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apsinkus 02-11-2008 09:18 PM

I need advice re. redoing dormer
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I am looking into adding a bathroom in the attic master bedroom. It does look like they had a toilet at one time in the area where existing dormer is. It is like a 7X7 room there. To put in a bath we definitely need to change roof structure of existing dormer to flat. Neighboring house has exactly what I am thinking about (on the right in the picture).
Since I am in budgeting stage, I would love to find out a ballpark figure of how much it could cost us to redo this dormer. Any input would be appreciated.

ToolGuy 02-11-2008 11:32 PM

Off the top of my head it looks to be about a $15,000 job, maybe more. The entire dormer will have to be removed and the new one build from scratch.

AU_Prospector 02-12-2008 05:27 AM

I would emphasize the "Maybe More" part of Toolguys quote given you are in MA as your profile states. I lived in CT for 10 years, costs were out of control.

Good luck

inspectorD 02-12-2008 05:39 AM

Being a contractor in CT, that dormer is not the only issue. You have no room for the job materials, dumpster and working room together. This adds expense, I am in the uncontrollable area...40 grand to start. Your on the 3rd floor...and getting through the house is no picnic. Tarping off everyday, insurance to keep the house DRY, power line in the way.
I'm sorry but that is my ballpark.

apsinkus 02-12-2008 08:11 AM

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There is actually a 6-car driveway right below the dormer and dumpster plus possibly a box truck would fit there.
At 15K it is worth it, at 20K to $40K (on a 450K house) is questionable, since I doubt I will ever see my money back at that kind of price.

I might stretch the back of the house and put a bathroom above another bathroom (see picture below). Since kitchen is on the 1st, bathroom on the 2nd, adding bathroom on the 3rd should be a bit easier than. No? At least the square footage of the house would go up (versus existing dormer that is already counted towards the house).

I am going to have to be opportunistic with this. Wait for slow season and see if any deals come up than. Costs might be crazy, but due to so many foreclosures barely anyone is renovating in the neighborhood. I would be surprised if contractors have their schedules filled.

glennjanie 02-12-2008 11:48 AM

Hello Apsinkus:
You are exactly right. Those who are prepared can capitalize on a slow market. It sounds like you have made some wise financial decisions in the past and this one is a home run.

apsinkus 02-12-2008 11:56 AM


Originally Posted by glennjanie (Post 15896)
It sounds like you have made some wise financial decisions in the past and this one is a home run.

Nah... I just don't like to be wasteful and I have a great wife who is a great partner. She knows my BS and I know her. So decisions we make usually are good for the good of the family. Fortunately she never uses words like "I must have" when it comes to investments like that, but rather "if we can make our money back, lets do it." Makes it much easier.

That all said, what do you guys and gals think? Should I choose to bust out the back and add on top of the other bath or still mess around with the dormer?
Which one do you think would be more cost effective?

inspectorD 02-12-2008 05:38 PM

Tough question
The market is slow...but not everywhere. Remodeling just kicks in when everyone else cannot afford to move.
The layout of the bath over the other bath is going to be a little less $$. All the plumbing lines are already withing reach, and not having to go with the old layout.
Just think of all the materials and tools that need to moved many times. The logistics of going through the entire home and sealing it off. Most folks do not think of all the extra which goes into a job like yours. And any contractors who give you a lower price than the rest...have missed something. Usually you really do get what you pay for with professionals. Someone who misquotes the job,,,usually can not stick around to do it correctly, this is where the bad contractor stories come from.

I say go for the addition, but do lots of homework, like you are now.:D

apsinkus 02-12-2008 07:03 PM

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Are you sure about 40K? I would expect not only addition but also full bathroom installed for that.
I mean, are there any advantage to trying to do this in the summer, rather than say fall or spring?

BTW, here is how the driveway. Also the back yard is all freakin' concrete, so scaffolding would not be sitting in a muck.

inspectorD 02-13-2008 06:03 AM

$0 K
Well, I would put the 40 K up there for a couple of reasons...ballparkin wise of course.;)
First is you will need a drawing and permits, by a professional it will cost 1k right away.
Next is cleanup,tarping, plastic inside, dumpsters, man hours vacuuming and hauling material, covering material, prep work for the entire job as it goes...5K
Then comes the actual demo work and getting the project ready for new framing, 2K
New framing and modifications...5k
Plumber, and fixtures. 5k
Electrician, 1k
Siding, paint and roof repairs 4k
Sheetrock 1k
Heat to room 1k
Tile , walls? floor 1k
Everything you don't see, have to figure out as you go and have not figured into the addition as you go...5k
Now add some profit for the GC and the other unseen upgrades you want...jacuzzi tub, claw foot, stand up tile shower in terrazzo marble...only you make up that budget.
OK so I'm around 30k....however....
You can easily project 40k for a good ,enjoyable bath.
I always tell someone to get a couple of prices, and budget 30 percent more always for unseen issues. Keepin the wife happy is one. Then going out more often to get away from the job is another. And don't forget all the coffee and donuts for the crew once and a need to keep them happy to get a good job.:D Time of year may not matter.

Ps...having not even looking at updates to mechanical and service...that's why it is a ballpark. You may even have to run new supply to the bath if you only have half inch lines. Getting water to another bath on the 3rd floor you may need new 3/4 lines just for good volume and pressure to the bath. Plus upgrades to the home, now you will have to bring the house up to current standards and codes where they want you to improve. Talk to your local building official for any new updates which are mandatory. I know you will need to update the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in your area...adds more money. Good luck.

Living in the MA, CT area...those are the ballbarks.

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