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Day six – decisions

June 22, 2010

Heard from the builder yesterday. There are some choices for us to weigh now – all with an added cost. The change order from the builder prescribes some alterations to the design, namely:

  • Pouring of an 8” x 15’ wide basement foundation wall against existing foundation
  • New main floor joisting to land on new foundation
  • New 2×4 support walls at 1st and 2nd floor in place of existing house bearing wall
  • Installation of roof ridge beam to cantilever from addition to main house roof, without any load on main roof supports

And to prevent hydrostatic pressure from breaking our existing basement wall, we would need 4×6 beams placed against bare concrete basement walls with 2×4 cross-bracing between at full 15’ section until the new wall cures. Also, we would need to move all our stuff off the affected walls, because we have finished basement walls (read: sheetrock), not bare masonry. We would possibly need to reframe and definitely need to re-sheetrock afterwards.

The cost for this change order is a big thing, because it essentially removes any cushion we had built in to cover unforeseen events. One could argue this is one of those unforeseen events, but will there be more? Also, it takes funds we had earmarked for the plumbing and electrical and leaves us with some uncertainty as to how and if that will be handled.

I would hope that since this change essentially makes the new addition its own structure (bearing its own weight) that it might make affect the existing structure of our house less, perhaps saving us from more added cost. Who knows.

So it really puts us in an awkward situation. At this stage in the game we have no foundation and no structure for our new addition. But what we do have is a large, deep hole where a section of our porch was, a missing middle porch, a missing rear porch roof and missing siding.

We have two choices: move forward and build with the added cost and finish the project, or stop and have things rebuilt to match what existed previously and have no addition. Continuing will cost more money, but give us a new living space. Stopping will cost money just to bring things back to status-quo, but with no added value of additional square footage.

Meanwhile, while we ponder this, check out our web cam in the links on the right.

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