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Old 03-21-2008, 11:07 AM  
Chris.Helwig
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Default Building an Addition Myself

My parents want me to build an addition to there house, probably just one bedroom, maybe a bathroom too. My experience is very little (one summer painting new construction). However, I am a reasonably competent and resourceful person, and I want to learn how to do this kind of thing. I was thinking I could buy a "how to" book and some plans, and do all the work more or less myself. Am I completely insane? Any advice is appreciated.
-Chris



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Old 03-21-2008, 11:19 AM  
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Default Anyone can learn.

If you do enough up front work first, it will be easier.
Go to the local library and take out some FREE books before you go buying anything. Then make a plan, to scale with what you are proposing. Talk to your local building official before you do anything else, they will help as much as they can because they want you to do it correctly.
You can even talk to local builders for some ideas, become a regular or stop by the busiest coffee shop with all the trucks in the parkin lot.
Then let us know what you need help with, we are a resourceful bunch.
Great advice is always here, the labor is DIY.
Happy learning.



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Old 03-21-2008, 11:54 AM  
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Don't forget to watch old episodes of This Old House, Before & After as well as others. You can even see some videos on You Tube. If you just read the books, you'll miss some of the good stuff especially with the problems of adding on and making things match & meet.

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Old 03-21-2008, 02:01 PM  
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I did it with little experience. The hardest part is making things match and meet like craig said and to always be thinking 10 steps ahead. So have every little detail thought out before you start. plumbing, electrical, insulation.
Keep in mind though this is a full time job. trying to do this nights and weekend will take you years to complete and will be very hard to motivate your self to keep working when you only work couple hours here and there.
If you do go ahead and try and good luck and keep up in touch.

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Old 03-23-2008, 10:18 AM  
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Take it from me, once you set your mind to it, you can do anything.

Check out my thread titled ''general overhaul'' in this section of the forum. My wife and I didnt have any practical knowledge of building from scratch, but we...like you, had a working comon sense area in our brains.

Home Depot sells some books called ''1,2,3'' books. They have tons Frameing123, tileing123, etc. They walk you through the basics step by step. Then you can get the ones called ''For Pros by Pros'' They are intricately detailed and very helpfull in your situaiton.

Do your research, and get the right tools. The tools make a hard job alot easier. Good luck.

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Old 03-24-2008, 07:45 AM  
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I did it once, twice if you count finishing a basement. My addition was a ~700 sq foot, second floor addition which consisted of two gable dormers and a 40' shed dormer.

My 2c - sub out what will take you too long to do yourself (even if you can do it) and/or sub out what you are uncomfortable trying yourself. If you get in a jam call a pro to help out. A pro may charge more to make things right if you mess up too bad than they would have charged if they were involved all along.

In my case I hired out cutting off my old roof, framing it up and putting on the roof/windows/siding. I did this, not because I couldn't, but because I didn't want a 40' hole in my roof for a long time. My crew went from the first cut to the las piece of siding in 2 weeks. Crew of 6 plus 10 summer helpers (college guys).

It took me about a year of nights and weekends to finish the job.

The only other thing I subbed out was insulation. It was actually cheaper to hire it out than for me to buy the materials and DIY. In retrospect I might have also hired out the drywall (it took me 2 or 3 months of Saturdays and evenings)

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Old 03-24-2008, 06:50 PM  
Chris.Helwig
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Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I am going to do it.

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Old 03-25-2008, 05:28 AM  
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Default Good for you

Well, it may not be easy...but hard work pays off . Get ready for an education and good luck.
Don't forget about us...keep us in the loop.

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Old 03-25-2008, 11:39 AM  
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Are you living with your parents? are they paying you? are they talking you into doing it or are you talking you to do this. we all were doing this to our own homes. we dont have a choice but to finish what we started. We all like to help our parents but this is alot of work and keeping motivated is going to be a problem. keep in mind that this could hurt your relationship with your parents. after a couple months of there house being ripped apart they are not going to be so apprieciative. they say that alot of remodels cause divorces this is no different.

Start off with a smaller project first and feel it out. replace their windows or redo a bath or kitchen.

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Old 03-25-2008, 03:48 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guyod View Post
Are you living with your parents? are they paying you? are they talking you into doing it or are you talking you to do this. we all were doing this to our own homes. we dont have a choice but to finish what we started. We all like to help our parents but this is alot of work and keeping motivated is going to be a problem. keep in mind that this could hurt your relationship with your parents. after a couple months of there house being ripped apart they are not going to be so apprieciative. they say that alot of remodels cause divorces this is no different.

Start off with a smaller project first and feel it out. replace their windows or redo a bath or kitchen.
Good advise...im so sick of one hour tile laying sessions I could scream.


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