Full Episodes of Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford

Family Home Addition Project

By: Danny Lipford

This growing family is in need of some additional space, so we’re adding a master bedroom and bath, along with walk-in closets and a laundry room, to give them room to expand. Watch this video to see the addition take shape from start to finish.

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Danny Lipford: This is the home of a growing young family and we’re about to expand the house to meet their needs.

Announcer: Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford, the voice of home improvement with projects, tips, and ideas to help you improve your home.

Danny Lipford: The story that homeowners Chris and Molly Broder shared with me is one that I’ve heard from a lot of others where a family’s lived in a home for awhile and over the years they’ve made a list of things that they would like to do to the house to make it perfect for their family. Now, their list includes a larger master bedroom, a very nice expanded master bathroom, and laundry that is just so small they want to expand. That’s not uncommon for a home this old, and who doesn’t need more closet space? Well here’s how we’re going to accomplish everything they have on their list.

First of all we’re going in this part of the house and restructuring all of the interior walls that obviously was an addition at some time. Then we’re going to expand into this space with another addition for all of the space that they need for the different ideas that they have. But we have a few challenges.

First of all we have several different floor levels. We have a lot bricks, concrete, and asphalt that has to go; and we got to figure out what to do with this old wood shed. Now, the time table on this project has moved up a little quicker, because the Broders are expecting a new addition to their family. So we have a deadline, or should I say a due date, that we have to make on this project; but we’ll make it.

Danny Lipford: As I mentioned earlier we’re trying to accomplish a lot with this renovation, and the addition we’re planning on building. But this project actually started several months ago when the homeowners, the Broders, met with an architectural designer to come up with the right plan. Now, what they wanted to accomplish is not only to create all of the space they needed, but to also keep a modest budget in mind. And looking at the plans, I think they accomplished that.

In the home’s existing plan, there’s already a fair amount of space in this area; but it’s pretty broken up and poorly utilized. The spare room, bathroom, and hodge podge of utility rooms take up space but accomplish very little. The new plan calls for adding about 11 feet over the 25-foot length of this wing, as well as extending the roof line out over part of a new elevated patio. The addition will make room for a new eating area, a comfortably sized master bathroom, and a great new master bedroom. The existing space will be reallocated to walk-in closets for the master bedroom. A generously sized laundry room and a storage room adjacent to the existing family room.

The new plan also calls for the removal of the wall between this family room and the kitchen to combine these rooms into one large area. On the outside we’ll have to reduce the size of the second-story window and get rid of a lot of bricks and concrete, so that’s where the work really starts. After the guys spend several hours busting up the various levels of brick blocking and concrete, they get a little reinforcement for the demolition of the storage building. We determined that the shed was just in too bad of shape to justify the expense of trying to move it, so Charlie attacks it with the backhoe, and the little building crumbles like a pile of matchsticks. The backhoe not only speeds up the demo, but it also makes getting the debris out of the area go much more quickly.

Now, soon the block masons are building the foundation wall that’ll form the perimeter of the addition and the new raised patio. Now, people often wonder why we just don’t pour this kind of foundation completely full of concrete. Well, first that much concrete simply isn’t necessary for this kind of construction, and second it would be extremely expensive. This dense red clay is much cheaper than concrete, and it’s incredibly stable when you pack it down tightly like these guys are doing here.

Now, meanwhile the plumbers begin tapping into the sewer lines, so they can route new pipes for the master bath into the foundation before the concrete starts going into the forms. To get it there, it’s dumped into a pumper truck on the street and forced through a long hose going to the backyard. The new concrete is being poured flush with the slab of the existing house, which means there are three different levels. Two for the addition itself and a third for the new raised patio.

As soon as the concrete dries, the crew goes to work laying out and framing the addition. The bluish-green wood that is attached directly to the concrete is the bottom plate, and it’s treated to act as a barrier to ease termite damage and to prevent moisture damage that can happen when wood comes in contact with concrete.

When the new walls in the addition are done, the guys move to the inside to frame the changes to the existing part of the house before all the overhead work starts. That means ceiling joists for the addition and finally rafters for the roof, which really tie the old and the new spaces together.

