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Thread: Seeking guidance from the collective

  1. #1
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    Seeking guidance from the collective

    Actually don't know what to expect from y'all, but worth asking none-the-less. Talking over the future with my fiance this evening the subject of the house came up. It has been my plan for a while now to spruce up the current dwelling and put it on the market when the market was again healthy. Right now I'm about $30K upside down in the financing. The house is in a quiet, safe neighborhood and is actually plenty big for two people coming in at just under 1,100 sf. The plan was to move to a slightly larger house with a much larger shop and a garage (the shop now occupies the garage).

    As we looked into the crystal ball (selling prices of other houses in the neighborhood) we realized that it could easily be 3 to 5 years before my house was once again worth what I owe the bank. That puts me into retirement age!

    So, the conversation turned to staying here and making whatever changes would make our lives more comfortable. The shop size, 21 x 22 shared with the furnace, WH, laundry, and the rear end of a fireplace, was still the sticking point.

    One of the improvements I had planned on when I thought I was going to stay here till I take my last breath was the addition of a front porch. That porch would be 8' deep and 20' long. It occurred to me that I could bump out the front of the shop 8' to match the edge of the new porch and thereby increase shop area by 40% to 30 x 21.

    The roof line over the extension of the garage/shop would mimic that over the bedroom wing on the other side.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	House (800 x 600).jpg 
Views:	75 
Size:	113.8 KB 
ID:	45642 This pic is about 7 years old. I really need to find a newer one.

    I don't know off the top of my head what the cost would be. Probably around $10K (the roof needs to be redone also and this would be a good time to do it).

    What say ye? Am I crazy? Naive? On the mark? I think adding 8' to the shop would be a huge improvement finally allowing room for a real assembly bench. Granted, long and narrow might not be the optimum layout, but the extra square footage would still be a blessing.
    Last edited by Rennie Heuer; 05-21-2010 at 12:31 AM.
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  2. #2
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    I say go for it. If you like the area and are happy there, by all means then stay. You really can't plan on the market, experts are still saying it ain't over.

    One other thing. Looking at the elevation of the yard, you might have to redo part or all of the driveway too. Hard to tell from the picture.

  3. #3
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    I'm in a similar situation. My kids are gone and the wife and I have about 2400 sq ft to maintain. Our house value has dropped 35% in the past 2 years. Pretty much wiping out all of our equity. We have decided to tough it out and somehow come up with the $2600/mo mortgage until things improve with the job situation, construction, and home values. We figure 5 years.
    I'm pretty handy with repairs, little savings left and I have a lot of time on my hands so I'll probably do everything myself.
    We have decided that making the house prettier, redoing all the bedrooms, and replacing some of the plumbing and sticking out the next 5 years is the only logical and financially sound idea.
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  4. #4
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    Well Rennie you are in a nice house in a nice location with some great upgrades that you have already completed, pretty good place to start/stay Will you have enough driveway left taking 8 feet from it? will you keep it a "garage" for resale at a later date? If that is what you and your pretty lady want go for it and here is a little newer pic for ya
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Rennie's.jpg  

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Southwood View Post
    One other thing. Looking at the elevation of the yard, you might have to redo part or all of the driveway too. Hard to tell from the picture.
    Yes. Keeping a level floor in the garage will require changing the grade on the driveway. The drive has a few major cracks anyway, so it would be desirable to replace it. Add some more $$

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Gibson View Post
    I'm in a similar situation. My kids are gone and the wife and I have about 2400 sq ft to maintain. Our house value has dropped 35% in the past 2 years. Pretty much wiping out all of our equity. We have decided to tough it out and somehow come up with the $2600/mo mortgage until things improve with the job situation, construction, and home values. We figure 5 years.
    I'm pretty handy with repairs, little savings left and I have a lot of time on my hands so I'll probably do everything myself.
    We have decided that making the house prettier, redoing all the bedrooms, and replacing some of the plumbing and sticking out the next 5 years is the only logical and financially sound idea.
    My house is now worth about what I paid for it 13 years ago. Values here did not sore out of site as they did in some areas, but we still lost about 35-40%. I have plans to do the kitchen and 2 baths this year and some more upgrades to the living room. That was all being done in prep for a future sale. Now it will be to make us comfy I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Niemi View Post
    Well Rennie you are in a nice house in a nice location with some great upgrades that you have already completed, pretty good place to start/stay Will you have enough driveway left taking 8 feet from it? will you keep it a "garage" for resale at a later date? If that is what you and your pretty lady want go for it and here is a little newer pic for ya
    yes, I'll move the current door forward so the next owner gets an over sized garage - a desirable option. Even with two (not-too-big_ cars in there the next guy could operate a small shop, 8 x 21, in the back. The drive is 45' from the apron to the inside edge of the sidewalk. So I'll still have 37', longer than some other drives in the neighborhood.

    Thanks for the newer pic!
    Host of the 2017 Family Woodworking Gathering - Sunken Wood

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  6. #6
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    I have always wanted a porch, myself...

    Here's another thought. Would your zoning restrictions instead allow you to bump out the SIDE of the garage? This would give you 8-10' of more WIDTH to the garage, rather than increase the depth. This lets you leave the driveway alone. This lets you split the project in two if finances require it, since the porch and garage additions would not touch each other. (of course, doing them together is probably cheaper than doing them separately)

    You have a fairly shallow roof pitch right now. How would you graft 8' onto the front of that? Would you put on a flat roof? I'd worry that would look kind of ugly. Or would you raise the peak of the whole house?

    Best wishes, Rennie. We start our addition in about a month...
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
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  7. #7
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    Just as important, if not more so, as the financial situation is the attitude of your fiance about your current home. If she would be comfortable there, I would go ahead with the renovations. That's what LOML and I are going to do starting this summer. Best of luck on your decision; it's not an easy one.
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  8. #8
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    I say add 16 feet to the garage. Both ways
    It could be worse You could be on fire.
    Stupid hurts.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rennie Heuer View Post
    That was all being done in prep for a future sale. Now it will be to make us comfy I guess.
    Rennie,

    It's gonna be a while before the market comes back... under any economic scenario. Some are worse than others...

    That said, you're right. Whatever you do should be for your own enjoyment and benefit. If it's worth it for you both, and you can swing it, it seems like a good plan.

    I think Art may be right about the roof pitch issue. You might get the most bang for the buck by bumping out to the side. Forget aesthetics for a minute: what's the cheapest option for the most square feet?

    Thanks,

    Bill

  10. #10
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    Art, if I understood him correctly, he will add a gable end to match the other end of the house, I'm guessing a bedroom, that extends out from the main body of the house.
    What I see as a problem would be in redoing the grade of the driveway to match the addition of the garage, you would also have to do something to the yard on both sides, or there would be a drop off from the drive to the grass. You could stair step that with stones to make an easy walk up, but you'd be in trouble if the car ever went over the edge. (Think older years and mis-judging the drive when turning in )
    So what is behind the garage? If back yard, can you go back that way? I'd think, if that is possible, that would be the best thing, and probably cheaper by quite a bit. If that isn't workable because of more house behind the garage, then to the side if you have enough room before the easement would be best. It could actually be a third garage. Just some random thoughts. Jim.
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