Best Wood for Framing a Pitched Roof

Posted on: September 29th, 2017 by Lori Smith

Types Of Pitched Roof Framing

Understanding how a roof is built in order to create a waterproof layer is essential to the design. Realizing that the roof is supported by outside walls, interior weight bearing walls, and the ceiling joists as part of the overall water-shedding capability will help in planning a roof overhaul.

Best Wood for Framing A Pitched Roof

bobwood / Pixabay

Before construction of a pitched roof or any type of repair work, you have to factor in the age of the roof, the type of covering, and the climate of the location. In Colorado, the climate is generally considered semiarid in the lower elevations, with lower humidity and moderate precipitation, but the higher elevations will include lower temperatures along with more moisture.

Roofs are under a lot of pressure, so in order to stay intact and in place, a roof must be able to resist loads that are pushing both downward and upward on it. There are four main types of pitched roof designs with many variations and combinations:

Gabled – The roof slopes around a triangular extension of the end wall. This piece of wall is the gable.

Hipped – A hip is the joint between two adjacent slopes of a roof. Some complex roofs have several hips.

Shed – This simple roof has only one slope. It is commonly used on lean-to structures, such as additions.

Mansard – A modified version of the pitched roof that creates a spacious living area in the roof space.

See more here:  All About Roofs: Pitches, Trusses and Framing

Best Wood For Construction of a Pitched Roof

The pitch of the roof helps to determine the type of roofing materials, but in general the wood that is used is dimensional lumber which is less expensive. Pine is a very common type of wood in framing, because it is soft, not so heavy, and easier to work with.

The following video provides an overview of the best wood for framing a pitched roof as opposed to wood used to build fine furniture:

The wood that is used as the horizontal member to span long distances in the framing process is many times engineered wood. Dimensional lumber can be utilized depending on the load and span, but there are times when the architectural design requires engineered lumber.

It is also known as composite or man-made wood and it includes a range of products which are manufactured by binding strands or particles of wood together with adhesives under intense heat and pressure. The consistency of the material quality is one of the key benefits, as the wood doesn’t generally shrink, warp, cup, crown, or twist.

Cost of Dimensional Lumber vs Engineered Lumber

It does cost more per lineal foot, but the advantages are mentioned here:

Engineered Oriented Strand Board

Wikimedia Commons

The manufacturing processes required for wood products add costs, making engineered wood more expensive per lineal foot than traditional sawn lumber. “The benefit is realized in total installed cost of the product,” according to Mike O’Day, manager of engineered lumber for Georgia Pacific. “The installed costs consist of material usage, and labor requirements for installation. Engineered lumber can speed installation time and reduce labor since they are lighter and can be spaced further apart than dimensional lumber. The result is typically a lower total installed cost per square foot with engineered lumber,” adds O’Day. Engineered lumber also reduces the number of call backs for builders. Squeaky, or bouncy floors are usually expensive to correct. Installations using engineered I-beams can significantly reduce callbacks related to this problem.

Read more here:  Wood vs. Engineered Lumber

The use of engineered lumber has significantly increased, mostly due to the strength and consistency of the product, but it is also better for the environment. The fact that leftover pieces of wood can be used to make the product, there is little waste.

Adding On An Upstairs Bathroom

Posted on: September 23rd, 2017 by Lori Smith

Aspects To Consider With a Remodel

As the number of people in a household grows, the need for more space becomes an issue. One room in particular that tends to cause arguments over equal usage is the bathroom.

Remodeling an area to add a bathroom is a substantial project depending on the current structural design of the home, especially the plumbing.  You have to get water to the room and the wastewater must drain to the existing city sewer or to an on-site septic system.Adding on an Upstairs Bathroom

For an upstairs bathroom, if you can locate the new bath directly above the current one, it will simplify the plumbing. The plumber in the next article reiterates this fact:

This is most important for PVC drain lines, which have to sit lower than the bathroom fixtures so water will drain. If your home sits on a concrete slab, the plumber will have to cut into the concrete to run the new drain lines, then pour more concrete overtop. Cutting into a slab increases the cost.

