"Hack of the Week" - Sept. 5 - Brick Bungalows and How to Create Massive Increase in Value!

17 Replies

For those of you investors who want to become rehabbers or flippers...here's a good "hack" for you. If you want to create massive increase in property value, tearing down walls and having an open floor plan is a good strategy. Just look at the before and after picture of a house that I wholesaled to a rehabber-buyer. This property is in Sangamon in Crete IL.

BEFORE

AFTER (open floor plan)

We sold the house to the rehabber for $55,000. We made almost $11K wholesale fee. The rehabber is now selling this property for $159,900 and I think they will get it sold. They will likely make over $40K profit. Nice.

Here's what happened to the kitchen when they opened it up.

BEFORE

AFTER

Which type of houses are good prospect to have an open floor plan? BRICK BUNGALOWS are good - because there's usually no load bearing walls in between the brick walls. Of course you have to check first to ensure that there are indeed no load-bearing walls.

Wow amazing work (and great profits to match)

Originally posted by @Wendell De Guzman:

Which type of houses are good prospect to have an open floor plan? BRICK BUNGALOWS are good - because there's usually no load bearing walls in between the brick walls. Of course you have to check first to ensure that there are indeed no load-bearing walls.

This is false and potentially dangerous advice.

Brick siding is just as structural as wood siding. That is to say - it isn't at all. It's just exterior cladding.

Old houses that are wider than about 10' are always going to have interior bearing walls. It wasn't until the advent of manufactured trusses that 'wide open spaces' became commonplace (Although some of the building techniques in Japanese architecture and borrowed in very high-end bungalow architecture had some incredibly innovative ways to create open spaces, but I digress...)

Before removing walls in any structure, you should consult a professional... especially if some dumbass wholesaler is telling you that the brick siding means that there are no load bearing walls!

@Aaron McGinnis  

Aaron, read again what I wrote:

"BRICK BUNGALOWS are good - because there's usually no load bearing walls in between the brick walls. Of course you have to check first to ensure that there are indeed no load-bearing walls."

I said "you have to check first".

Also, this is specific to brick bungalows - not just to anything with brick sidings. The way brick bungalows are constructed specially here in Chicago makes them appropriate to open the floor plan.

I second that, Wendell. Just to clarify - the exterior brick walls are structural and bear the load above. You can easily 'connect' adjacent spaces like the kitchen and dining to take advantage of the openness by knocking down the non-bearing interior wall between the rooms. And of course, you will need to verify before demo with a licensed architect or structural engineer.

looks awesome.  and that's a great price,  but of course I know nothing about the rest of the house or area.. I have opened up just one wall in 13 houses..  and looked amazing 

Brick can and often is used as load bearing/structural walls, depending on if the bricks are designed (usually filled with mortar after every coarse) for it.

The true FOOL of this posting proves and shows his ingnorance by insulting the op calling him a dumbass while says something that is not true at all.

Looks great Wendell and another option is to sometimes be able to add a header hidden in the ceiling walls or rafters.

congrats!!!

The fools name rhymes with Aaron.

So I'm curious as to how the ceiling joists can span that much distance without sagging. Do you add a structural element above them to help? I've done this in a ranch, but I had to add a huge double 16" LVL on top of the joists. This was primarily to keep the joists from sagging in the 28 foot span.

Yea thats definatly the longest LVL span I've ever heard of, and a lot of times there doubled and nailed together. 

I've done some 24" shorter spans like 10' or so, thoughs suckers are heavy! That would not be fun putting up 28footer!!

You kind of answered your own question in the same paragraph Austin, thats one way you could span that distance also could do a valeted ceiling or more headers or add a steal element, perhaps columns in the walls with beam. 

Were there's a will there's a way.

Vaulted ceiling* 

Account Closed -- do you have some photos of the type(s) of brick bungalows you're talking about that have no interior load-bearing walls?  I've only seen them at about 30 feet +/- wide with a bearing wall roughly centered.   

Character assassinations and name calling will not be tolerated in these forums.

ALL posters need to stop this now. Stick to the topic at hand. If you have an issue please use the report abuse function and the appropriate moderator assigned to this area will take a look at it. 

So I was JUST thinking about this today. In Michigan, bungalows typically have the living room in front, kitchen in back and stairs leading up/down between them. Is this what you have too? Did you move stairs?

I too, am curious about the roofs in these brick homes. I made a trip to Chicago in college to tour its architecture, because the styles are so unique, given the fire, Frank Lloyd Wright and a few other reasons. 

You said you sold it to a re-habber, so you might not know this. Can you give us a guess on the unobstructed dimensions of the great room renovation. Scaling from the cabinets and the fireplace, I'm guessing the house could  be only about  22' wide x about 15',   although it looks much bigger.

It is a pretty reno. Thanks for sharing it.

CJ Pilon, Boise, ID

In general, and not to bust your chops, but what difference do you think it makes that the houses are brick?

Your first example photo that you gave me appears very narrow -- is it a single room wide all the way back?  I can't tell from the photo.  It might be less accurate to call for "brick bungalows" and more accurate to say "narrow houses". 

On the second example -- I'd bet you might be surprised -- that one looks pretty typical, and many like it had a front room the full width, but then the back of the house was split up with joists spanning in more than one direction, and therefore several bearing walls.  Typically, the interior wall of the front room was in fact a bearing wall.

In any case, opening up plans can sometimes be a great idea, but you'll find that relative to structure, it's case by case, and not directly connected to a style.

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