Well done ‘bump-out’ al­ter­na­tive to big reno

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - MIKE HOLMES

IS it worth it? I mean, both prac­ti­cally and fi­nan­cially speak­ing. Do you find your­self squeezed only two or three times a year when the whole fam­ily comes for a hol­i­day meal? Then I’d say the ex­pense and has­sle of a ren­o­va­tion just isn’t worth it. There is no point in in­creas­ing your home’s foot­print for only two or three oc­ca­sions in a year.

Ren­o­va­tions are a lot of work and they cost a lot. And be­lieve me, any frus­tra­tion you may feel over the hol­i­days a few times a year doesn’t jus­tify tak­ing on a ren­o­va­tion.It’s not log­i­cal.

Sure, a ren­o­va­tion is an in­vest­ment. It will — or it can — in­crease the value of your home. But there are no guar­an­tees. In my opin­ion, you need to have the ren­o­va­tion pay­back first, in terms of daily life; it’s not about the re­turn on in­vest­ment.

I’m in the busi­ness of ren­o­va­tions. And I know it doesn’t make sense to do one un­less it im­proves your ev­ery­day qual­ity of life in your home.

Sec­ond: How much more space do you re­ally need? Is it a full ad­di­tion? Or maybe you think you just need to bump out the back of your din­ing room a few feet?

A lot of peo­ple are opt­ing to do a bump-out when they need a few ex­tra feet on their din­ing room or kitchen. Typ­i­cally, it’s less ex­pen­sive, can be done faster and doesn’t re­quire ex­ca­va­tion.

For those rea­sons, it may seem like a great idea. But, as I’ve said be­fore, easy and cheap doesn’t add up to good. There’s a lot that can go wrong.

The most im­por­tant thing about a bump-out is it needs to be sup­ported prop­erly. If it’s not, it will sag. And that can lead to struc­tural dam­age to the rest of your home. It will leak and that will cause rot, mould and wa­ter dam­age.

Ev­ery bump-out must fol­low the gen­eral rule of thumb — Two-to-one min­i­mum can­tilever rule. That is: Two feet of sup­port in for ev­ery one foot out. That means your con­trac­tor has to pull back to the ex­ist­ing fram­ing and tie into it to a depth of at least two to one. The floor pro­jec­tion can be framed ei­ther par­al­lel or per­pen­dic­u­lar, de­pend­ing on where the bump-out is in re­la­tion to your ex­ist­ing fram­ing and floor joists, but it needs to be struc­tured prop­erly to sup­port that ex­tra load.

Don’t un­der­es­ti­mate how much a bump-out can add in load to the ex­ist­ing walls and floor of your home, or the struc­tural dam­age it will cause as it pulls on the ex­it­ing fram­ing. You’ll need to make sure the load is prop­erly en­gi­neered to make sure the loads are sup­ported.

The job will ab­so­lutely need to be per­mit­ted; you are talk­ing about ma­jor struc­tural changes here. Don’t let your­self be fooled that be­cause there’s no ex­ca­va­tion and no foot­ings, you won’t need a per­mit. You do. And trust me: You want that ex­tra re­as­sur­ance a draw­ing, and pos­si­bly an en­gi­neer’s stamp, will pro­vide.

You need to make sure the walls, roof and, es­pe­cially, the floor of the bump-out are prop­erly in­su­lated. The prob­lem with bump-outs is they have no base­ment and cold air can en­ter from be­low the floor. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen these, where the floors are cold be­cause they haven’t been prop­erly done. Make sure it is ther­mally bro­ken 100 per cent — ide­ally, with spray-foam in­su­la­tion on the in­te­rior. You can also do rigid foam and stucco on the ex­te­rior.

In my opin­ion, if you want more space, do an ad­di­tion with foot­ings. The amount you save on your ren­o­va­tion by do­ing a bump-out is usu­ally more than off­set by what you spend over the years in heat loss.

Make sure the bump-out is prop­erly sealed and flashed un­der the ex­te­rior sheath­ing so there is no risk of wa­ter pen­e­tra­tion on the walls, as well. Pull back the brick or sid­ing to flash and seal that con­nec­tion. And of course, the bump-out roof needs to be care­fully flashed where it meets the house.

The un­der­side of the bump-out has to be se­cured against the el­e­ments, and against an­i­mals and in­sects. Make sure it’s sealed and caulked. You need a 12-inch-min­i­mum gap for good air cir­cu­la­tion be­tween the un­der­side of the pro­jec­tion and the top of the soil. Snow can col­lect there. It’s shaded by the over­hang and the sun won’t dry the area out. It’s never a good idea to al­low mois­ture to col­lect along­side your home’s ex­te­rior walls.

And you need to pay at­ten­tion to the grade un­der the bump-out. Build up the soil un­der it and don’t leave a bath­tub for wa­ter to pool and even­tu­ally find its way down to your foun­da­tion.

— Post­media News

Work­ers carry a bay win­dow for in­stal­la­tion.

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