This is especially important to consider if you have to run piping through the walls. “It’s best to install the bathroom where there is already plumbing,” Torrez says. “Lots of times there is already plumbing in the back of the house, and if you put a new bathroom in that area of the home, you can just run lines off the existing plumbing.”

Is Plumbing a New Bathroom Difficult?

Upstairs Plumbing

There are some factors to look at when running plumbing to an upstairs room such as ensuring access to the traps in case there’s a leak or you need to unclog the drain.

Insulating around the pipes will help keep the noise to a minimum for the downstairs rooms. Making sure you are extra careful to secure the joints will prevent them from vibrating loose and leaking.

The next video highlights these important aspects:

If you have intentions of selling your Denver home, adding on an upstairs bathroom can make the difference between being under contract or having it remain on the market. Buyers tend to prefer that the number of bathrooms is equal to the number of bedrooms, so a second bath in a two-bedroom home can be a great selling point.

Cost of a Bathroom Addition

So what does it cost for a bathroom addition? Home Advisor answers that below:

Adding a bathroom can cost from $3,000.00 for a simple conversion of existing space to $25,000.00 for a new addition to your house. The national average for a 100-square-foot, spa-like bathroom is over $75,000.00, so watch your budget carefully.

geralt / Pixabay

A new bathroom adds value to any home, especially when there is only one to begin with. But how much you’ll recoup depends on the part of the country in which you live. In the west, you can expect an ROI of roughly 67 percent; in the east you might get around 47 percent.

2017 Cost To Add a Bathroom | Bathroom Addition & Building Costs

The bonus to adding a bathroom to your home is that it doesn’t typically require a lot of space, especially a half bath. At bare minimum, you’ll need about a three-foot by six-foot and if you are handy, you can do a lot of the work yourself to save some money.

Solutions For Flat Roofs With Parapet Walls

Posted on: September 19th, 2017 by Lori Smith

What Are Your Maintenance Options

Flat roofs are typical with commercial buildings and require a special type of roofing background. Even though it may be simpler to construct, it can demand more maintenance and inspection than a standard pitched roof.

When you hire a Denver commercial roofer to perform the work, you have to start by checking references. Knowing that they have the proper experience, skills and insurance to carry out the job will provide a level of confidence in the outcome.How To Maintain a Parapet Wall

An architect or engineer should also be employed to specify, detail and inspect the final work. The need for suitable design and construction in the joint between the flat roof and the parapet wall is essential because this is the location where a lot of issues tend to develop.

Not familiar with what a parapet wall is?

A parapet is a barrier which is an extension of the wall at the edge of a roof, terrace, balcony, walkway or other structure. Where extending above a roof, a parapet may simply be the portion of an exterior wall that continues above the line of the roof surface, or may be a continuation of a vertical feature beneath the roof such as a fire wall or party wall.

See the full definition here:  Parapet – Wikipedia

Issues With Parapet Walls

This structure was originally used as fortification to defend the building from being attacked. At this point in time, it has become more of a safety rail to prevent someone from falling off the roof and protects the structure from wind uplift forces.

It’s also the point where leaks and lingering moisture can raise havoc if the roof isn’t sealed and drained correctly. Copings and parapet walls are the reason for a high percentage of the waterproofing issues in flat roof construction.

This roofer explains how problems with parapet walls and the coping stones are causing water to pool under the felt and leak into the ceiling below:

The coping cap protects the top of the external walls and can be made of anything from brick to concrete to metal. Its job is to prevent water from penetrating into the parapet wall.

What are the protective solutions for flat roofs? First of all, you obviously have to keep an eye on the drainage system because debris that builds up can be a disaster.

Fall Upkeep Of A Flat Roof

Fall season is a good time to sweep off leaves, twigs, and dirt to stop the drains from getting clogged. Also, remove any tree branches that are hanging over the top of the roof to keep them from breaking off and falling or scraping against your roof on windy days. Flashing on a Flat Roof

As far as parapet walls are concerned, because they are subjected to all types of weather and structural stress, assuring the proper slope of the coping, overhang, and the correct flashing detail is in place will go a long way to keeping water from finding its way to the inside of the structure.

