4-foot bump out: That way lies madness? Or salvation?

marcoloSeptember 29, 2010

Anybody here have experience with adding small bumpouts--4' x 12'-sh--onto an old house?

I'm sure by now you're all tired of my whininig ( :-p ) about my tiny '20s kitchen with this layout:

Simply fixing my basement walkout, so I can replace the cooktop with a range, or just use that dead cabinet, won't be cheap. I've gotten estimates so far ranging from 4-8K, and not all of these cockamamie schemes are even feasible.

It has been proposed to me instead, by persons both wise and foolish, that the answer to my dilemma is to push out the back of the kitchen, starting at the back door and out to the corner of the house, by about 4' or 5'.

In some versions, the back door itself would not get bumped out; there are a couple small advantages to this too tedious to explain.

So far, I've gotten two estimates for doing this (on top of a kitchen reno) ranging from $20K to $40K. These are contractor-walking-around estimates, not estimating off of approved plans and bid packages. They also are limited to the incremental cost of doing a bumpout--not the total cost of the kitchen renovation.

What I'm trying to figure out now is, is it worth going as far as doing plans?

Advantages of doing a bumpout:

- Enough space for an island, if I wanted

- Room to move cooktop or range away from the window

- Enough cabinetry to ignore the walkout and leave it alone--maybe put in a shallow bookcase, spice cab or something silly like that.

- A platform for someday doing a bump out of the small bedroom directly above the kitchen


- $$$$$$$. Can I really trust a bid for $20K?

- More stress, more noise, potential for my house to fall over, or whatever

Questions for you guys:

- If you live in the Boston area, have you ever done a bumpout like this? What did it add to your project cost? How long did it take? How much more disruption than just a kitchen reno? Was it worth it?

- If you don't live in the Boston area, then you can still answer this: Would I gain enough actual counterspace/cabinet storage/seating area/fung shui/good karma/sanctifying grace to justify the cost and trauma?

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I think a bump out is a great idea but... go into it with your eyes wide open.

I did a 8' kitchen bump out with a crawl space (because water pipes and heat are in it) and a 6' bump out on a slab for the mudroom. Even the slab had to be dug down 4' or 5' to get below the frost line. When they were taking off the back of the house I thought the whole house was coming down - everything shaking.

Besides the construction costs a bump out will require at least 2 surveys - house as is, drawing with new addition and final survey - probably around $1K (I spent over $3K - won't recommend them)

You probably now need a structural engineer approved drawings (and maybe an architect too). Does your costs include that?

The actually building the wood addition is quite quick. What takes time is the digging, bricks, cement pouring and setting up, survey and inspection before next step... Weather is a factor for some of it too.

Determine your zone on line and then check the zoning ordinance (supposedly on-line but I get an error). You may not be able to do a bump out without a zoning appeal. I was in zoning purgatory for months until the aldermen put in a band-aid in our zone rules. FAR - floor area ratio got me. We're allowed 0.35 and I was going to 0.36. Never mind that my neighbor's house sits at 0.75!

In our town any house older than 1960 must go in front of the historical commission before anything can happen. They meet once a month and you have to have all the paperwork in 3 weeks earlier. Your town may have such a rule too (since we're neighbors).

I recommend taking a trip down to city hall and talk to the building department. They can walk you through the steps needed to add a bump out.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 8:20PM
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Boston Pam gave you a good advice.

I live in Seattle, WA where construction cost is not cheap. My guess is similar to Boston given that this is a major metropolitan area with high COLA.

We did a 5 ft bump out a few years ago. i don't know what is cost by itself but the total remodel was about 300k and it was necessary to make the whole house work.

There is NO WAY you would get 20k bumpout where I live if they were pouring footing, side the house with reasonable material etc etc. If they are cantilevering 4ft from the existing house (not sure if this is doable or not), if not done well, the bump out sags and look terrible after couple years. Even then, i am not sure 20k would be doable.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 8:44PM
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In your case it might well be worth the bump out. It really would make a much more useable space.