By building a new ridge for this back wing of the house, which is higher than the old one and centered on the combined areas, we’re creating a nice clean roof line to the addition. And in almost no time at all, it’s all decked and shingled so that the inside area is now dry, and the guys can focus on outside details, like tying in the siding to the existing house and putting up fascia and soffit for the addition.

This addition is moving so fast that the guys have already completed all of the framing and the shingles before the windows have even made it out to the job site. But when they arrive there will be two windows here, there will be a transom window here into the master bathroom and for the master bedroom. We’ll have two additional windows right in this area. Now, we’ve already framed all of the window openings, so when the windows arrive, it will be as simple as cutting out the plywood sheathing and putting them right in place. But by doing it this way, and installing all of the sheathing, we were able to really continue with the progress on the job without having to wait for the windows.

Also, with all of the framing done, you can get an idea with what the rooms will look like inside. When you enter into this new doorway off the porch, a nice little eating area there, next to that on the lower level is the master bathroom that leads right into the master bedroom. Couple of closets there, then a short hallway leads you back into the existing house. And right off of that, another hallway that takes you to the entryway on the driveway side. And right off that hallway, the laundry room that the homeowners are really looking forward to.

So we’re ready for electricians, plumbers, and heating and cooling contractor and that’s next. While those guys take over the job site and start running wires and pipes and duct work everywhere, let’s take a break from this project and check in with Joe for this week’s Simple Solution.

Announcer: It’s time for this week’s Simple Solution from home repair expert Joe Truini.

Joe Truini: Sooner or later most exterior door locks become sticky and difficult to operate. Now your first instinct may be to take some spray lube or  three-and-one oil, and put it inside the lock. And although that might give you immediate results, over time it will only worsen the problem, because the oil will attract dirt and dust.

Now, the solution is to use a powder graphite, which comes in a little squeeze tube like this. As you can see it’s just a really fine powder, and you can get this at any hardware store or home center. What you want to do is put the nozzle right in the lock, and just give it a couple of squeezes. And then take the key and work it in and out of the lock and then turn it.

What that will do is it will distribute the powder throughout the lock, and make it really smooth and easy to operate. Now, the advantage to using a powder graphite, as opposed to an oil, is you can apply it as many times as you want without fear of gumming up the lock.

Danny Lipford: Things really start looking a lot different once the drywall is in place. Now, this is the little eating area that I showed you earlier that had just stud walls in place. But now that the drywall has been hung and all of the walls have been taken down between the old and the new, you can really start making sense at how everything is going to lay out, and you can realize what a great family space this will be. The family will be able to eat here, and then all of the cooking taking place in the kitchen that’s right behind this plastic dust curtain. All of that will be opened up into the existing den area that has a nice little fireplace in the corner.

And later on the homeowners will be placing a television in that corner, a few games, kids will have a lot of fun here as well. Now this is the kind of space that a lot of families are wanting these days: An area that will incorporate the eating, the cooking, and little family time all together. Now in this very space we spoke with the homeowners, the Broders,  just a few weeks ago after the project had already started to see what motivated them to take on a project like this.

Molly Broder: When we found out we were pregnant, we really decided that we needed another bedroom. And right now our house is configured, we have three bedrooms upstairs, and we feel like we’re kind of on top of each other. We’re kind of constantly tiptoeing around not to wake her up in the morning, and so we really decided we also wanted a bedroom downstairs.

Well we really initially began looking for houses, but we love this neighborhood. And we looked and we looked and we looked and we looked, and we made an offer on another house in a different neighborhood, and it didn’t work out. And so after the house fell through, we kind of decided that this was the way to go. And we love our neighbors, we love our neighborhood, we love the sidewalks, we love the public schools that are nearby; so we decided that we wanted to stay here.

Chris Broder: So far it’s been pretty easy for me at least, but Molly’s been able to do most of the selections so far. And it’s been fairly painless so far, but we’ve yet to make the real big transitions and get squeezed in the other half of the house.

Danny Lipford: Well, we’ve reached that point where Molly and Chris are squeezed into the existing part of the house, which really puts the pressure on us to get this project completed. Let me show you some of the other progress we’ve made.

