I'm looking to frame in this room (photo 2) to utilize the space for a 1st floor bathroom / 1st floor laundry room / storage.

I think I have the process down having seen my uncles and brothers houses being built from the ground up. On the 2 interior walls, use 2x8's around the perimeter; the 2 exterior walls, build a 2x4 wall from the concrete slab to the bottom of the 2x8 height of the interior wall. Floor joist across the span, 3/4 plywood over and build the remaining 2x4 wall to the ceiling (all of this after the demo of course)

The brick pillars you see in photo 2 are structural, so I won't be touching those. Photo 4 - the bathroom would be to the right of it and the laundry space to the left. trying to leave the sky light in place.

My problem comes in with the concrete steps in photo 1. I don't want to have to take them out as to not disturb the foundation. I think I can frame around them. If my measurements are correct, I think i can simply fill in the void of the top step (just outside the door) to equal the floor in the house inside the door (which has already been refinished with 18 inch porcelain tile)

I will loose the big interior window (connected to the dining room) but will remove the door and make that the entrance into the room. Photo 2, eventually the window on the right edge of the photo will be taken out and converted into a french door or sliding door to access a new patio (some day)

Is that a suitable plan?


Photo 1

photo 1 http://jandmcreative.com/room/photo1.JPG

Photo 2

photo 2 http://jandmcreative.com/room/photo2.JPG

Photo 3

photo 3 http://jandmcreative.com/room/photo3.JPG

Photo 4

photo 4 http://jandmcreative.com/room/photo4.JPG

  • couldn't post the rest of the photos - just change the 2 to 1, 3, or 4 in the url...
    – lsiunsuex
    Nov 18, 2010 at 12:50
  • @Mario - you can include your photos inline within the question if you would like. Just look for the insert image button in the toolbar when editing the question. Nov 18, 2010 at 13:39
  • @Jeff: you can't post images or more than 1 hyperlink until you have 10 rep: diy.stackexchange.com/privileges/new-user
    – Niall C.
    Nov 18, 2010 at 14:38
  • @Mario: I added the images to the post. If you want to move them around, I think you can edit the post and it will keep them.
    – Niall C.
    Nov 18, 2010 at 15:43
  • 1
    Make sure you check with your local government before starting this project, you may have a few issues with your proposed project. My first concern would be is the concrete slab sufficient to carry the load of the addition. Second it looks like your pretty close to the property line, this might be an issue with adding an addition. Third they will probably consider this an addition, so you will have to follow all local codes accordingly.
    – Tester101
    Nov 18, 2010 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


You are going to need to pull permits unless you live somewhere that doesn't have any requirements for them. Since that is probably visible from the road, there is almost no way that code enforcement or one of your neighbors isn't going to see it and report you.

The stairs look like the precast concrete kind and probably are hollow and not attached to your foundation.

The method you are proposing sounds more like building a deck than building correctly for a house. Most likely, to be legal, you'll need to remove the slab and dig down beneath the frost line and build up with poured concrete or with cinder blocks.

If the slab happens go down around the edges far enough to support the weight, fine, but most likely it doesn't. Assuming you don't care about being legal, you could build up a cinder block wall to the height level with the bricks on the existing part of the house, setting them back so that you could brick the new parts at a later date. The bricks from the first place might be enough to recycle. Then build your new walls on top of the cinder block walls.

The nice thing about doing everything legal is that it will let you remove that fire place and any of the columns. That fireplace almost definitely wouldn't be legal for inside use.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.