For our upcoming kitchen we also planned a bump out until we found out that even a small 2' by 10' bump out for a banquette would cost $17,000 and a larger 4' by 10' bump out (no basement) would be $30,000. Two contractors gave us those bids. Since our budget is already stretched very thin and we will have a medium-size 14' by 19' space without the bumpout, it makes sense to avoid the time, cost and trouble. But your case feels different to me.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 10:42PM
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I should have mentioned that we are in super expensive NJ. My guess is that our labor costs are similar to Boston.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 11:11PM
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YOu couldn't do what you're talking about for 20K here, especially since your sink is on that wall, and we're in one of the lowest labor cost locations in the country. It'd be around 50K here for a builder grade finish level if you had to do everything that your climate will require. IF you wanted a higher grade finish level, that'd be more. That wouldn't include permits and surveys or any "oops" or "while we're at its."

THe thing about a small addition is that they cost more per square foot than a large addition costs. It's the engineering of joining the old with the new that is the most costly. YOu could probably add on a 24'x24 addition for maybe 15K more than what that first 4' costs you.

The big bonus for additions/bumpouts is that at least one section of the house is straight and plumb and will have modern wiring and modern plumbing. If it's just the extension of an existing gable on a home, that can simplify the costs somewhat. If you have to introduce a cross gable or shed onto a major roof, that will need a lot more engineering to make it look right and be supported correctly.

To help assess whether this would be a 50k or 100K job, you need to answer a couple of questions. What is the orientation of your roof? Is it already complex and made more so by the bumpout? Is that exterior wall a major load bearing one, like a main sidewall? Where is the home's main drain and is it deep enough that when you move the plumbing you'll have enough fall to the drain? What size is your current electrical panel and how old is the major portion of wiring in that kitchen? What will adding on space do to the water runoff in your yard? Will you have to regrade to keep water out of the basement? What type of soil do you have and how deep will you have to dig to get below the frost line? What type of siding does the home have and is it easily replicable or would you choose a non matching option? What type of windows and doors are involved and how many will be replaced? What about your HVAC system? How would you heat and cool the additional space you create?

All of those things have a bearing on the job costs. Dealing with all of those headaches is the reason that additions are about 2-3 times as expensive per square foot as building completely new construction. WHich is why a lot of people do teardowns when confronted with that fact.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2010 at 11:14PM
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I don't have to worry about the panel or HVAC because those have just been replaced and upgraded significantly. The bump-out would only be one story tall, so no resolution with the roof. Finish level on the interior isn't a huge part of the equation, either, since the kitchen reno is a separate thing.Some of the other issues will fall in my favor as well, I think, since my FAR is on the small side for my street--same size lot, slightly smaller house. Plus, there are lots of bump outs and finished attics all around, and most of the bumpouts go further back than mine would.

I think I need to play with a floor plan, to see what I'd actually get for all that space. I mean, the sink wall simply pushes back (where's the fridge?). The range could now go between two windows, perhaps, with a huge long counter to its right, probably with a standing pantry or something. An island might fit for workspace and seating. The fridge, though, has me a little stumped.

Not that I have to solve all that now, but I do need to know there at least might be a pot of gold at the end of that hellhole, er, rainbow.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 12:27AM
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Since bumpouts, etc., are now being considered, is there any way to reconfigure the backdoor/powder room area so that the door is on a hall instead of the kitchen? I hadn't seen that area depicted-wasn't sure what was back there.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 8:53AM
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This is the house plan:

I'm imagining a bumpout that would extend the right side wall of the house as far backward as maybe the far side of the porch (labeled "deck" on this diagram; note, the porch's size is, um, exaggerated a bit), but probably extending the kitchen around 4-5 feet. The bump out would then meet up with the current porch (steps would switch from side to back of porch), and then return back to the house. If there were room for a window facing the porch on the bumpout, it would get wonderful southern exposure, even under the porch roof.

I really don't want to mess with the back powder room. Through those walls run all sorts of electrical, the condensate pipe for the upstairs AC, the drain stack, etc.

Also, while I'm not 100% against the back door moving, currently, if the way is clear (no fridge) and the kitchen/hall door is open, you can see light out the back door the second you enter the house from the front door.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 9:50AM
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Perhaps not relevant for you, but just in case... Are the existing exterior finishes still available? For example, shingles. I just added an addition and had to pay beaucoup $s more because the discontinued shingles had to be shipped from never-never land.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 10:04AM
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although 20K sounds cheap, 50k-100K sounds expensive if you're just talking for the bumpout, not the kitchen. Around by me, which is an expensive labor market there are a number of construction companies talking anywhere from 20-40k for a den addition, tied in, permitted on a slab.