Now, this is the old laundry room, fairly small, this will be converted into an interior storage area. Everybody can use a little more storage, but this will be the new laundry room – a lot larger, a lot of room for storage, and a very convenient door leading to the driveway.

Now, let me show you the new master bedroom that Molly was really interested in having on this ground floor. And you can see it’s fairly good sized, a lot of natural light. And when we looked at it before, when it was just stud walls, we have plywood over the window openings. But now the plywood’s gone, the new windows are in, plenty of natural light in the bedroom, and really not a bad look out back in the wooded area of their yard.

We also have two separate walk in closets on this end of the bedroom, that always helps to keep the harmony in a marriage. And, of course, a nice master bathroom that we’re establishing on this end of the master bedroom with a nice whirlpool tub, shower, two different vanities, and a separate area for the toilet. Now, there’s just been a flurry of activity around this job both inside and out.

On the outside most of that activity has revolved around laying the bricks that cover the addition. If you remember the house before we started, the ground floor had painted brick walls. That makes matching them much easier, because all we have to worry about is the size and texture of the bricks, since the new ones will also be covered with paint. That’s good because matching the color of bricks that are more that 15 to 20 years old is a pretty big challenge, to say nothing of getting the mortar the same color.

The tie in to the existing brick wall really seems to be blending in well. And once we get a little primer and paint on these walls, the line between the old and the new should completely disappear.

Danny Lipford: Staining your deck is an important job. But it can also  be very time consuming, because not only do you have to stain the deck boards, you also have to get into all the cracks and crevices between them. Now, this is a cool solution for that problem. It’s called the DeckMate and as the name implies, it’s designed specifically for staining decks. The stain reservoir puts the stain right on the applicator so you don’t have to run back and forth to the can of stain. The brush and the pad together will not only coat the surface of the deck but also fill in all of the cracks at the same time, which really speeds things up.

You can use this applicator for everything from thin sealers to thicker stains, because it has a flow control adjustment. And the aluminum pole means you don’t have to work on your hands and knees all day long. You just pour the stain in the container, twist the control knob, and the stain goes directly onto the pad to coat the deck.

Now, you can find DeckMate by itself for around $20, or in a combo kit like this one for $50 to $70.

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Danny Lipford: We’re in the final stages on this renovation. Our electricians are busy hanging all of the ceiling fans and all the other fixtures throughout the house. And now that we’ve got this plastic curtain removed, we can really see how open this is going to be, particularly since the overhead cabinets have been removed. This is one of the things that you know you see a lot in older style kitchens. When you have those cabinets hanging down, and it really kind of blocks the view and creates a barrier between the kitchen and the rest of the living space, so just taking those down made a giant difference.

Also, our painter is real busy painting all of the walls; our trim,  including the walls behind the existing stained cabinets in the den. That really made a difference there, and once those cabinets are all nice and clean that should look great.

You know I love the kind of colors that homeowners are picking out these days – kind of a warm, kind of a harvest type colors – and then when you have the contrast of the white trim, boy, it goes together great. And it’s also going to look good when the flooring contractor installs all the hardwood floor that ties all of this together. Of course he has a little bit of work to do here in patching together the old and the new slabs – not uncommon. Not really a hard job, but really a necessity to make sure that everything flows together, and that’s the next thing that will be happening on this job.

Floor patch is kind of like spackling for concrete. The difference is you spread it out over the low spots, gaps and cracks, and level it out with a trowel or screed while it’s wet, instead of sanding it after it’s dry.

There’s also lots of activity elsewhere in the addition, as the ceramic floors start going in. The plumbers are wrapping up their work by trimming out all of the fixtures. The electricians are finishing up their final installations. And back in the kitchen, a new piece of cabinetry arrives to replace some of the storage that was lost by removing the cabinets above the peninsula.

The floor patch is finally dry, and we have a nice smooth solid surface for the new floor to go down over. The wood flooring Chris and Molly picked out for this area is the medium-tone prefinished oak plank. Besides the way it will look, the floor is a great choice for several other reasons. First, because it’s prefinished, we don’t have to stain or seal the wood after installation, so we can get the house ready for the Broders and their new baby much sooner. Second ,that factory finish will stand up much better to the wear and tear of the kitchen. And finally, if you factor in the labor and materials there’s sanding, staining, and sealing a regular wood floor, this prefinished floor is actually less expensive.