The importance of correctly installed flashing on a flat roof is discussed here:

Typically, a base flashing and counter flashing are used. If the membrane is asphalt (built-up or modified bitumen), a cant strip is recommended. This wood or fiberboard triangular piece (typically 3 inches horizontal by 3 inches tall) is used to allow the membrane to make two 45° turns rather than one 90° turn to reduce the risk of the lap joints separating or opening at the upturn. The roof membrane typically extends onto the cant strip, but not up onto the vertical wall surface.

A base flashing may be one of several materials, but it is often the roof membrane material itself. Typically, it is provided with protection against sunlight. The base flashing extends onto the flat portion of the membrane and is sealed to it. The flashing extends over the cant strip and up the wall surface, approximately 8 to 14 inches above the roof.

See more here: Flat Roof-to-Wall Flashings


Consulting with a flat roof specialist in the Front Range area will offer peace of mind that you are going to get the best service to protect your asset.

Nails vs Screws In Construction – Which Should You Use?

Posted on: September 9th, 2017 by Lori Smith

The Fastener Depends On The Application

Some of you may not be sure which is the right fastener for your do-it-yourself project – nails vs screws. The truth is that they both have their place in construction, so it does depend on what you’re working on.

If you are doing basic construction such as attaching floor joists to deck framing, nails are the best fastener. Nails are used in most all framing and structural situations.

The time to use screws is when you are building something where forces will be applied in a parallel direction. In accordance with the above example, screws would be better for fastening the decking to the frame.

Nails vs Screws in Construction


Shear Strength vs Tensile Strength

The general rule is that you use nails when the pressure will be perpendicular because of their shear strength, but you use screws when pressure will parallel because of their tensile strength. There are a lot of conflicting opinions out there, and this site allowed several experts to chime in.

I tend to agree with this statement:

Screws are a “superior” fastener over a nail (they have far superior tensile strength)—especially if you’re talking about screwing down decking. However there are many scenarios where a nail is the proper fastener for the application (attaching joists is one example—screws are brittle and will fail when subjected to the forces of a shear loaded application).

Screws vs. Nails: When Do You Use One or the Other?

Hanging a picture versus building a deck require vastly different fasteners.  The hardware aisle can be a little intimidating with the wide variety of nails and screws, but the type project makes all the difference.

Are you hanging sheet rock, putting in a fence, finishing trim, siding your home, or roofing?

If you prefer a visual demonstration of the difference between screws compared to nails, this video is an excellent example:

The above video is a complete show of shear strength because the motion he is using is perpendicular to the surface. If he tried to pull straight up on the two fasteners, the nail would come out but the screw would not, mostly because of the threads.

Other Reasons To Choose One Fastener Over The Other

The cost of the nails vs screws in construction is an entirely different story. Part of the reason construction contractors use nails is that they are significantly cheaper to use than screws.

According to Home Depot, a five pound box of 8 penny nails, which are approximately 2.5 inches long, is $12. If you shop for 2.5 inch screws in a five pound box, the price is $30.

What fastener to use in construction


Another explanation for using a screw instead of a nail is that you can easily take a screw back out, especially in a temporary situation. Nails are quite permanent, at least without some major destruction.

Of course, the type of nails and screws can make a difference, because galvanized fasteners are more expensive since they are made to resist rust. All in all, you probably want to consult with a Denver builder contractor to discuss what materials will work best for your situation.



What to Expect When Building a Home in Denver CO

Posted on: September 1st, 2017 by Lori Smith

Prosperous Growth in Colorado

2017 is has been a productive year for Colorado construction, with new buildings going up everywhere and bringing a lot of job opportunities to the area. Denver has seen unprecedented growth, ranking on the Top 20 Forbe’s list of fastest growing cities in the United States.

Colorado’s economy is also doing well this year, in part due to construction as one of the largest contributing sectors. There is still a shortage of construction workers along the Front Range because of the current expansion and hot real estate market.

