I would recommend keeping at least one bathtub in the house, preferably the master. Personally, I would purchase a home without any bathtubs, but that is because I currently do not have children. If I had children, I would absolutely choose another home with at least one bathtub over one without.... more
Hi Oh You -
I'm very familiar with Windsor Park and if you have the somewhat typical carport adjacent to the home to the far left or right, you can do a nice conversion. Other opinions about losing parking are valid though - so if you can replace the covered parking spot by extending toward the curb then you'll soothe any future buyers concern about parking. And yes, pulling a permit in such a popular neighborhood is a must. Here's a link to the City of Austin Development Center - be ready to be patient!! (Sometimes it's as cost-effective, and a very definite value-builder to do a simple addition on the back of the home rather than enclose parking...
Good luck!... more
Be SURE to look at your survey and ascertain if a carport is a permitted project, AND if you are in the City of Austin, you WILL have to get a permit. The contractors who have answered should be able to help you, but the permitting process might take a week or so.... more
you can put in an application for a demolition permit, it requires your notarized signature and a tax certificate showing the taxes have been paid, the tax cert costs $10 and it should take the City anywhere from 5-30 days to decide if they will let you tear it down.... more
UTHorn, good advice so far. As far as the granite, there are companies who will resurface the tops of counters, showers, etc. and I also just saw an ad on tv recently for a new do-it-yourself countertop re-surfacing kit. I believe they said it was available at Home Depot. Note that these companies/products put a coating or new surface over the existing surface, or granite in your case, and totally cover it up. That may be your intent color wise but you'll lose the Granite's surface. Hope that helps a bit. (Sorry, I didn't catch the name of the re-surface kit but I'm sure it can be found). Joe Jarusinsky, REALTOR/Master Instructor, Keller Williams Realty, Austin's #1 Real Estate Co.... more
The quickest and most accurate way, if the property is in Austin, would be to call or go by the planning and zoning office at 505 Barton Springs Road, off of S. 1st St. and Barton Springs and ask for a planner. They can pull up overlays on their computer that will tell you exactly what impervious coverage is allowed on your particular lot and can tell you if there are any specific restrictions within your neighborhood plan, Call 974-2000 and ask for Residential Building or Development Assistance and then ask for a planner.... more
If your planning on selling your home, your best bet is to obtain two sets of bids from multiple contractors 1) to Repair the Existing Pool and return it to good working condition and 2) to professionally remove/fill in the pool. I would not advise you to convert the pool into a pond, as the pond will be a "turn off" for a large percentage of Buyers. There are specific buyers at all price points that want a pool, and conversely, those that will not consider a house with a pool. If the goal is to sale your home, I would simply go with the cheaper of the two alternatives above and move on.
If I can be of any assistance please feel free to give me a call -
Keller Williams Realty
Cell# 512-762-3268... more
Dear Clayton AngiesList.com is a great place to find contractors. If you need a carpenter I love Noah's Ark Construction (512)569-2557. Claude LeGace (512) 585-7129 is the best and least expensive plumber I have found in Austin. I wish you luck on your project!
Drummer-I agree that the first thing to do is clearly understand the market. What has sold, price range, how long it took. Look at last 90 days, max, 6 months back. Compare your house to those. Choose the ones that are the best comparables. Then get the stats for the current listings.
When you have that info, you will be ready to determine what renovations you will do. 2-3 bids from recommended people who will provide references. My off the cuff response is that street appeal is important, so spiff up the plants. Fresh, neutral paint is inexpensive and always positive. At that point, I sometimes provide the consulting, other times I hire a stager to come in and assess the property. Sometimes that will help you show the house to its best advantage. A consultation, fee for the assessment, is about $75.
If you would like my help, with getting statistics for your area, providing names of qualified builders, and/or a good staging consultant, please let me know. Good that you are taking your time before jumping in.... more
Hello Crestview Resident;
The cost of building an addition, including simply enclosing a garage, in Austin is between $70 to $120 per Square Foot. This all depends on the contractor you hire, the finish out options, and other items such as electrical.
The cost to install a bathroom can be upwards to $12,000 for a simple bathroom. Depending on the size of the bathroom and finish out for a very simple bath space, it would be between $5,000 to $8,000.
Most homes in the Crestview area have concrete foundations, and could be a Post-Tensioned Concrete Foundation. There is additional cost for cutting into the concrete to reach and connect with the existing plumbing.
Since a good portion of the homes in Crestview have enclosed garages, then you wouldn't loose value and would be able to compete when you decide to sell your home. However, Crestview is an area experiencing some growth due to its ease of access, so it might be worthwhile to keep the single garage (as garage spaces are desired by most buyers) and invest the money into an addition. It may be more cost affective to add an addition to your attic area or off the back of the house, especially if you want an edge when you ever decide to sell the house.
