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Adding 3 feet to foundation walls?

Posted by navi_jen (My Page) on
Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 20:20

Hello GW!

Well, had my first conceptual meeting with the architect today. I pretty much decided that a large addition with a two car garage is out...too expensive and would overwhelm the existing house. Now, we come to the fun stuff. How to add an 3 story addition (10 x 20 ish, garage/basement, family room, BD) of the side of a tiny house (920 sq ft) on a very sloping lot (~10 feet drop between the road and the new garage basement floors.

So: we are entertaining 3 options...all these options with have a similar exterior and the roof ridges (old and new) would be the same height.
1. New 3 story addition (at grade with existing house). No garage, but basement instead :(
2. Garaged basement. Family room & master bedroom a half story above existing house. Would have stairs connecting the existing house to the new addition. No attic on addition, rather use the 12x12 roof pitch and a shed dormer to carve out enough space for a 3rd bedroom.
3. Add 3 feet on top of existing house foundation walls (existing house basement ceiling would increase to 10 feet) to counteract lot slope. Add at grade garage, 2 stories (family room & BD).

So, my questions are:

1. Have you all seen old houses with nice stairways to account for different half-levels? I'd hate to have it look like a 60s split level inside.
2. Is raising a foundation a ridiculous and super expensive notion? I will be replacing all the electric and plumbing anyways, addition or not (although I'm wondering how the additional basement ceiling height would impact the steam pipes and their pitch to the new boiler).

Thank you :)

I'm including 1 picture...I can't figure how to upload more than 1 on the same post!!!

This post was edited by navi_jen on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 20:31


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Adding 3 feet to foundation walls?

If it helps, the front and 1 side of the existing foundation is 4 feet high ledge then concrete block atop the ledge. Then other 2 sides of the foundation are concrete block. We are definitely not on soft soil...we have more bedrock at grade than not...which might be another rationale for either no garage or adding onto the foundation. Of course, I'd have to get the requisite structural engineer signoff, zoning signoff, yadda yadda.

Or I give up the ghost on a garage. I would hate it (since I'm a car lover and my cars are currently outside and getting pooped on by birds every day!) but I have a feeling that is where I will likely end up.

Here's a directional pic of the first floor (all the internal layout for the new addition (at left) need to be worked thru.

This post was edited by navi_jen on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 20:40


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RE: Adding 3 feet to foundation walls?

After running the comparable sales and likely mortgage numbers last night, and with this news today...I briefly considering just renovating the existing house (kitchen, bath and mechnanical), selling it, and buying another place. But prices in my suburban Boston town have skyrocketed again. and there are only 5 houses for sale in my town within 100k of what I paid for my tiny house 4 years ago...and they all are small houses (under 1300 sq feet) that need full renovations too and they don't have my great elementary school district or abut a 40 acre park like my little cutie.

I think I need a drink :)

Pic of potential 2nd floor layout..addition on left.

This post was edited by navi_jen on Thu, Jul 24, 14 at 20:52


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RE: Adding 3 feet to foundation walls?

For what it's worth, I like Option 2. If you go with Option 3, talk to an engineer about it...there are probably issues involved most contractors don't usually think about.

Also, think about insulation and flooding issues. How hot would the attic bedroom get in the summer? How much heat would you lose through the garape?

How do the prices of the options compare?


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