Although as mentioned by Livewireoak, just doing it costs a lot of money, the actual size, may not add much to the cost. 4x12 vs 10x12 might not be a big difference in cost besides windows and some smaller incremental siding and roofing costs.

The big costs are getting someone to do a foundation which involves digging and pouring, breaking through and supporting the second floor, and tieing the new addition into the old space.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 11:18AM
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Marcolo, is the bumpout going to be cantileved or are you going to lay new foundation?

I believe the reason the bump out was suggested to be 4 ft is that that is about what can be built on the present foundation, without having to do a new one. Whether it can be done depends on the direction the floor studs run.

We were considering a bumpout for a while for our kitchen, but could never get a real estimate from the contractors, who all seemed reluctant. We were later told that the "bump out" should be considered the last resource for the kitchen remodel. For much less money you could open up your kitchen to your dining room, even if the wall is load bearing.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 11:54AM
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We are adding two bumpouts to our house right now. One is 6.5'x28' to house a new masterbath and enlarge DD's bedroom. It's on a poured foundation and framed as normal. Our estimate is for around 30K inclusive.

We're also cantilevering the kitchen out 26". Yes, 26". Sounds small, but it's everything to me. Gives me the entire counter run outside of the existing foundation. This opens up the kitchen enormously in our small house. Our current kitchen is galley-shaped with a small peninsula and is corridor from one side of the house to the other. The entrace and exit from the kitchen are very small and create pinch points. The corridor is a BIG problem for me. This small bumpout allows for the traffic to be put outside of the cooking area of the kitchen. We don't have a firm estimate for this side of the house as the figures discussed included the full kitchen redo. BUT my CIL (counsin-in-law) who used to be a GC said the actual cost of the bumpout would be very small as in under 5K.

Some people think we're a little nuts for spending money on such a little space, but we've weighed our options for years and this was the best scenario for us.

Oh, and I'm not in Boston. I'm in a smaller market south of Seattle. Good luck to you!

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 2:04PM
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Thanks, all.

This would be on a foundation. The foundation need not be opened to the basement, but it would go down almost as far as the basement floor, though not as far down as the existing footings. One contractor said I can do it all on posts with cement footings, if I'm only going up one level. However, I want at least the potential to also push out a small third bedroom someday, if not now.

I sometimes find it hard to explain to contractors the figure I'm looking for. If a kitchen reno costs X within the existing footprint, then the reno would cost X + ?? with the bumpout? I know you guys understand but not everyone follows that.

I think the limit to 4 or 5 feet is really more about the usability of the space than anything else. The house would look lopsided, the driveway entry would be difficult, and the kitchen would end up long and narrow if I went out too far. I have a pretty good distance before I reach the local 20' setback requirements.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 2:40PM
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I think if you move the porch steps to the back, that will add to your site clearance measurements. Keep that in mind, depending on where the rear property line is.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 2:53PM
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Marcolo- Your first plan says the fridge was here...where is it going now? Do you have to keep the 2'x3' table/peninsula?

Honestly, I wouldn't spend the money for a bumpout. It could end up being quite expensive. Have you ever thought about opening up the kitchen to the dining room? I've seen some Candace Olson kitchen remodeling ideas that would look fabulous in your space.

If not, then how do you want to use your space? Do you really dislike the cooktop, or just that it's under a window? Maybe getting rid of the window would be a better idea. Could you make the window over the sink any larger? I think you could do a very nice remodel, without having to bump out the back :)

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 5:14PM
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I apologize for not reading through entire first thread, but was there any discussion of moving the wall between kitchen and dining a foot or two into the dining room? It would shrink dr a bit, down to 10x13, and you'd have to move the outside window over to keep it centered, but that would probably be cheaper than bumping out. Looks like it would center with the doorway from the hall that way, though.

Don't know about load-bearing stuff ... we moved load-bearing walls in our remodel, and it turned out to be much less pain than I had imagined.

We wanted to bump out our living room 2 ft, to line up with the rest of the back of the house, and add, well, 2 ft, and it ended up being estimated to cost an extra $30K, all things considered!! So we didn't do it. As someone said, might as well add on an entire room.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 6:30PM
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I definitely do not want to touch the dining room, no matter what. It's a nice but small room now, and really won't gain me anything to lose or move that wall.