Construction Materials Consistently Rising

What to Expect When Building a Home in Denver CO

Wikimedia Commons

The average cost per square foot is around $150 depending on how fancy you finish the home. The next explanation is provided by a former construction contractor now real estate agent in the Denver area concerning the cost of building a home:

1. It is wholly dependent upon material selection. You can get ceramic tile for $.50 psf and you can get custom tile materials for $100+ psf.

2. Pricing is a curve based upon size, larger homes cost less than smaller homes per square foot with similar finishes. This is because the high fixed costs, can be absorbed into the space, and a carpeted family room is much less expensive to build than a kitchen or bathroom.

3. Multi-level homes are less expensive per square foot than ranches, as excavation, foundation work and roofing materials are more expensive than walls and flooring.

What are the current costs for building a custom home in the Denver suburbs?

Some reasons that Denver is experiencing ongoing growth is that mortgage rates have stabilized, job availability has increased, and the housing inventory is at a record low. On average, Denver homes go under contract in just six days and the sale finalizes in around two months, which in May of this year was the fastest in the U.S.

Figuring Cost Per Square Foot

This video reiterates the cost per square foot of building a home in Denver CO:

Roofing Materials Can Be Expensive Too

As with general construction square footage, the cost of roofing is also based on the type of material used. Asphalt shingles are the least expensive option but aren’t as durable, whereas clay or slate tiles are pricey but last a long time.

Whether on a new home or an existing home that needs repairs, a roof installation is something that just about every homeowner experiences at some time or another. Even though the quality of roofing materials have improved over the years, Denver’s unpredictable climate can cause issues with any property.

If you are curious about the cost of roofing your Denver home, check out this graphic:



Your budget is key when it comes to the cost of investing in a new home, and you need to have a good income to build in the Front Range area. Efforts are being made to construct more lower income housing, but when the demand is so high, the options minimal.

Suburban areas are becoming more popular, driving the prices up all around the metro area. If you are willing to commute, there are smaller cities that still have more affordable homes, but it may be a long drive.

Adding on a Conservatory – Is it Worth The Cost?

Posted on: August 26th, 2017 by Lori Smith

What is a conservatory? It’s a room that can be an additional living area during any season, which offers an open view to the world because it is made of glass.

Also known as a sun room or a solarium, it is accessible from the inside of the home as well as to the outside, basically like a glassed-in porch. Because it is made of glass, choosing the optimal location is critical to planning this addition.

This article discusses this portion of the planning:

What to Know Before Adding a SunroomAll season sun room

In northern climates, a southern exposure is best because it will receive the most light each day. In the South, however, a southern exposure means additional cooling will be necessary, which could be costly.

An eastern exposure will ease cooling needs by providing sun in the morning and shade the rest of the day — not so great for after work. A western orientation, on the other hand, will expose you to harsh afternoon sun that will need to be shaded.

A northern exposure will provide lower levels of light and partial shade most of the day. In the North, this can cause the room to be too cool and damp, but it can work fine in the South, where it may eliminate the need for window treatments or additional cooling.

Read the original post here:  What to Know Before Adding a Sunroom

There are some common misconceptions concerning adding on a conservatory: Is it considered habitable space as far as square footage in a home? Will the glass make the whole house warmer? Will it block light from other rooms?

These questions are answered in the followed video:

If the sun room is fitted with high performance insulated glass, it will make a huge difference in the usability of the room. Another consideration is whether to add central heat/air to the conservatory so that will definitely be considered part of the home’s square footage.

Adding ceiling vents can also help to mitigate the heat produced by the glass enclosure. Depending on all of these factors, the cost of the room can rise significantly.

This article discusses the potential price tag for adding a solarium onto your home:

How Much Does a Conservatory Cost? Free Conservatory Prices and Estimates

Conservatory Average CostAdding on a Conservatory

The cost of a conservatory varies widely depending on the design, local labor and material costs, and other factors. Before you begin conservatory construction, check with the local planning department to find out what permits you may need.

  • Conservatory costs start at around $7,500 to $15,000.
  • The average cost of a conservatory is $10,000 to $30,000.
  • A conservatory could cost as much as $40,000 to $80,000 or more.

