I'm back to discuss additional ways of making more room available to you in your home. In the two previous articles we discussed our stock options, Basements & Attics. These places are usually the first and least costly options when considering more space. We will now go into the more pricey solutions of Dormers, Additions & Extensions. Before we go into detail on what is which , we should discuss which is for whom. First rule of all real estate is location, and so are the 2nd & 3rd rule. These endeavors usually require more of a commitment on the part of the homeowner as well as the contractor. The major factors to be taken into consideration are the equity in the home, the necessity of the additional living space & the length of time the occupants of the home will utilize the space. Sometimes, if your not too crazy about the area or the house , it may just be more beneficial to move. Ok, with that said, we'll move on to what is which.
Dormers which can be the least expensive solution, are categorized by the fact that the existing roof ridge is often kept when the ceiling height is suitable for occupancy. The walls are brought to a suitable height to accommodate the new windows necessary for the living space and preferably keeping the new roof with a slight pitch. Often on a low budget dormer the gable ends of the roof are left intact, these are called rakes. They allow the homeowner the ability to side the dormer without absolutely matching the existing siding of the rest of the house. Often trying to match or replace existing siding can become costly. A full dormer as opposed to a 1/2 dormer is raised on both sides of the ridge for the length of the ridge. To dormer 16 ft. of one side of a 32 ft. ridge would be a 1/4 , and so on. Doggie dormers, reverse gable dormers with there own new ridge are usually less than 8', although they can have a shed roof to the existing ridge. Dormers run from $65 -$ 85 per sq. ft. complete. Why the variance in price you ask? Because Y is a crooked letter and it can't be straightened? Nah. Because of the many variables to be taken into consideration ? Yea, I would think so. Would you want a new bathroom installed, perhaps a separate zone for heating or adequate electrical devices ? Sometimes upgrades in the electrical and heating utilities are necessary, which in turn reflect in the price of the dormer. If your lucky enough not to have to extend the chimney, you just saved there. But don't forget the types of windows you choose or even the flooring you pick will impact the price accordingly.
Lets move onto non-foundational additions. This is usually called a 2nd fl. Addition comprising of the compete removal of the roof , and re-establishing a new ridge height. These additions, unlike dormers, lack the tell tale gable end rakes, making them look as if they had always been there. Usually the entire house is sided and more often than not custom windows installed. On an impressive home intricate roof lines may be desired. Reversing the gables or hips to produce a more dimensional effect is becoming more common than not. Also vaulting the ceilings to accommodate large specialty windows with geometric transoms or arches is rather appealing. These 2nd fl. additions can go anywhere from $85-$125 per Sq.Ft. and up. It really all depends on how far you choose to go with you quest for space. Next time we'll discuss extending the perimeters of your home with foundational extensions.
Till next time . Claude