The real issue here is whether I spend 8K to move the basement exit, or, say, an extra 25K to expand the kitchen.

I'm not seeing a bum pout costing an additional $50K no matter what. We're not talking about interior finishes, since that's part of the kitchen remodel.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 7:06PM
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Could you find savings elsewhere to partly offset the cost of the bumpout? Ikea cabinets, non-Wolf appliances, less expensive counters, etc? I don't know what you were originally thinking about in these areas. I'd, myself, gladly trade high-zoot appliances for a spacious and functional layout.

Not to forget that additional square footage should add value. Suppose it is 12' x 5' = 60 sqft, at say $200/sqft, potentially that's $12K. I know, just real estate agent talk, but worth considering. Ditto for an eventual upstairs expansion. On the other hand, in 10 years the 2010 kitchen remodels will be getting old, so that fancy surfaces/appliances today won't add too much value by then.

Will the extra 5' give you a much, much better kitchen layout? That seems like something that you'd want to be confident of. Stating the obvious, I am.

As for the basement walkout, I loathe it - and it's not even mine! But in your prior thread, we (the KF) collectively noodled layouts that basically assumed the walkout was not there, and I don't think any of those was successful either. So I think the walkout is a secondary problem.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 7:58PM
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Could you find savings elsewhere to partly offset the cost of the bumpout?

Possibly, but never bank on my restraint.

For instance, my current layout pretty much demands a Liebherr fridge, for various reasons. A new layout might not. I could probably get away with pretty standard appliance sizes. And less oddly-sized custom cabinetry. But then again, I might get tempted by that yellow Big Chill sitting down at the local showroom floor. This is the process by which a 1924 center-entrance colonial tract home found itself with a tiny boutique hotel bathroom right in the middle of it.

Now, the value of more real estate? You are obviously right that a bigger kitchen will continue to pay dividends in the future, whereas my 2011 choices in finish will not. I've already got a brown spot on my brand-new nickel bathroom sink faucet, and the building inspector hasn't even signed off on it yet. I can only imagine how dog-eared it will all look in 10 years. Even if everything wears like iron, I'm sure my choices today will be mocked and torn apart by some future Lisa LaPorta clone in 2020. "This handmade subway tile? Is really really dated? You know? And this weird French stove? It's like totally totally grandma? I mean rilly?

But the extra space will add value forever.

Will the extra 5' give you a much, much better kitchen layout? That seems like something that you'd want to be confident of.

I think you just caught me fishing around for a volunteer to lay out my kitchen with a five-ish foot bumpout that may or may not include the back door. I thought I was being so subtle.

Lest you think I'm lazy, I tried doing this myself today, and then, in between four contractors and two inspectors, managed to forget to save my work. I also spent ten minutes trying to convince myself that even with no proprioception in my left leg, and an 11-inch wide upstairs hallway, I really wasn't in any danger of falling down the stairs, when I kind of fell down the stairs. So there was that.

As for the basement walkout, I loathe it - and it's not even mine!

Well, think how I feel.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 9:27PM
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It should be fun. There'd be so much more room to work with. You may have room for that theatre kitchen after all. Molto Marcolo!

I'll be interested to see what the KF comes up with, and will try to add something over the next few days.

Do we need to have wheelchair-accessible aisles?

    Bookmark   September 30, 2010 at 10:49PM
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Do we need to have wheelchair-accessible aisles?

Well, at the rate I'm going....

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 8:14AM
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We just had quotes to do a similar kitchen bump out - about 3'6". The quotes came in around $30K, including fitting the new kitchen itself.
We figured about $8K was for the actually kitchen fitting, so $22K for the addition itself.

I know - crazy to spend over $20K for an extra 40 sq ft! but it will really make a huge difference in what we'll be able to do with the kitchen. Plus it makes our house look a lot more uniform.

We did need to have full architect drawings prepared which cost us $2,300.

