Diary of a POP TOP Second Story Addition Project

169 Replies

Just wanted to chime in to say . . . this is great.  I'm definitely enjoying the thread.  Can't wait to see the final results.

I'll also like to say a huge Thank You, @Todd Whiddon  !! I had a great time seeing the house on Friday and following along with your tour. I wish all my lunch breaks were this good!

I've thoroughly enjoyed meeting and chatting with you and reading all your updates, and I've learned so much from your open houses. It's been a priceless education. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to include us in your process, walk us through your house, and share so freely your experience and expertise. Also so graciously answering all my stupid questions! You've inspired me not just in rehabbing, but to dream more and do more. Can't wait to attend your next open house!

@Todd Whiddon  

I just spent the better part of an hour reading through this, and wow!  Firstly, thank you for taking the time to share your experience.  You are obviously very busy, and your generosity of time/knowledge is so appreciated.  I feel so much more equipped for evaluating rehabs, although a pop-top is probably not in the near near future for me.

I love the NEST idea!  Really such a minor cost, but demonstrates your commitment to quality and efficiency.  I had never heard of in wall pest control, that. is. genius!

You mentioned loving the design process.  What are your thoughts on butcher block counter tops?  They seem to be very trendy these days.

Where are you budget wise?  Over/under?  What is your ECD (Estimated Completion Date) ... making up acronyms as I go:)  ADOM in this area?  Do you list your own properties?   

Again, thank you so much for sharing this project.  In one word: awesome!

Very nice. Thanks for taking the time to put this together.

FishHawk Real Estate

@Todd Whiddon  

Thanks for taking your time on Friday to show us around your pop top project... a lot of valuable information! I look forward to following the completion of the project... perhaps a final open house to see the final product?

Mike

I once built a 800-foot addition behind my house.  There was a patio.  That sucker was a foot and a half thick.  Seems the prior owner had a friend in the concrete business.  Said friend would give him concrete left over from jobs.

   We picked half-heartedly at that stuff with our rental demo hammer.  It wasn't going anywhere without spending big bucks.  So we found an alternative.  If we built the entire floor out of P.T.  they would let us have - essentially no crawl space.  So that's what we did. We just demoed a bit of that mountain of concrete a the edges for the new perimeter foundation.

@Todd Whiddon  If a buyer approached you and made you an offer at asking price, would you take it at this point?  

@Todd Whiddon undefined

Originally posted by @Sheree H. :

I'll also like to say a huge Thank You, @Todd Whiddon !! I had a great time seeing the house on Friday and following along with your tour. I wish all my lunch breaks were this good!

I've thoroughly enjoyed meeting and chatting with you and reading all your updates, and I've learned so much from your open houses. It's been a priceless education. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to include us in your process, walk us through your house, and share so freely your experience and expertise. Also so graciously answering all my stupid questions! You've inspired me not just in rehabbing, but to dream more and do more. Can't wait to attend your next open house!

 Sheree-

Always GREAT when you can make it!  Keep me posted on the dreaming more and doing more, I'll need at least a 10% cut...  Just an awesome feeling to inspire others by sharing what it is we do everyday!

Originally posted by @Andrew Davis :

@Todd Whiddon 

I just spent the better part of an hour reading through this, and wow!  Firstly, thank you for taking the time to share your experience.  You are obviously very busy, and your generosity of time/knowledge is so appreciated.  I feel so much more equipped for evaluating rehabs, although a pop-top is probably not in the near near future for me.

I love the NEST idea!  Really such a minor cost, but demonstrates your commitment to quality and efficiency.  I had never heard of in wall pest control, that. is. genius!

You mentioned loving the design process.  What are your thoughts on butcher block counter tops?  They seem to be very trendy these days.

Where are you budget wise?  Over/under?  What is your ECD (Estimated Completion Date) ... making up acronyms as I go:)  ADOM in this area?  Do you list your own properties?   

Again, thank you so much for sharing this project.  In one word: awesome!

 Butcher Block.... As long as it's true Butcher Block and NOT the Butcher Block Laminate that made it's way into every 1970's home, I like it, and think it has it's places

Personally I like it for accent bars or island prep stations, not a big fan of using it in the entire kitchen from a durability standpoint, people tend NOT to maintain things properly and just like lighter color granites that are not sealed properly, a clumsy friend and a glass of red wine could cause a BIG problem!

