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Turning pergola into a room - possible??

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  1. #1
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    Default Turning pergola into a room - possible??

    Hi All,
    Just bought a house, it's a brick veneer with a large pergola (concreted) between the house and the garage. The house has 5 bedrooms, but very limited living space.
    So, I thought and I thought and decided to make pergola into a living space, ie move kitchen and meals there thus creating more living space. I also plan to turn 2 bedrooms at the back into a living area, and move one bedroom to the front of the house - I need 4 bedrooms.

    Doable?

    The questions are:
    1) Can the new area be built in the way that house's wall and garage wall be part of the structure? Or is it not physically possible?<O</O
    2) Can roof's line be changed so it extends from the house onto the garage?<O</O
    3) Using archicenter's cost guide, would it not be cheaper because there is practically no brick work involved (back of the room I plan to have as glass and bifolds, ie no brick at the back)?
    4) Is it like 100K+ job ? or is it more affordable?

    <O
    Thank you. Really appreciate your comments/ideas.
    On the plan with a green line I designated new wall, red - removal of the existing.
    First image - I am looking through the window (this wall will be removed), 2nd - looking from the back, and 3rd - showing how the area is conreted.<O
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails plan-v2.jpg   front.jpg   back.jpg   floor.jpg  

  2. #2
    Golden Member GraemeCook's Avatar
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    Hi Leo

    Your fascinating request has sat unanswered for a week basically because it is so hard to give a definitive answer without seeing the actual site. There are a number of factors that must be considered including

    • Council building code - will they allow such an extension to your property?
    • Engineering issues - are the existing walls & footings strong enough to support the extensions.
    • Livability issues - having a brick garage blocking the northern sun in a Melbourne winter seems suboptimal.
    • Aesthetic issues - will the extension look like part of the house or a sore thumb?
    • Valuation issues - what will be the value of the property before and after the extensions? What will be the cost of the extensions?

    An architect is trained to consider these issues and they can visualise the world in which we live much better than most lay people. He/she may come up with workable ideas that you have never considered.

    I urge you to consult an architect early in your thinking process and then give him broad targets and a budget. Most councils now insist on professionally drawn plans for extensions, engineering reports, etc, so if you try to do it yourself you will not save much. Good design costs just as much to build as poor design, often less.

    Cheers

    Graeme

  3. #3
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    Dear Graeme,
    Thank you for the reply.

    An architect? This will add another 10-15% (that's how much they normally charge, right?) to the cost of my project, I thought I could avoid this.

    Re: North sun - I have the garage there already, and on the neighboring block, there is a 2 storey any way. So, I thought a few sky lights should do the trick.

    On the other hand, these 10-15% could be money well spend. You have almost convinced me. I am off to convince my boss now.

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    Fishn' Chippie
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    As Graeme mentioned, the lack of reply's is no doubt due to the fact that your questions are far beyond the scope of an internet forum, Questions about changing roof lines etc are a little hard to answer with no pics of the roof in question .

    The only advice i could offer would be to ring a lot of builders specialising in structural renovations and try to get quotes, i'd say most wont want to quote it for free as it is such a big undertaking, however some, if you accept there quote will deduct the fee from the price. Good builders will take care of all permits etc on your behalf but thats half the problem, finding a good honest builder who does things by the book and a quality job. The cheapest quote is not always the best option.

    By the look of it, its a big job and will come with a big pricetag. Good Luck.

  5. #5
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    Perhaps Google pic of the roof makes things clearer? The area in the middle between the house and the garage is my new proposed area.

    Now that I am looking at it - yeah, can the roof be extended to cover the area??? Everything need to be changed?

    Now I am scared. Thanks guys!

    The house was extended to the back in the past - but it was a simpler extension.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails roof.jpg  

  6. #6
    Golden Member GraemeCook's Avatar
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    Hi Leo

    That photo says a lot.

    Roof extensions that follow an existing ridge line (like the existing extension) are relatively inexpensive to do. Those that need anew roof line to butt onto an existing roof are far more complicated and expensive.

