Day: March 2, 2015

By:
Barry Shaw
March 2, 2015

Second Story Addition on and 86 Year Old Home – Is It Safe?

Being a Colorado based home contractor for several decades now, it’s likely that we will be presented with a request to build a second story addition on top of a very old one story home, that will also undergo a major remodel.

Typically a house of this era is built on a ‘raised foundation’, whereby there is a perimeter continuous footing (many times not with rebar in it) and ‘interior’ small concrete piers, supporting posts, girders and the floor joist/subfloor framing.

The raised foundation and framing systems could have been structurally upgraded over the years, but can remain mostly independent from an astute post and beam second story addition design, that we construct, according to the latest seismic codes.

These posts and beams are secured with structural connections, all the way from the roof, down to the new footing pads.  These new pads are engineered with high strength concrete and steel reinforcing bars, that connect to the new post framing members, from specific details incorporated into our architectural home plans.

As a Colorado home contractor with an A+ rating, we ensure our Client’s safety, by verifying on the job, that this process is performed correctly. This is accomplished with a licensed Architect or licensed General Contractor from our firm, physically performing on-site observations, verifying that top quality construction methodologies are being implemented in the field.

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By:
Barry Shaw
March 2, 2015

Architect’s Design-Build Contributes to Homeowner’s Savings

Being an Architect for about a quarter of a century now, specializing in home remodel and construction, affords us the insight to not only perfect the vision of our Client’s remodel, but as General Contractors as well, we help to ensure a cost effective project, by the way we design our home remodel plans.

The home addition and/or remodel Scope Of Work that is developed between us and our Client, is processed through our Design-Build system with scrutiny and alternatives, relative to the many different paths that can be taken, with regard to budget conscious design and ultimately construction decisions.

When designing a second story addition onto a home, integrating the functional characteristics and aesthetic qualities, must be sensitively incorporated into the overall budget, as well.

At this point, our remodel Architect now interfaces with our remodel General Contractor, to analyze, refine and implement, the most cost effective design alternatives, into the architectural plans.

We have decades of multi-faced cost data in our files, inclusive of the most current trends, that afford us and our Client’s, with selective specifying for optimization of construction expenditures.

Thus our unique capacity as both a home architect, and General Contractor, provide our Client’s with significant savings, even before construction has begun.

I recall recently seeing a similar size second story addition being framed just one block from our project, whereby steel beams; steel columns; special Inspector requirements; certified Welders; etc. were needed for construction of this second floor addition.

At the same time, we were constructing our project with all wood and lumber members, at a swifter pace and in my estimation about $18,000 less than the project built with steel.  Both projects obviously meet code, but one is much more cost effective and one is much more timely to construct; the decision and fate of the Homeowner’s budget, lies in the hands of the licensed Architect, who is also the licensed General Contractor, with the combined authority to design and construct a home project, in a cost efficient manner.

 

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