Read the full post here:  How Much Does a Conservatory Cost? Free Conservatory Prices and Estimates

The addition of a conservatory will boost the dimension to your home with its bright open design. It will be a sanctuary that you and your family will enjoy together, and it is great for entertaining guests.

It can also increase your resale value when done correctly as it’s a unique feature that most homes don’t have. Plants love the atmosphere of a sun room and it is very therapeutic and soothing for bolstering your mood.

Roof Inspections – How Often and How Much?

Posted on: August 19th, 2017 by Lori Smith

Understanding the Different Types of Roof Inspections

Along with regular maintenance, a roof inspection is key to safeguarding your investment. Whether you do your own inspections or have a professional do it for you, don’t put it off.

Roof inspections - how often and how much

Wikimedia Commons

As a homeowner, you would be wise to only check your roof from a ladder. Leave the complete roof exam for a professional Denver roof inspector.

If you decide to check your own roof, a couple times a year is plenty unless you have a bad storm. Be sure to follow these safety precautions when using a ladder to check your roof and if you aren’t comfortable, find someone who is.

Here is a checklist for do-it-yourself types:

Roofing Inspection Checklist | Roof Inspection for DIYers | HouseLogic

Here’s what to look for:

  • Cracked caulk or rust spots on flashing.
  • Shingles that are buckling, curling, or blistering.
  • Missing or broken shingles.
  • Cracked and worn rubber boots around vent pipes.
  • Missing or damaged chimney cap. (OK, that’s technically not part of your roof, but since you’re looking anyway.)
  • Masses of moss and lichen, which could signal the roof is decaying underneath. Black algae stains are just cosmetic.

See the full post here: Roofing Inspection Checklist | Roof Inspection for DIYers | HouseLogic

There are a number of ways to have a professional survey your roof and the visual examination is the most common. If your roof can be accessed safely, a qualified roof inspector can take pictures and inspect the surface more thoroughly than automated equipment can.

Other methods are using an extended camera, core sampling, a thermal roof survey, and becoming more and more popular are drone inspections of your roof.

Another technique that requires fairly sophisticated equipment is electronic leak detection, as seen in this video:

Having your Denver roof inspected isn’t cheap. Some of the main costs when hiring a roof inspector are the services requested by the property owner or the buyer.

A typical roof inspection, besides the shingles, will include checking the condition of soffits and fascia, gutters and downspouts, rooftop vents and flashing.

Most inspectors charge a flat fee for their services, but additional fees can apply depending on the type of roof. Factors such as if the roof has a steep pitch, multiple levels, is larger than average, or is more than 50 years old will increase the price.

The information below is from Home Advisor:

Cost of hiring a roof inspector

Performing regular roof inspections can lower your overall repair and replacement costs by almost 50% and extend the life of your roof up to 25 years.

If you have asphalt, composite, or wooden shingles, you should schedule inspections every 3 years. Tile or clay roofs are more durable and only need to be surveyed every 5 years.

However, some sites will tell you to have it checked twice a year. It will partially depend on the age of your roof and the severity of weather in your area.

Purpose of a Cupola in Roof Design

Posted on: August 11th, 2017 by Lori Smith

I’m sure you seen one, but maybe you didn’t know the name of it or why it is there. I’m referring to that protrusion off the top of some buildings that almost appears to be a lookout for a fortress.

It’s called a cupola, and is pronounced kyou’puh luh. According to Wikipedia, “it is a small, most often dome-like, structure on top of a building. Often used to provide a lookout or to admit light and air, it usually crowns a larger roof or dome.”

If you are wondering where the idea came from, it can be traced back to 8th Century Islamic architecture. They were many times placed on top of a minaret, which is a tall slender tower that is part of a mosque.