A good contractor or Architect can assist you in determining the best approach. I encourage you to make sure you hire a good contractor.
I hope this information has helped.
Shannon T. Schmitz,
Representing Distinctive Properties
The building codes, requirements, et al, have a tendency to become confusing the way they cross reference each other, are modified, etc., etc. My attempt below was a simplified version to explain that the City of Austin is actually being generous in their requirements. I hope you do not take this as argumentative but here is a more detailed description without placing all of the detail here.
Yes, it is not expected that as a result of removing the fixture, switch and receptacle that the remainder of the K&T will be affected. This is one of the grey areas I mentioned previously. A change was made to the electrical system requiring the work to be permitted. The local AHJ has the authority at that point to require the entire electrical system be upgraded regardless.
The City of Austin has adopted most of the new building codes. You can find a complete list and links to their codes and amendments here http://www.ci.austin.tx.us/development/bpinfo1.htm. Austin has amended the 2006 IRC and deleted Part VIII, Electrical, and has replaced it with the ICC Electrical Code. Use the link below to the free version of the ICC EC (called the Electrical Administrative Provisions at the link location) and read Chapter 9, Unsafe Systems And Equipment. As I stated below K&T was more than adequate for the electrical usage requirements for the era it was originally started to be used. K&T today is potentially inadequate, degraded and could be considered unsafe for today’s electrical requirements.
The Building Official has no idea how you plan to use the current electrical system. There are many potential hazards that can exist with the current K&T wiring and potential cross connects between the K&T and the new wiring. The City (any city) does not necessarily know how every older home is built until they receive permit requests and perform ensuing inspections as a result of the permits. In your case they now know your home has the older K&T wiring. Let’s take a scenario which can potentially be disastrous with regards to K&T wiring:
1. Everyone in the family starts coming home after work, school, etc.
2. Mom heads to her little office area and fires up the computer to do a little extra work from home.
3. The son fires up his electric guitar and cranks up his 1000 Watt amplifier.
4. The daughter fires up her gazillion Watt stereo system to listen to her favorite Jonas Brothers CD.
5. Dad fires up the electric oven and cooktop to start dinner and then throws in a load of laundry (This part is for the benefit of the ladies out their reading this, chuckle).
6. The whole time a bad connection in the K&T is heating up, the system is potentially already overloaded and the smoke alarms start going off. Fifteen minutes later the house is engulfed in flames and fire department is now doing protective services to the nearby homes as this house burns to the ground. Luckily nobody is hurt but the home and contents are a total loss.
7. In the following weeks Dad gets so pi$$ed off he hires a lawyer and tries to sue the city for passing his new electrical change but not being forced by the city to rewire a potential hazardous wiring condition, the K&T, or even being notified it could be a potential hazard.
Ergo the requirement the City of Austin is placing for you to sign this waiver. The City of Austin is doing everything it can to make sure you are aware of the potential hazard without forcing you to take large sums of money to completely rewire the home. They are giving you a choice to either sign the waiver or not have the permit finalized with a passing inspection. Again I feel it is a fully reasonable request and a surprise they are not making more of it. The City is trying to strike a balance between safety and situations such as yours where the money is just not there to do everything at once.
This is not meant to be an attack and believe me I am big on non-government intervention in private lives. What I have a difficult time understanding though is why you feel this way about having to sign the waiver? Is your Electrician balking about signing the waiver?
Emmanuel J. Scanlan
PS Inspection & Property Services LLC
TREC License # 7593
International Code Council, Residential Combination Inspector #5247015-R5 (Electrical, Mechanical, Plumbing and Building)
Certified Infrared Thermographer (ASNT-TC1A Standards)
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Third Party Warranty Inspector #1593
Texas Residential Construction Commission, Inspector, County Inspection Program
Texas Department Of Insurance, VIP Inspector # 08507061016
Hayman Residential Engineering Services, Field Technician
CMC Energy - Certified Energy Auditor
Knowledge is power, but sharing knowledge brings peace!!... more
If you are using a General Contractor to oversee the construction process, they should be the ones working with the city to obtain your permits. I would discuss the entire process with them before you start the process. I would also make sure your payments are split up for example 1/3 down before starting, 1/3 at the halfway mark, and 1/3 at job conclusion. I would also make sure your contract with them has a completion date, AND I would have a financial penalty for every day they go over the finish date. This will encourage them to make a real effort to finish on time. Always do a walk through at the end with the general contractor and compile a punch-list of items that need to be corrected before the job is done, to make sure you are satisfied with the work. Good luck!