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Old 03-03-2007, 09:02 PM  
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Default All things considered, is it worth it?

My wife and I just purchased some farm land in Maine. We're considering this as a retirement destination which if all goes well should happen in about 10 years.

The property has a small cabin that I'd guess to be about 25 years old. The cabin’s dimension is approx. 20’x30’ and is built on block piers. It has no running water no electricity and has what almost certainly is a sub-code septic system.

It's not clear to me whether I'd be better off scraping the structure and starting fresh or improving it over time. It's not enough room for us so we'd have to add on either up, down or out (maybe all three).

I'm considering what it would take to replace the block pier system with a full or partial basement. I've been looking around the web for ways to do this myself. It looks daunting and dangerous. The cost of contracting the job out gets me back to whether the structure is worth the investment. Can anyone get me in the ballpark for what it would cost to replace the foundation system?

I've had experience with a major addition project before doing some of the work myself (including some foundation work) and using contractors for major framing and finish work.

Thanks in advance for your comments.

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Old 03-06-2007, 12:12 PM  
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Default Start fresh...

This is the perfect time to start fresh. The time involved with jacking a house and installing a foundation that won't leak in rock country Maine is not worth it.
You may want to keep the structure for fun or whatever ..or incorporate some of the building materials into the new home.
Speaking from experience...this week in fact.

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Old 03-06-2007, 01:52 PM  
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Depending on the surrounding area development, the grandfathered rights on the existing structure may have value when it comes to the question of building or adding on.
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Old 03-06-2007, 03:11 PM  
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Thanks folks.

This is potato farm country in Aroostook County. I just looked at a survey of the area and the soils are classified as till which I think are a mix of sand, gravel, clay and rock (primarily limestone). This jives with what you can observe at least. Here in Northern NJ we have allot of glacial rubble and exposed ledge. This area is very different.

The property totals 80 acres. The surrounding homes are other farms for the most part.

I found some information on the web that suggests new foundation work generally costs from $10-$12 / sq. ft. Of couse I need to factor in the cost of the extra work involved with cribbing the house etc... which I guess is the least known part of this calculation I'm attempting.

I compiled a list of local contractors that do foundations. I'll be heading up in late April.

Thanks again..
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