The installation of the hardwood floor was quite a milestone on this project, because it enabled the homeowner, the Broders, to move in to the remodeled areas and really start enjoying it. And now think about it, they endured three months of hardcore remodeling. Let’s see how Molly’s doing with the whole process.

Danny Lipford: Molly, you’ve made it through three months, you added this addition to the family – Hampton. So how’s everything going?

Molly Broder: Everything’s going pretty well. We’re really excited to finally kind of be closing down on the project and moved in to our new spaces, and we feel like we’re kings living in our back bedroom.

Danny Lipford: Well, this is a great, how this all opens up. And, of course, this is the existing den. But it goes real well with opening things up, a real nice family space.

Molly Broder: It’s been very nice. And this is probably my favorite part of the new addition. And the absence of the wall cabinet that used to be there has really allowed us to kind of enjoy this space.

Danny Lipford: Well, how’s the little Hampton handling everything? Looks like he’s eating pretty well.

Molly Broder: He’s doing pretty well, and he came in, in the middle of this project. I think if we had to do again, I don’t know if I would do a renovation and a new baby but…

Danny Lipford: That’s taking on a lot, and a lot of changes and thing that you’re having to deal with because you had to make a lot of decisions, as everybody does if they’re doing any kind of remodeling project. That’s kind of the hard part of it isn’t it?

Molly Broder: Right, right, absolutely. But it wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be and had a lot of good people to kind of help guide me. And you all sent me to some good places, and so that made it a lot easier than I thought it would be.

Danny Lipford: Well, I’m certainly glad to see you’re still smiling now.

Molly Broder: That’s right.

Danny Lipford: Hey, when we come back we’ll show you where we started with this project, and give you the final tour.

Tricia Craven Worley: The best thing you can do to preserve your patio furniture is to put it away for the winter or cover it. But if you have a mild climate, and you keep your patio furniture out year round, it is bound to get dirty like this has gotten.

What I like to do when I clean my patio furniture is use a mild detergent and a scrub brush. And I like to clean all the intricate areas, after which I hose it off. Now you want to do this whether you have wrought iron, cast aluminum, or powder coated aluminum. And I have powder coated aluminum, and then I have vinyl straps. And I think it’s really, really important to keep those straps clean, because any kind of suntan lotion or garden chemical is bound to really give it a hard time.

Also, something with the frames of powder coated – you can actually use a car wax on them, buff it up and it gives it a little more protection. The other thing you can use is a premixed formula that you can buy at your home store. And this works on the synthetic fibers, the glass, and the frame, don’t use it on natural fibers. Spray it on, follow the directions, use a nice soft clean cloth to dry it off. Most importantly make sure you pick up that maintenance guide when you buy your patio furniture.

Danny Lipford: The addition to the Broders home is completely finished, and as you saw earlier the new addition to the family has also arrived. Now, about the only thing left to be done here is a little landscaping, and Chris and Molly tell me they plan on doing that themselves over the next few months.

Now, the outside of this place looks great, but what’s really cool is what it’s done to the inside of the home. One of the main reasons for building the addition was the new master bedroom. It has plenty of room and lots of natural light, the two walk in closets provide all the storage space they need, and the new master bathroom should prove to be a great retreat for these young parents. The transom window provides both light and privacy, and I’m sure that the garden tub beneath it will be a great place to recover from a day of chasing all the little ones.

The new laundry room will probably see a lot of action for this young family, but it will also serve as the informal entry to the house from the driveway. The family room was already here; but, boy, it’s a lot more homey now that it has been opened up to the kitchen. And the new hardwood floors tie these two areas together with the new informal eating area making for one big comfortable family space.

Plus there’s this great family area outside that the Broders’ can enjoy, rain or shine. Hey, I hope you enjoyed seeing this addition come together, and I hope you will join us next week for another renovation . I’m Danny Lipford, we’ll see you soon.

Next week we’re going to look into the wide world of windows.



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