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Addition Estimates All Over The Place- UPDATED My experience getting an addition

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  • Jan 17th, 2019 9:11 am
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Jan 8, 2009
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dgnr8 wrote:
Dec 15th, 2017 9:33 pm
I recently purchased a bungalow in downtown Toronto and would like to add a second floor.
Takes me back to our first family home where we took the roof off and added a second floor whilst remaining living there.
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Martin (deal addict) wrote:
Jan 30th, 2018 8:20 am
Takes me back to our first family home where we took the roof off and added a second floor whilst remaining living there.
Just did that, took just over a year to do, went from a 4 level side split to a 5 level. Approx 1300 sq ft addition. At times it was a pain to live in the house but in the end it was worth it.
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Jul 21, 2013
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dgnr8 wrote:
Jan 26th, 2018 8:04 pm
Thought I would update the thread for those who are still interested. We signed with Modular Home Additions. The deciding factor was the number of homes they have done in our area. They gave us a list of 30 plus homes that they had done and we drove around to look at them.

They offer the addition in 3 phases:

1) Phase 1 addition fully completed on the outside
2) Phase 2 finishing the inside of the addition
3) Phase 3 renoing the main floor

If we went with them for all 3 phases the cost would be approximately $400,000

At this point we signed for phase 1 which has a tentative cost of about $150,000 without the cost of permits.

They did the site assessment and our 100 year old house passed so we are in the process of scheduling our first appointment with the architect. The neat part of this process is that the drawings include the whole house and any landscaping we want done whether we do all 3 phases with them or not. It will be nice to have a master plan for what we want for our house, even future projects.

I will keep updating as we work through this process over the next year.
Thank you, please keep updating the thread, we're considering an addition to our 100-year-old house as well.
[OP]
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Sep 5, 2009
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We finished the architectural drawings this week.

The architect came to our house about 5 weeks ago, measured and then sat and asked what we wanted. We gave him a list and then a week later he sent us the drawings. Modular has a rule that drawings and changes need to be turned around in 7 days, which has been great.

They have an online project management system where everyone involved in the project can post things and talk about each step.

His first drawings didn't represent what we wanted in a few ways. Nice house, just not what we wanted. We requested a list of changes and it took 2-3 revisions but the house is now exactly what we want. The architect was super skilled at making each one of our requests work and coming up with good solutions.

The really neat part is that as we request the changes online with the architect, our Modular rep jumps in on the conversation and gives us a rough estimate about what the change would cost.

Now the plans go to the city to be reviewed. This is where things come to a screeching halt. We know we are going to need to go to the committee of adjustments, which at this point only has openings in August. It's annoying to have the plans for your dream house, but that you have to wait for them to be approved. We are only asking for minor variances so I have no concerns about getting them approved, but the wait is still annoying.

We also had the house tested for asbestos and other contaminants. We only have asbestos around the pipes in the basement, but we have lead paint everywhere. On the upside, our water test came back totally clear, no lead there.

So far we have spent:
10% deposit for the addition
$2000 soil test
$2000 land survey
$950 asbestos and whole house contaminant tests
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Mar 31, 2008
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So what's answer everybody's waiting for... cost per sq feet for the addition, finishes, etc. and main layout changes.
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dgnr8 wrote:
Mar 26th, 2018 8:52 pm

We also had the house tested for asbestos and other contaminants. We only have asbestos around the pipes in the basement, but we have lead paint everywhere. On the upside, our water test came back totally clear, no lead there.
The asbestos lagging may also be around pipes in the walls.
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dgnr8 wrote:
Mar 26th, 2018 8:52 pm
This is where things come to a screeching halt. We know we are going to need to go to the committee of adjustments, which at this point only has openings in August. It's annoying to have the plans for your dream house, but that you have to wait for them to be approved. We are only asking for minor variances so I have no concerns about getting them approved, but the wait is still annoying.
To what you may consider minor variances could be an issue with your neighbours. There's zoning laws for a reason. Some dork in my area tried the same thing and I guess there was enough feedback from the community to put their builds into backup mode and their plans were scrapped which delayed their project for over a year. Yeah, going too high can be an issue. Going to far back can be an issue. Not for you perhaps but for others.

If I'm not mistaken, the request was 3 meters high and 10 deep or something but regardless. Blocking someone's sun or having the ability to peer into everyone's house = issue.
[OP]
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Update:

Our committee of adjustment date is in October. It took the city almost 2 months to review our plans and provide us a date. I am not worried about the meeting because 3 months ago a neighbour went because they are building a 3 level mansion and all neighbours were ok. Our build is tiny in comparison.

Big lesson here is that if you plan to buy a house you want to build an addition on make sure it is in livable condition.

The builder thinks we will actually start building in March 2019 so I am grateful that the house is not in terrible condition.
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[OP]
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To also add, as we are waiting we are struggling with the decision between radiators and central heating. The house has radiator heating right now with wall mounted air conditioners. When we started planning we were sure we wanted to get rid of the current system, but we have grown to love it.

Radiator heating feels so nice, the air conditioners cool down a room instantly and our air quality is great.

Thoughts?
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Dec 14, 2007
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raidiators are more comfortable because they provide more consistent temperatures. I am not sure how they provide good air quality as they don’t filter air. If anything, the air quality is worse than a forced air system with proper set up.

If you like radiators, I would add an hrv system to the house for fresh air Intake. Instead of individual exhaust fans in the washrooms, we have one larger hrv exhausting all washrooms. Check out JAGA radiators too. They look pretty good but pricey.

Since you will have a boiler already, you should consider putting in floor heating in the tiled areas like kitchen and baths. It’s awesome.
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Dec 3, 2003
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Thanks for posting this great information please continue to keep us updated!

I’m in an 80+ year old house with the same setup and love radiant heating - that and the AC are quiet, there are no filters to clean.

The drawbacks I can think of are rads take up space, the boiler will be expensive to replace when it goes ($10k+ from quotes I’ve received), and a smart thermostat won’t be able to control AC centrally.

Good luck at the committee of adjustments!
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Oct 29, 2006
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The stupidest thing I’ve done when it came to our bathroom reno is not install radiant floor heating. Do it even if it’s electrical.
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Awesome update! I’ll be watching this thread closely as my wife and I also plan an addition in a couple years hopefully.
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dgnr8 wrote:
Jun 23rd, 2018 10:14 pm

Radiator heating feels so nice, the air conditioners cool down a room instantly and our air quality is great.

Thoughts?
Rads and central forced air with an HRV. Then in the winter if you needed too you could turn on the fan.

We looked at a house like that. The vents were in the ceiling on all levels (for central air that makes sense). We didn’t buy the house as it had been poorly renovated to flip. The closets weren’t even muddled or taped and I was worried of the other corners cut.
Gbill2004: Thanks but I'll just smell the couch before/if I buy it.

jonnyb: I go in there like PICASSO and toss the glue everywhere, I don't care what house I'm on.
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Dec 21, 2011
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Very interested in your whole process (thanks for sharing) and in particular what you decide and other opinions on the rads situation. We have a 120yr old house we will be doing a reno and second floor addition over the current first floor extension.

We currently have forced air and central A/C but I would dearly love to have rads. Having grown up in Ireland with them I much prefer them to forced air. My husband ia being a bit of a naysayer and oh how will we deal with the A/C if we go that route but having just come back from a visit home to family I feel reinforced in my
desire to have rads over forced air.

The how to is the stumbling block to getting hubby onside.


OP - can I ask what it is about them you have come to love versus wanting to get rid of them originally? You don't hear that too often!

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