Budget... Pretty sure were OVER, waaay OVER! I think a post on budget update is imminent.

Completion Date.... Shooting for end of February, we decided to expand the scope of the project "add a garage" and had to basically stop work on the main house to catch up the garage so they could be built on the same permit.  Not a huge deal but we lost several weeks of progress.

This deal was brought to us by an agent so we let them list the "sell side" as well.  We try and make it worth agents while to bring us deals over our competition.   I do list some of our deals every now and then, but I try not to make it a habit.

Originally posted by @Mike O'Connor :

@Todd Whiddon 

Thanks for taking your time on Friday to show us around your pop top project... a lot of valuable information! I look forward to following the completion of the project... perhaps a final open house to see the final product?

Mike

 Thanks for coming out!  I'll do several more before the end, have to show off our new garage to someone!

Originally posted by @Rick Baggenstoss :

@Todd Whiddon If a buyer approached you and made you an offer at asking price, would you take it at this point?  

@Todd Whiddon undefined

 Indeed!  We've had a couple buyers nibbling the line the last few weeks and I would NOT complain about a pre-sale!

We will sell any of our projects at any time during construction.  Generally the earlier in the build, the MORE non-refundable earnest money we require to cover selections and personalizations.  Anything we have not already completed or ordered the buyer is allowed to make a selection on.   Sometimes even after stuff is ordered we do what we can to accommodate the buyer if it is a difference maker in getting the sale.

That being said I generally PREFER till after sheetrock is complete before getting an offer just because it can really slow down a project if buyers start meddling in the rough stages!

BTW.... If you know someone in the area looking, referral checks are some of my favorite checks to write! I could probably even talk @J Scott   into autographing a copy of "The Book" for you... :)

@Todd Whiddon  Thanks and great advice.  I like the idea of a pre-sale to take some of the risk out, but the cost advantages are significant as well ... no agent fees, lower money costs, etc.  

Other side of the coin is level of hassle....

Another, Diary question ... do you advocate doing your own plans with the assistance of a draftsman vs. architect?  I've heard it mentioned that the draftsman may not provide some detail the City planning or City inspectors want/need to see, causing delays.  

I'm of the opinion that it pays to work with an architect to grease the skids.  Just wondering if I'm imagining benefits which aren't really there.

Originally posted by @Rick Baggenstoss :

@Todd Whiddon Thanks and great advice.  I like the idea of a pre-sale to take some of the risk out, but the cost advantages are significant as well ... no agent fees, lower money costs, etc.  

Other side of the coin is level of hassle....

Another, Diary question ... do you advocate doing your own plans with the assistance of a draftsman vs. architect?  I've heard it mentioned that the draftsman may not provide some detail the City planning or City inspectors want/need to see, causing delays.  

I'm of the opinion that it pays to work with an architect to grease the skids.  Just wondering if I'm imagining benefits which aren't really there.

 Rick-

I actually have better luck using my draftsWOMEN than actual architects for City projects. 

A few years ago it was semi-advantageous to use "architects" because if they stamped your plans you could bypass the City's plan review process.  That is not the case anymore, even stamped plans are now going through the review process.

The problem with some "architects" is that the city will want specific verbiage on the plans or things drawn a certain way, and the architect will want to argue with the city about how they are right and the city is wrong NOTE: The city is ALWAYS "right".  Whereas draftspeople will usually just do what the city asks and get it done.

I actually had 2 lots in the city that I wanted to build on end of last year and didn't because of city / architect arguments.   

NO PARKING

We've gone back and forth on how we we're going to handle the parking situation at this project since we bought it.

We wrestled with putting a garage somewhere on the property but wasn't sure exactly where to put it... we didn't want to mess up the backyard.... we didn't want to regrade the lot and have it on the left side built up for a drive in level with the main floor... we thought about NOT building a garage and letting it be an option for buyers.... we thought about leaving the existing carport....  we thought a LOT of things..... But couldn't decide...

So I let my new baby daughter decide.... and PINK is her favorite color...

We didn't decide for sure to add this garage until a few weeks ago and had to revise our siteplan for approval from the building department.  They let us add this garage to our current permit instead of going through a separate permiting process, only bummer is we basically had to STOP working on the house and catch the garage up so the remaining inspections would not be doubled up.   Didn't think much of it at the time, but if I had it do over again I would have just gotten a separate permit so I could press on with main house and just let the garage be a few weeks behind instead of both.