We're in New York suburbs.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 8:50AM
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One statistic of note: I just noted that a bumpout of 6.5 feet would make the side wall of the kitchen completely symmetrical--cabs, window, range or something, window, cabs. Not sure whether I can do that or not, I just happened to notice the proportions.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 9:11AM
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Marcolo, the 50K was for real world remodels after the fact. Those unfortunately bear little resemblence to many contractor's estimates which are for some other planet than Earth. And no, the "kitchen" portion wasn't included. And we don't have to dig down 4 feet+ for footings here. Local codes mandate a "simple" 12" footing after the topsoil has been removed.

When we did our addition, that was 1 of 2 items that we actually contracted to others. And despite having all utiity lines marked, the contractor managed to hit all the utilities except the main electric trench to the house---and he came close to that. We had no water for 2 days. And the electric going to the barn was ripped out so forcefully that the entire panel had to be redone. Etc. Etc. the whole project.

Mr. Murphy makes regular visits to my house and projects. Sounds like he's visiting your home up north for a bit, so that's why I'm cautioning you to not believe the "it's only 10K" for that" type of fiction. I've been involved in more than just my own little construction project and they are never as easy and cheap as the contractor wants to make it seem on the front end.

Now, 15 years later, I would go through it all again for the space we added. Even the 2 days mud covered and without water as we dug in the rain to try to identify the leaks and repair them. Adding more space to your house is probably worth something to you also. IF you're going to stay there for a good long time, it's probably worth a LOT to you. But, it's more an investment in your comfort rather than an investment of your money. You only get any money back when you sell, but you get to enjoy the extra space for 20 years, then, that's worth something, for sure.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 9:47AM
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Marcolo, this is kind of OT for the kitchen, and you might kill me for suggesting it. Have you considered putting a doorway between the living room and the little bathroom? It would make it more of a "hallway bath" than a kitchen bath, and you wouldn't have to send guests into the kitchen to use it. Or was that the wall with all of the wiring and plumbing and stuff?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 11:27AM
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cocontom, a lot of central entrance colonials around here have doorways between the LR and kitchen near the bath and basement door. However, from what I've seen, that really kills the LR, turning it into a big hallway with no safe place to put furniture. Same would be true for a door to the powder room, which I think would also make for awkward entertaining.

Just a comment about prices: For my bath, the lowest bid was less than half the highest bid. Nothing in home renovation really has a set cost--it's all about what a contractor can wheedle out of you at the time.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 11:38AM
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Marcolo, I've been following this thread and your others. I enjoy your humorous writing; good to laugh at your own situation sometimes because sometimes that all you can do!

I think you have to go for the bump out. You haven't been able to find an acceptable layout in the current space. Even if you did settle for something, you might always be saying "should have" or "I wish" every time you step in the kitchen. Of course, if you don't intend to stay for a good long while, then it may not matter so much.

I'd give you prices on my bumpout, but I'm in SF CA and now have footings and sheer wall (avoided the steel beam thankfully) and structural engineer invoices like you wouldn't believe. I have a deck sitting on 3 concrete foot wide pillars that will be there when CA falls into the sea. We'll use it as a raft.

But I think it will be worth it when we are completely done. Cramming a kitchen + family room + eating area in the existing space would have made it probably less usable that in was in its 1953 state.

I understand completely about not being able to cut back elsewhere. Good thing interest rates are so low ;) My husband can't do it either. What's an extra 200 for the pretty faucet? That's only 20 bucks a year if we stay 10 years...

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 12:12PM
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I go back and forth. I keep looking at my kitchen and porch, and imagine how great it would be with a bumpout.

But I also have to be realistic. It's going to cost a lot of money. Take a lot of time. And I have a feeling it will make my bath reno seem like a hot stone massage session by comparison.

And I realize now, once you start, nothing ever ends, and you always take a step back for every two steps forward. I just realized we can't have our closet system installed because of the outlet I idiotically paid to have put in there. A bump out would be planning snafus like that times a million. Oy!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 12:37PM
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Yes, you are right - time, money, and patience are required. The bump out in our case was actually the easy part. Much easier to put new copper plumbing and electrical in the new part... Harder part was the old part of the house (1916) where existing knob/tube wiring lived, oddly sized wall depths where slight buildouts were required, corroded galvanized pipes to replace/remove, etc...

And now that the new part is 95% done, the old part looks shabby. I need to paint (or have painted) an office, 2 bedrooms, a foyer, and a hallway... And I still haven't booked the outside painting since the estimates blew me away (ave. 13K to paint 2 sides of a house?!!). And wood shutter prices were insane too. Now I'll have to find time to sew some roman shades. For like for about 15 windows...

