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Question DetailsAsked on 6/18/2014

Want to do two-story addition, add sunroom down, then expand master closet above that. Any warnings, advice?

Want to do two-story addition. Add sunroom on first floor, then expand master closet above that. Want to avoid contract nightmares I've heard so much about. Anyone have experience with two story addition. One company said I needed to have plans first and they would go from there. Anyone done it that way before? Suggestions, warnings, advice- -I'm open.

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3 Answers


Are you Ladybug215 - if so, sorry if I am duplicating my prior response and you did not want that. If you missed it or you are not that person (from Feb 2013) here is my response then, which still holds true -

You definitely need an architect - you will need plans at a minimum for building permit, plus specific materials specs for the sunroom at least for the contrator to know what he is building - and you will need a general contractor to coordinate and control all the subs because you will have foundation, electrical, carpenter, insulation, siding, roofing, drywall, painting, flooring, windows and doors, and possibly separate sunroom/greenhouse glass subs at a minimum.

AL has has a number of articles on selecting contractors (which your architect can also help with referrals and opinions on specific ones) as well as dealing with contractors at

Also pay attention to this article -

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


Without a set of plans all you really can expect from a contractor is a square footage ballpark price. If you are just in the stage where you are trying to find out if you can afford this project that might be a way to go. By talking to a contractor face to face he will have a better idea as to the quality of construction you want and can adjust the ballpark for things like flooring expected, bath fixtures, type of windows and such.

Once you have an idea as to the job being within your budget you should get plans drawn up so you can compare apples with apples with bids from a few contractors. Once you select a contractor the plans will protect you by having all the details of the job on paper if you have any problems with the job. The plans should show details such as lumber sizes, insulation, drywall type and thickness and most other details of the job. You also should have a contract spelling out the contractors work and I like to see the phrase "as per plans" included. If there are any disputes this would help you if you end up in court.

This is a short version of why a set of plans is important.


Answered 6 years ago by ContractorDon


Nice response by Don pointing out need for plans - and don't forget specifications, which would include things like concrete strength, paint types and number of coats, energy ratings of windows and such, insulation specs, specifics on appliances and hardware and such - all the detail stuff that typically relates to specifying the materials to be used or special techniques to be used in applying/installing them, as opposed to the dimensional and "where it goes" data that shows on the plans.

One other thing - without plans and specs recovering on a builders bond is pretty shaky, because without a detaied scope of work it is not possible to identify what Work remains to be done on the job to fulfill the contract. Ditto for arguing with a contractor about whether he has done everything he was supposed to or used the materials he was supposed to, and also whether something was "in scope" or subject to a change order. FAR too many people go to a contractor first on significant jobs, rather than an architect.

One other comment - sunrooms generate a lot of heat but are also cold in the winter as most people turn the thermostat way down at least part of the time or during the weekdays - so consider having it thermally isolated/insulated from the closet above if it is not going to be kept at house temperature and fully air conditioned all the time, or you may get unpleasantly warm or cold in the bedroom. Also, in this environment 0- some people like hardsurfacefloor in walk in closets as easy to sweep and keep lint-free - but can make for some cold tootsies, so many people end up then putting in an area run to keep feet warm in the moring/PM - so I recommned just going with a short-nap carpet that a carpet cleaner (non-electric push type like used in restaurants for crumbsunder tables) can keep clean.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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