built on Piers vs. foundation

powergirlFebruary 22, 2012

I am considering adding a bump out to the first floor of my house. It would be approx. 8'X14'. It would house a small powder room and breakfast nook. One contractor has reccomended building it on piers to keep costs down. He tells me insulation like Icynene would keep the room well insulated (we live in New jersey). Please give me any opinions/experience with this type of construction. Pro & Cons etc.

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I got the same recommendation for a potential kitchen bumpout. First, you will never be able to add a second story above, but that may not matter to you. Second, be sure it's still legal in your jurisdiction. Some are now giving the thumbs down to sonatubes and requiring foundations.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 7:42PM
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I am also concerned about resale on my house. I am not planning on selling anytime soon but wouldn't want to do anything that would make it difficult to sell in the future.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 2:25PM
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What is the existing foundation of the house?

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 5:43PM
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It is a colonial with a full basement. The foundation is cinderblock and poured cement.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 6:30PM
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I am assuming that this addition is in the vicinity of the kitchen.I would first check local building codes on siting a powder room abutting a kitchen.That said, plumbing for the powder room is your primary concern. Frozen pipes, supply lines should always be run in an interior wall.The waste lines will end up under the floor.Without the bath, piers. With the bath foundation.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2012 at 7:02PM
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jonnyp thank you for your input. There is an exsisting powder room that we would like to move so we can open the kitchen to the living room and enlarge our eating area at the same time. I downloaded the floor plan (before/after). We are only in the design and planning phase and will get all the permits required by our town. I am going to the town offices today to speak with someone from the building dept. If anyone has any other suggestions to help the flow and give us a little elbow room with the least amount construction I would love to hear it.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 9:11AM
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"least amount construction"

The foundation is an area where you don't want the least amount of construction even if it means moving up your budget. Pier foundations have many negatives and you first need to find out if they are going to allow that type of foundation concerning your project. If it were mine, I would go with a block or concrete stemwall tying into your existing by way of drilling/epoxying in rebar keeping the same elevation as the existing, unless you want the room to step down. It would be a good idea to get a structural engineers take off of your final plans for not only the foundation type you are considering, but all structural elements as well tying it all in to the existing.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 9:47AM
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You don't want to spend 160K and have your pipes freeze every winter. Spend the 210K and do the real foundation.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 11:13AM
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Thanks for all the input. Any ballpark figure how much a 8'x14' addition should cost? I posted floor plan and sketched in addition location. Built on a full foundation to include a powder room (reusing all current bathroom fixtures). Powder room with 1 window, eating area with 2 windows and a French door to backyard. We would install flooring in eating area and trim work around doors and window. Contractor to install tile in powder room. Opening wall to living room (4 or 5 feet). House located in New Jersey.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 6:53PM
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