Here is more about the history of the cupola:

Architectural History of The Cupola

Purpose of a cupola

Wikimedia Commons

These first cupolas placed atop minarets, were large and sometimes ornate structures with one or more balconies from which the daily call to prayer would be announced. These early cupolas are very significant because they are believed to be the inspiration for the dome which led to massive achievements in architectural design. These bold new designs that emerged, were used as symbols for proof of cultural superiority. During the renaissance, most major European cities and Islamic states were building a plethora of these magnificent buildings. The cupola had evolved to allow architecture to become a very artistic and creative status symbol and today, the cupola stands as a statement of a major achievement in architecture.

Read more here:  Architectural History of The Cupola

So basically, back in the day if you had cupola, you were the upper crust of the neighborhood. Eventually, cupolas became more common, though, and are as much functional as they are symbolic.

As far as the purpose of a cupola in roof design, they can act as a vent, allow more light into a structure, and serve as an observatory. They also help to provide insulation and add to the overall beauty of the building.

Many times you see them on churches, some having a bell to announce the service is beginning. There is a variety of cupola styles, and the one that is located in the International Space Station is quite impressive.

You can see a tour here:

Quite the view! I can’t imagine what that must feel like being 250 miles away from solid ground.

America’s first cupolas were first introduced during the post-Revolutionary period. They helped people tell one farm from the next because the cupola stuck up in the air high enough to be seen from a distance.

They have always been an aesthetic addition to any structure, but when you see them on a barn they are mostly utilized for light and ventilation. As mentioned, they allow hot air to escape and let cool air in, which can be a problem in barns, sheds, and sometimes a garage that don’t have much cross ventilation.

How do you know what size cupola is appropriate for a building? This post gives a general guideline:

How to Properly Size a Cupola

Function of a cupola

Wikimedia Commons

The old “rule of thumb” is:
‘For every foot of building width, you should have at least 1.25 inches of cupola’ .
So, measure the width of your building and times that by 1.25.

Example: 24 foot roofline
24 x 1.25 = 30
So your roof would require a 30 inch cupola.

Read the full post here:  How to Properly Size a Cupola

The above post also provides diagrams to help you visualize what size of cupola is needed. You can also talk to an architect or roofing contractor in Denver to find out how to go about adding a cupola to an existing property.


Proper Flat Roof Drain Installation

Posted on: August 4th, 2017 by Lori Smith

There are many types of roofing systems, but flat roofs require a unique set of skills and maintenance. They can essentially have a long life span, but only if they are properly managed.

Most people think a flat roof is just that…flat. Actually, they do have a pitch but it is less than 15 degrees, which still allows water to drain away.

Since you don’t want your flat roof to become a swimming pool, there are three main types of drains that are installed:Maintaining a Flat Roof

  • Gutters – The most common drain system used for all types of houses
  • Inner Drains – Many times located toward the center of the roof, they attach to pipes that drain the water down through the building’s roof.
  • Scuppers – Openings in the outer walls along the roof line that allow water to run through the wall via a metal box surrounding the scupper.

If you have a flat roof, you need to have an inspection a couple times a year. Many suggest having one in the fall and again in the spring. Keeping an eye on certain factors will help deter major repairs, as outlined in this post:

Tips on maintenance to avoid flat roof repair


Splitting can be caused by freeze thawing, stress or pressure, water ponding or simply poor workmanship.

PondingInstalling a Flat Roof Drain

Ponding will show as standing pools of water that do no drain or in dry conditions you will notice a concave area with a water mark surrounding it.


Blistering happens when air is trapped between the layers of felt or the felt substrate.

Find the full post here:  Tips on maintenance to avoid flat roof repair

When using an inner drain on a flat roof, if you don’t install it correctly you might end up with even more problems. Water can pool and debris can collect if the drain sits up even slightly higher than the roof.

The substrate is the underlayment to which the waterproofing membrane is applied. You have to make sure that there is a depression around the drain to promote water flow.

This video shows how you can manage proper drain installation:

Proper flat roof drain installation is an important factor for any commercial or residential structure. Choosing to have a flat roof in an area that gets a lot of torrential downpours isn’t a great plan, but the drainage system will overcome much of the lack of slope.

When you have your roof inspected and it’s time to update your current drain, the cost is always a worry for most folks. You would think that your insurance would help pay for such expenses, as it protects the asset from further damages.