Slab Prepped.....

Concrete Poured...

First Floor

Walah!

@Todd Whiddon  , I've been trying to figure out what to do with a 2/1 that we're flipping. We were originally planning to turn it into a 3/2 with a basement conversion but that would have left us with a pretty slim profit margin. Today we decided to go for a 2nd story addition. The numbers totally make sense and I'm excited to take on something I've never done before. The GC is happy too because he hates working in the basement - although he may eat his words when he's out in the rain this winter : )

I read through your entire thread last week, and thought, "I want to do one of these."  Thanks for the inspiration!  (I hope I'm not cursing your name halfway through...)

Originally posted by @Jessica S. :

@Todd Whiddon , I've been trying to figure out what to do with a 2/1 that we're flipping. We were originally planning to turn it into a 3/2 with a basement conversion but that would have left us with a pretty slim profit margin. Today we decided to go for a 2nd story addition. The numbers totally make sense and I'm excited to take on something I've never done before. The GC is happy too because he hates working in the basement - although he may eat his words when he's out in the rain this winter : )

I read through your entire thread last week, and thought, "I want to do one of these."  Thanks for the inspiration!  (I hope I'm not cursing your name halfway through...)

 Jessica-

LOL, you'll cuss my name FAR sooner than halfway through!!  Just remember when you go UP, generally work has to be done DOWN as well, so your GC won't totally get to avoid the basement!! 

Updated over 3 years ago

Also, typically you get more $$$ per foot for above grade improvements than in basements so the Pop should help your ARV abit as well!

Back in Action.... FINALLY!

Well the whole stop work on the house and build the garage on the same permit idea REALLY REALLY bit us in the rear!  Besides some crazy weather here in Atlanta last month, our Electrician and the Electrical inspector didn't see eye to eye on the new garage and we FAILED the electrical inspection.....TWICE!  Main issues were since they are not joined by a common footer "Foundation" the garage must be grounded separately.  Our slab guy didn't install a ground rod in the slab, so we had to ground it outside the slab and it took some discussions between them.

Also in 2015 a LOT of electrical codes changed, we've run into this issue on several projects the last few weeks where even though our permits were pulled in 2014 and technically the new codes shouldn't be enforced, the inspectors are enforcing them anyways, so some other nitpicky stuff like installing plastic wire holders instead of using staples and having to mount sconce and pendant lights to the structure instead of leaving wires in the walls had to be addressed.  

That and my team and I have been pretty OVERWHELMED since the beginning of the year so our scheduling efficiency has been 0.0%  

Good news is things are getting back under control AND we just got this puppy UNDER CONTRACT! Time to make up for lost time and finish by the end of March! 

PopTop Video 1 - Outside Walkaround

I wish I had shot video the entire project, but better late than never!  Here is a walk around of the outside.

@Todd Whiddon  that garage is turning out to be a ton of fun for you, haha. Congrats on getting it under contract, it's great work! One last meet up/tour to see the final product?

@Mike O'Connor  Yea we'll do a couple more over the next few weeks, in fact....

Next Open House Thursday 3/5 11-12pm

Depending on the Insulation inspection, the drywall should be in the beginning stages of installation!  Hope to see everyone there!  Lemme know if you need the address!

Pop Top 1st Floor Walkthrough

Here's a walk around of the 1st Floor

@Todd Whiddon  Congrats on putting it under contract.  How do the numbers look compared to your estimates in terms of the sales price? 

I was looking at a place last week that was a pop top candidate.  I don't think that one will work, but I am actively looking for other.  Thanks again for sharing.

Originally posted by @Scott Graves :

@Todd Whiddon Congrats on putting it under contract.  How do the numbers look compared to your estimates in terms of the sales price? 

I was looking at a place last week that was a pop top candidate.  I don't think that one will work, but I am actively looking for other.  Thanks again for sharing.

 Scott-

We originally planned for and listed at 525k, we picked out that number last year though and the market has steadily risen in this area.  We probably could have increased list price a gotten it, and if something happens with this contract we probably will.

Contract is full price at 525k with us paying 2,500 in closing. No other concessions or requests.  They may want to finish the bonus room above the garage, but that will be an upgrade above and beyond current contract. We're meeting them Thursday to discuss.

PopTop 2nd Floor Walkthrough 

And here is a quick tour of the 2nd Floor

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