Remodel & Renovate in 94022>Question Details

Nnewbie, Home Buyer in 94022

Can you give me some ball park cost figures?

Asked by Nnewbie, 94022 Tue Aug 14, 2012

Dear experts

Can a water heater and washing machine be moved to the exterior of the house, into a covered patio? This is to free up interior space.

How much does it cost to remove a brick fireplace and chimney and put a window there? We'd have to patch up the roof eave and wall stucco.

How much is it to put a window where there was none?

24" sun tunnel?

Which of the above need permits or architect/engineer work?

Thank you very much.

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Juliana Lee’s answer
Moving a water heater to the exterior of the house would most often be okay. You would need to build a small "closet" to house it, with a door opening outside of the house and a chimney extending above the roof overhang. You will probably have to add/move a gas line or add an electrical socket. Earthquake straps need to be installed per code. You should get a permit.

Putting a washing machine outside should really be a last resort. If you go that way make sure you have an outdoor GFI power socket to use. Electrical work should have a permit. Consider if there is anywhere you could add a bump-out closet with a door opening into the house for your washer/dryer. Bump outs for fireplaces or bay windows can often extend into side yard setbacks. Check with your building/planning department.

A sun tunnel is fairly minor work. Be certain all flashing on the roof is water tight and meets code. A leak would cause almost endless headaches.

The labor cost for installing a window is very roughly equal to the cost of a high quality window of the desired size. So the total cost is very roughly twice the cost of a high quality window.

Depending on how old your brick fireplace is it could be more of a structural hazard than providing any support. It is very unlikely the city would require an engineer or architect. If your chimney is completely external to your house, the demolition cost shouldn't be very high but there will probably be over a ton of broken bricks to haul away.

Always ask yourself would you buy a house which had the the changes you are planning, done the way you are planning to do them? If the answer is probably not, then you will probably pay twice, once to do the changes, then a second time to do it right when you sell your house.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 15, 2012
What did you decide to do?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 15, 2012
N. Newbie,

Call me. We can discuss rough estimates that I'd rather not put in writing for liability reasons... and I can refer you to some contractors that if you are still interested after I give you a "ballpark" sense of feasibility and cost.


0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 14, 2012
I would recommend interviewing at least 3 contractors in your area. Tell them what you expect, and tell them you will be interviewing a few others. You can also check with the BBB and the contractor's board.

Good luck with your projects!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 14, 2012
You may be better off getting estimates from local contractors.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 14, 2012
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