However, the way insurance works doesn’t always make sense, as noted in this post:

Homeowners Insurance – Understanding Water DamageStorm Damage to a Roof

A homeowners policy covers water damage, but with significant exclusions and limitations. Typically a policy will pay for sudden and accidental water damage from inside water sources but will not pay for losses caused by water that finds its way into your home from the outside.

Read the rest of the post here:  Homeowners Insurance – Understanding Water Damage 

So, if you aren’t sure if you can afford the cost of fixing your roof and the drainage system, be sure to check with your insurance company first to see what is covered.


Adding On A Room To Your Home

Posted on: July 15th, 2017 by Lori Smith

When you first purchase a home, you are basing your investment criteria on your current income and your amount of space needed. Maybe you just got married and aren’t sure about kids yet, but you want to stop throwing your money into the wind with rent and instead invest your hard earned money into something substantial.

Adding on a room to your home


Before long, though, your family begins to grow and you need more space. The two questions you have to mull over are whether or not to sell your current property and buy something bigger, or expand your current square footage.

Adding on a room to your home is a great option depending on the potential for increasing your spread, but other concerns would be assuring access to the new room, securing it to the current structure, and including the utilities to connect it all together.

Another question is will an addition bring value to your home? Read more about this factor in the next post:

Questions to Ask Before Adding On | HGTV

Will the addition add value to your home? Even if you have no plans to sell anytime soon, you (or your family) will sell someday—and you might also refinance or take out a home equity line of credit, for which you’ll want the best possible appraisal of your home. So always consider the resale value of your project. It’s not that you’re going to turn a profit on your investment. So you might as well go into the job with realistic expectations about payback.

See the original post here:  Questions to Ask Before Adding On | HGTV

Planning an addition has to start with a budget parameter, and if you live in the Denver area it can be a pricey endeavor. If you don’t consider every aspect of adding on, such as lighting and windows, your project might go over the amount you can afford to spend.

Other aspects such as needing an architectural engineer and a plumber will add up quickly. You also need to have targeted goals to manage the whole process and stay on schedule.

This video is by a home contractor explaining what has to take place as you consider a remodel:

Which is a better direction to expand:  Up or Out? The cost difference is the one factor, but available real estate is another consideration.

When building up, you don’t need to include foundation plans as part of the cost, and that is a pretty big ticket item. However, building out is typically easier and and less likely to necessitate the need to include architectural design to assure stability. Labor costs are generally lower when adding a ground floor addition as well.

This post explains the key concepts to consider:

What Is Cheaper — Adding a Second Story Addition or a Ground Floor Addition? – Budgeting Money

Ground Floor Additions

Bump Out Addition

Wikimedia Commons

If you’ve got the yard space for it, ground floor additions are generally easier. There’s far less disruption of your house than when adding a second story. Depending on the configuration of your house, an addition might be built off an existing doorway, lessening the expense of taking down walls. You might also save on architectural design costs that would be required for building up. If you have to move power lines or work around sewer lines, that can add to the expense.

Building Up

Adding a second story means there’s already a foundation in place. You must make sure the existing foundation and the footings are strong enough to carry a second story. If your building inspector finds the foundation can handle it, this can be a cheaper way to go. If you need to reinforce the walls or foundation, building an addition is likely less expensive. Going up rather than out can save money for heating and cooling ducts, pipes and other necessary materials. Up rather than out tends to be a shorter route for ducts or piping, although it all depends on the home’s construction. However, the more involved work of building up means higher labor costs.

See more here:  What Is Cheaper — Adding a Second Story Addition or a Ground Floor Addition? – Budgeting Money

Another option is adding what is called a bump out addition, which is a combination of both. It is an addition that hangs off the side of the house and requires no foundation and very little roof work. You can save 15 to 30 percent as opposed to a full-blown addition.

Budgeting for an addition is critical, as there are always costs that you might not initially think of. The following graphic from Home Advisor shows the average cost, including the potential low and high end amounts for the United States. If you want to know more about your specific area, you can enter your zip code.