I'm trying to be very zen about it and live in the moment. I'm trying to get excited about the little accomplishments along the way (yay, hood part finally came in and we could put up the chimney yesterday!).

Best of luck to you with whatever path you go down!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 1:02PM
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I think it's time to get some real bids, not just estimates. Once you have a better idea of the cost of the bump out, you can make a decision.

It is a small kitchen and depending on how much you cook and entertain, you'll probably need more space. I understand you not wanting to take down the wall between the kitchen and dining room, many people like the separation. It's just a much more cost effective solution and can still be quite elegant.

You have a beautiful home. I really like the built-ins in the living room and the sunroom is lovely. You will probably spend enough time in the kitchen that you'll want it to be functional and attractive...not to mention roomy enough for friends to help.

Best of luck with your remodel and I hope you let us know what you decide :)

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 1:44PM
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The reason I'm going for estimates now is that getting real bids requires real plans, which costs money upfront. I want a sense of whether this is within the realm of the possible, or completely out of the question.

Thanks for the compliments! Those built-ins didn't survive our reno, though. They were built to house radiators that were removed. They did exact some revenge before they left, though, which involved an emergency room visit.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 2:20PM
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Some questions that I guess we (I) forgot to ask in the earlier thread.

- Are you a solo cook? For daily meals, will there be two cooks? For dinner parties, will there be multiple cooks?
- Do you typically serve food family-style (at the dining table), buffet-style (dining room sideboard or kitchen counter?), or waiter-style (plate in kitchen, serve each guest individually at dining table)?
- Any quirky needs for where and how you prep? Like my "sink on my left" fetish?
- Are you a big baker? How important is a baking center?
- A big oven user? Need double ovens? Speed? Steam? Need venting over the oven?
- A many-burners user? Need four, six, eight, ten?
- Any preference for range or cooktop/wall oven?
- Are there any unusual tools you plan to include? Grill, griddle, deep fryer, wine cooler,(swing oven, blast chiller, immersion circulator, live fish tank . . . )
- What size refrigerator is ''necessary''? How much pantry (linear feet of shelf) is ''necessary''?
- Is a bar/beverage area important, for mixology, chilling, decanting, jello shots?
- How many people do you want to seat at this dratted ''eat-in'' zone? Two? Four?
- Do you prefer pots and pans to hang or be stored in drawers? Appliances to live on counters or be hidden away?
- All things being equal, do you prefer lots of upper cabinets or fewer? Lots of windows or fewer?
- Are you a "can't live without double dishwasher'' sort?
- How ''traditional'' a look do you want? For example, in the 1920s homes didn't really have fixed kitchen islands.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 3:07PM
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- Are you a solo cook? For daily meals, will there be two cooks? For dinner parties, will there be multiple cooks?

Mostly solo, with occasional interference, um, assistance in prep, etc. from others. Mysteriously, no matter which way I turn, there always seems to be somebody in the way. Perhaps there are additional people living here I haven't met yet.

- Do you typically serve food family-style (at the dining table), buffet-style (dining room sideboard or kitchen counter?), or waiter-style (plate in kitchen, serve each guest individually at dining table)?

Buffet style? Horrible dictu. Either family-style or plated, depending.

- Any quirky needs for where and how you prep? Like my "sink on my left" fetish?

I like my sink on the left, too. but perhaps I'm just used to it. I would love vertical prep space, like an 8" shelf to put stuff on as needed so it doesn't end up ten feet away. But I may not be able to achieve that. In any case, I like cockpit cooking--everything I need in arm's reach, nothing in reach that I don't need.

I like to expel things out of my way when I'm done with them, so I thought a long time about a garbage can accessible through a hole in the countertop. Then I realized the danger of breeding Swamp Thing on bits that get stuck in dark crannies. In addition to getting rid of garbage, I do not like to touch or see cooking implements once I'm done with them. I want them out of my way. Sounds weird, I know. But that video of an iron pan careening into a Kohler cast iron sink at top speed held special meaning for me.

- Are you a big baker? How important is a baking center?

