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Added Sep 09 2015

I'm currently looking into remodeling my second floor by adding dormers to my second story (house is a Chicago Cape Cod). I was wondering if anyone from the neighborhood has any experience with a renovation like this and would be willing to share any contractors that they have dealt with or advice on the renovation and the process involved. It would be a full renovation with electrical, plumbing and HVAC all included for it. Thanks!

  • D-Maz N. Mayfair Resident since 2005

    Currently adding on to our Bungalow, it'll be more expensive than you think :) and take a lot longer too (about a month for drawings, 2+ months for permitting, then the build will take longer too depending on weather and inspection times) We're using Leader Builders and have had a great experience with them so far. We did a ton of research and interviewed and visited some of their other projects before landing on them. If your like me you'll probably need to find some construction loans, we found that the cheapest and easiest way to get this project started was working with First American Bank, across from the old K-Mart on Elston. They had more options than a lot of the other lenders we looked at. It's all been worth it so far! I can wait to move upstairs! AND I hope you like dust (although it has been much better than expected), and moving stuff around a lot! :) Coming home from work every day to see the progress is awesome too!

  • Mike Michaels

    That is some great information D-Maz! Thank you :)
    How did they charge you for the job? Was it by sq footage, linear footage, type of room, etc? If you are comfortable anonymously posting, How much expsnsion did you add And how much did it cost?

  • D-Maz N. Mayfair Resident since 2005

    Room types (bathrooms and kitchens are more expensive) and Sqft are the most important, then there are the parts that you get to pick that can add up quickly. Do you want fancy tile? Do you like expensive fixtures? Hardwood or carpet? Breaking down the proposals I would say that you're probably looking at a minimum $140-200+ per sqft depending on rooms and such. When I had first started planning I was hoping for closer to $100, but Like I said be ready for it to be more expensive than you think. Hope that helped. They all break it out differently so that it's not easy to compare pricing, you'll also need to factor in financing/permitting and such too into the equation. Keep a little extra aside for the surprises that are bound to pop up just in case.

  • Mike Michaels

    Thank you, that was helpful. I was thinking just to build out a dormer and make it a bathroom later on. So I would be interested in just the build out part. I'm guessing that would be closer to $100.00 per foot?

  • D-Max, For your build out on your house, how will you be heating and cooling it the new space?

  • Mike Michaels

    It would be expanding a small bathroom that already has plumbing and forced air. All I need is to cut out the roof and add walls and a window. I'm thinking when I'm ready to remodel the space, they can tear out the floor and existing walls to expand those components. Or is there more to it than that I should be considering?

  • D-Maz N. Mayfair Resident since 2005

    That's all stuff to ask the builders because those are going to be the variables.

  • Dormers aren't cheap, you should talk to a good architect and see about what your options are. You might be better off expanding more than you think. Also think about what the finished product will look like from the street. We did a gut rehab plus a two story addition. We did it so that we maintained the roof line and from the street it looks like there is a dormer far back on the house. Neighbors did a similar thing and kept the pitch of the roof the same but changed the height of the addition to gain more space, theirs looks like a box was slapped on the back of the house.

  • Who ever you use do not hire Georgia and Co they are con artists

  • Jack Turzynski, ProJack Carpentry, 1 (847) 927-1708. He did the carpentry on my addition(1 story master with bath). Good guy, very efficient.

  • MB

    We are just in the beginning phases of the project as well. We are starting with an architect and have found that we are not zoned to build up as much as we thought we could, which is disappointing. I would definitely suggest starting with an architect or a design build firm to get a set of plans. From there, you get bids for the work and better understand how much it will cost. My husband is a contractor and he won't even tell me a price until we get the plans. D-Maz, thank you for the bank advice. We were looking to finance this project with a home equity line of credit but will definitely take a look at other options.

  • Botkin Kinch: the knife-blade

    The Chicago Historic Bungalow Assoc is having two upcoming seminars on attic expansions:

    "Julie Liska, of Liska Architects will review how to best use that unfinished attic space in your bungalow or vintage home to maximize your living and storage space potential. Her presentation will include related building codes, structural and heating/cooling issues for new second floor spaces as well as considerations for bungalow aesthetics when altering the roof line of your home.

    Monday, September 14
    Austin Irving Library
    6100 W Irving Park Rd, 60634

    Monday, September 21
    Avalon Library
    8148 S Stony Island Ave, 60617"

  • Air Room. Lots of nice projects in the area.

  • robin in WRP I support a 28th Amendment 4Free & Fair Elections!

    My sister used airroom for a major remodel; they did a great job, but she was upcharged out the wazoo!

  • Check with Comed to see if they offer any rebates that you could use.

  • pattymelt is mostly in charge

    If you want to attend the Chicago Bungalow seminar then I advise you register as space is limited and they can fill up:

  • BoilerGuy1 Boiler Guy and Neighborhood FF

    I have been having difficulty with some of the larger full-service builders because I am able to do the mechanicals myself and I'm just looking for a build-out. I'm in the process of meeting with architects now, I'll let you know what my experience has been. I have a cape cod too that I'm looking at options on rear addition and Nantucket-style dormer expansion.

  • Boilerguy, just wondering what architect did you go with and how did it go?

  • Mike Michaels

    Yes, please let us know about your project and how it is going...

  • Dave Jeff PK...hope you've been driving around for examples of Cape Cods with second floor additions. There are some in the area. And I'll bet plenty of owners will be happy to let you take a look for good and bad ideas. They are a perfect candidate for a second floor IMO because the addition can be done without ruining the street elevation's scale. I am not aware of any of them being recent additions, so you might not be finding many owners who actually did the construction.

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