    My initial reaction is that for the amount of space to be gained the cost will be hard to justify.

    Another option might be to extend the house through both the pergola and garage, and then build a new garage/workshop against the street. It will come down to cost and effect on the value of the property. If you have the cheapest house in the street a well designed & built extension might increase the value substantially. If you have the dearest house in the street it might not increase the value at all.

    I am not quite as optimistic as JohnO as I cannot imagine any builder giving a meaningful quote without a good set of plans and specifications. Remember builders build, architects design...... The cost of professional fees can quickly be exceeded by basic mistakes and average or poor design.

    Cheers

    Graeme

  7. #7
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    Anything is possible? Wether its worth it is another thing?

    As the others have said its best to get a draftsman, architect or even a builder to check it out. call a couple of those home extension mobs to come and give a quote, they do this all the time and will at least give you a price.

    Ive quickly added some lines that may help with a roof line, the thin lines being valleys and the thick lines being the ridge. Like I said anything is possible.

    The house is old and will no doubt have a convential roof so you may need to run beams where you propose to remove walls.

    I'd also bet that the concrete where the pergola is would have to be removed a proper slab poured.

    There are alot of factors to take into consideration.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails roof.jpg  

  8. #8
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    Thanks guys for all the info!

    Just a thought. The new roof - does it have to be a pitch roof? Can it be just a what's the name - flat, skillion one? It won't be visible from the street, so visually it doesn't have to match the house or be beautiful.

    I drew a plan - a 5-10 degree roof for the water to run down, ...or should I stop smoke what I am smoking now?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails plan-roof.jpg  

  9. #9
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    If you have enough room you could have a skillion roof, this product may be an option.

    http://www.solarspan.com.au/solarspan/home.htm

    Is your house on a slab or stumps?

    Is there a step from the house to the concrete?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan574 View Post
    If you have enough room you could have a skillion roof, this product may be an option.

    http://www.solarspan.com.au/solarspan/home.htm

    Is your house on a slab or stumps?

    Is there a step from the house to the concrete?
    The house is on stumps.

    And yes, there is one step from the house to the concrete. The concrete level tself is the second 'step'.


    Re: solarspan. Cool stuff, looks great. Is there a Victorian office? Or something similar? Have you seen it in real life? It is still a patio, not a romm, right? Even the fully enclosed one.

  11. #11
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    You may be able to use bearers and joists for the floor instead of the old concrete depending on how much clearance you have, the more I read this post the more I think that it shouldnt be too hard, but I could be wrong

    If your happy to use a skillion roof and have it look different from the rest of the house then go for it. You will still need some plans drawn etc, especially if you plan to remove walls but its doable.

    How big is the area your talking about anyway, it doesnt look that big.

    Ive only seen that solar span stuff on the shows like bakeyard blitz etc, it looks good and versitile. Im not sure if it could be used in your situation.

    As a few others have said there are still lots of things that cannot be answered on this site, thats why a professional is a must.

  12. #12
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    The area is appr 4 m wide and 10m long. But of course I can make it a bit longer/shorter.

    In total - 40m2. But having done this, I am getting access to the proposed living area (where there are 2 bedrooms at the moment). Thus I am combining the newly created 40m2 together with the new living area (ie. ex 2 bedrooms, another 30 m2) which gives me around 70 m2 additional living space.

    Without making the pergola into a room, I cannot do anything else in the house - the bedrooms will have to stay as they are - in the line, and plenty of space wasted on the corridors to get to them.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan574 View Post
    Ive quickly added some lines that may help with a roof line, the thin lines being valleys and the thick lines being the ridge.
    Dan,
    on your proposed picture of the roof - the left part of it - will it drain into the existing gutters or something needs to be done there? How two roof can come to one gutter? What if it overflows?

  14. #14
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    Leo, it was just an idea of something that may work or it may not, this is the reason you will need to engage a pro


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