Occasional baker. My mind doesn't really work that way. But I bake for holidays or just when I feel like it. A full-blown Iron Confectioner Baking Stadium would be nice, but I'd settle for a place to keep baking stuff out of the way of other prep tools.

- A big oven user? Need double ovens? Speed? Steam? Need venting over the oven?

Yup, I'm an ovener. Double would be fun for those Yorkshire Pudding occasions. I'm actually liking my tiny Easy Bake. It will be horrific when company comes, but for the two of us to roast the odd chicken, it heats up fast and works well. I do need someplace to cook my Christmas seven-hour pork shoulder.

- A many-burners user? Need four, six, eight, ten?

Six would be nice. I'll live with four if I have to, but what really bothers me about four burners is the crowding.

- Any preference for range or cooktop/wall oven?

No preference, though obviously a range is generally cheaper.

- Are there any unusual tools you plan to include? Grill, griddle, deep fryer, wine cooler,(swing oven, blast chiller, immersion circulator, live fish tank . . . )

I'm not much of a nanotechnologist, so if I ever get the hankering for a molecular gastronomy experiment I'll just use the basement workbench.

I'm a little old school, so I need to keep out my vintage Osterizer and two no-control toasters, one of which was my parents' wedding present in 1938, on display. The blender gets the most use.

I need a place to securely clamp things, like apple corers and pasta makers. The chitarra can stay in the cupboard; I think it rusted, anyway.

I need a place to store two sets of pasta board and pins. One is mine and oversized; it's a piece of plywood a counter deep, with a long dowel that can hang from a cup hook on the end somewhere. My mom's I'd like out on display; it's an old breadboard with a smaller roller. Plus there's her wooden spoon that needs to hang on the wall somewhere nearby.

Never had a grill, I think I'd like one.

- What size refrigerator is ''necessary''? How much pantry (linear feet of shelf) is ''necessary''?

An unusual size is OK but not too small. The fridge always seems to fill up with wine and salad. Of course, even with French door fridges I can never find anything. I wish they were all six feet wide and a foot deep.

I do have a root cellar in the basement, where I can store overflow cans of tomatoes once we get the paint cans out of there.

I should mention the spice thing. You know when you go into a supermarket and see that huge rack of spices? OK, trim it down to one jar deep. That's what I've got. It's in an upper cab now, on those little step shelf inserts, and it's horrible. I want alphabetical. Neat. Accessible. All in a row.

- Is a bar/beverage area important, for mixology, chilling, decanting, jello shots?

Way. I may be able to find a nice bar for the DR or LR. But mixology has to happen somewhere.

- How many people do you want to seat at this dratted ''eat-in'' zone? Two? Four?

Two comfortably, 3 a little awkwardly, possibly 4 with permanent sciatic damage. Just to appease the future toddler moms.

- Do you prefer pots and pans to hang or be stored in drawers?

I loathe hanging pots and pans. In my apartment pots and pans were in a super susan, the kind where the door is attached and you just push it in, right next to the range. Worked well, except for flat pans, which you had to stack to infinity. So, I want them hidden, but I don't want to unnest two hundred pounds of metal to fry an egg.

Appliances to live on counters or be hidden away?

I imagine the stand mixer has to stay out, unless you figure out a way to lower it from the ceiling on command. Toaster and coffee maker out but out of my way. The Cuisinart should be accessible--the days of jamming my hand into a cupboard to find a sharp blade really have to be over.

- All things being equal, do you prefer lots of upper cabinets or fewer? Lots of windows or fewer?

The light here is great, but houses are somewhat close together. I want to keep at least one window on each wall (size may be flexible), but a wall of windows would not really be that pleasant. I do like uppers, but some need to be glass and I desperately want to avoid that oppressive Great Wall of China look.

- Are you a "can't live without double dishwasher'' sort?


- How ''traditional'' a look do you want? For example, in the 1920s homes didn't really have fixed kitchen islands.

I'm thinking serious vintage, with allowance for creative interpretation. My inspiration is that online collection of 1920s kitchen photos, but I'm not going to replicate an entire dysfunctional '20s kitchen--I just want the charm. I don't 100% need a fixed island, either, but I'm not opposed to one.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 6:06PM
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Can you link to that '20's kitchen photo collection? I'm curious.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 7:13PM
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I apologize in advance that may post has very little relevance to the orignal question but it got me wondering...

