Well done ‘bump-out’ alternative to big reno
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.