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Old 12-14-2006, 02:50 PM  
wannabebuilder
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Default addition foundation

Hi evryone,

I submitted a plan to BLDG dept. and they killed it on a 50% re-construction clause in zoning. If project is 50% or more value than what is already there then they want EVERYTHING brought up to code. Anyone been hit by this problem before?

I think I will scale back my plan so I don't have to comply with that. That means
instead of demo-ing my first floor completely I have to try and use it and add depth front & back. Existing is a 22'x38' rectangle perimiter stem wall foundation built with only 2 coarses of 6" CMU (23-24" tall including footing) I want to pour an 8" concrete stemwall front and back and then run 2x8 floor joists off the existing sill over to new foundation.

This seems harder to me than just demo-ing the whole thing. The wall in back will only be about 18" between the two so you won't be able to access that area. The front will be 4-8' of new so I guess I could knock a crawl access hole out of the existing. If I line up the vents in both will that be acceptable?

Obviously I should ask the BO what he want me to do but he is one of those
"I ain't gonna design it for ya damn it guys" so worse than no help. He's made
it crystal clear that his job ain't to help idiot DIY homebuilders.
He's also not going to define what 50% means so I have to throw plans at the wall until one sticks.

If I'm saving my crappy 1952 2x8 floor system but getting rid of the walls and roof does that count as 33-1/3 % or what. If I shoulve a 6x6 post down thru it is the post considered 1/4 of a Sq Ft for new construction?

Do you see how ludicrous this whole thing is?

Does anyone know where to get books or specific info on adding to a foundation? None of the how to books I have ever seen address adding for re-model except very basic stuff like drilling a few re-bar dowels into old at joints.

Anyone have experience with this insane 50% re-build rule? How could you possibly bring an un-reinforced hollow CMU foundation up to ANY code let alone in seismic zone 2 like here in Seattle?

I thought this would be a ten on the 1-10 scale of dificulty. Now I realize it's more like 100 mainly due to IRC and very unhelpfull city hall.

Please - can you help?

I have re-wired an entire house (w/leagal permit)including new 200 Amp panel so I could help anyone with basic house wiring if you need.



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Old 12-14-2006, 04:16 PM  
glennjanie
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Welcome to the Forum, Wannabebuilder:
This is one job that needs a couple of professionals before begining. First, I would retain a Professional Inspector as a guide through the quagmire. Then, I would hire a Professional Real Estate Appraiser (one who has credentials, not just any real estate sales person or Realtor. The appraiser can tell you the market value of the existing house and the future value of the addition which will not only tell you how much you can build, but would also hold up in court is the city doesn't agree with you.
The three of you need to meet at your house and thrash it out together. They will both give you written reports of their findings but I would ask the inspector to go on retainer as your "go-to" person through the project, many of them will charge an hourly fee for actual time on the job.
I wish you well with your project and hope you can keep us advised, including pictures of your progress.
Glenn

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Old 12-14-2006, 04:47 PM  
wannabebuilder
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Thanks Glennjanie,

I am getting an appraisal report tomorrow that should increase present structure value from $203K to $250K.
I should have mentioned that I wasted $300 for a good local architect to meet with Bldg. Dept. and try to get specific answers. He got stonewalled just as bad as me.
My engineer offered to go to a meeting with city planner & BO. What a surprise - the BO didn't think the meeting was important so he skipped it.
City planner wanted me to post some bond money to correct a set back problem in ten years. (return converted garage/carport back to open carport)
But since BO wasn't there for questions this left the 50% stuff up in the air.
I am going to talk to a different architect who managed to get a "5-pack" of variances to pretty much blow-off all zoning laws for a lake front McMansion.
Maybe she'll be able to help me wade thru their BS! We'll see....
Trying to stay out of court!..........Thanks again.

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