Years before I moved here, someone bumped out our kitchen 7 feet by 19 feet wide. Most of that went to the kitchen and some for a utility closet for the washer/dryer. There isn't a full basement under this; I'm not even sure there's a crawl space. The only access would seem to be through the old basement window and I don't know who could fit through that but it creeps me out so I've never tried!

If I ever hit the lottery, I've always wanted to build the second floor out over this extension. I currently have the world's smallest bathroom on the 2nd floor overlooking the bumpout.

How hard (and expensive) is it to build a second floor extension on an existing 1st floor extension? Is this possible to do without a full basement/foundation? Would I be looking at less than the costs mentioned here for a 1st floor bumpout?

Just dreaming of the nice bathroom and walk-in closet I could have one day!

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 8:01PM
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There are a couple of places to look for '20s kitchen (and bath) pics.

There's Antique Home Style., as well as the flickr collection of American Vintage Home. Those are my two favorites.

Most people think 1920s kitchens look like this modern interpretation, which is actually quite nice:

Or like this:

But that era offers a wide range of cool features and design ideas for charm and inspiration. Check out this or this or this hood and shelves.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 9:14PM
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Sorry, sandsonik, forgot to address your question.

I am not an architect/builder/remotely knowledgeable person, but I can share what I know. You do need a foundation under a two-story bump-out, but by no means must it be a walk-in basement. Someone would have to take a look to determine if it's strong enough.

The good news about a second-story addition is that the foundation is already there. The bad news is that a tie-in to the roof isn't. However, I've been told that in general, the cost of adding a second story to a bump out is about half the cost of doing a first-floor bump out in the first place, if you follow my math here.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 10:35PM
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Not sure where you are at right now with your plans. Wanted to tell you Fine Homebuilding magazine, new kitchen and bath issue, has several great bumpouts featured. You might want to check it out.

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 9:36AM
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Good luck with your decision. I'm curious, do you have photos of your house posted on this website? I believe it was lavenderlass who said she loved your sunroom and built ins in your living room.....or was she just referring to your drawing?

I did a search but couldn't find anything.


    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 1:42PM
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Thanks for the tip, debrak. I'll check it out.

irishcreamgirl, I posted my long tale of woe in another thread here.

I'm not doing much kitchenwise right now, other than talking to a few KDs. I'm trying to get the rest of the house habitable by Christmas. It's taking forever, and costing a fortune. The light fixtures I bought in July are just going up today--and now I find out they won't finish til next week!!

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 2:15PM
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I'm sorry to be coming to this discussion late, but have a question that might have been answered on your previous thread. Can the sink be moved to where the cooktop is now? I realize you have the walkout there, but might there be a way to run the plumbing over that? You'd lose undercounter storage under the sink, but that could be moved next to the sink or even in a "garage" type area. Also the wall that is the wall where the door to the kitchen is, can that be moved back to give a bit more space? Also can the door to the DR be moved?

    Bookmark   November 19, 2010 at 2:18PM
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Personally, I think I'd address the basement, but...here's another scenario, sorry if it's been addressed already. What about a 2 foot cantilevered bump out where the whole wall would be windows. You'd have to address insulation, NE right, but could avoid the foundation expense??? I am in NE Colorado, not the mountains, but we go below 0 degrees often and have done two additions, one one story 22x20, and one two story 18x16. Both were done on pier footings because of flood plain issues. With proper floor insulation both homes were toasty, esp the one with radiant floor heating. Also, do you like having a door to the DR, or could it be taken out/pocket door. That way light could come in from the DR and you could remove the window above the cooktop-you'd have all the light from the new bank of windows in your bump out. This is my VERY amateur rendition and gives crappy storage if you really want an eat in kitchen, but here goes:
the wall oven is located next to the range. Wasn't sure how wide the basement entrance is, but I gave the width of the current window. The table comes off a shallow storage unit that is angled toward DR. Could do the same with uppers on that wall, but beyond my abilities. Assumed 30" Leibherr in corner next to DR. Cabs in corner at end of window run are open, again, beyond my abilities. Anyway, just another idea. Sorry the plan is huge!

Here is a link that might be useful: bumpout see bottom photo

    Bookmark   November 20, 2010 at 10:31AM
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