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Adding Closets to an old farmhouse.

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Mar 31, 2013, 01:24 PM
monzanick
Adding Closets to an old farmhouse.
My 1890s farm home was recently appraised as a 1 bedroom. there are 4 rooms with beds in them and when I purchased the home 7years ago it was a 3 bedroom. The main reason its only a 1 bedroom is cuz there is only one bedroom with a closet. are there any ideas out there where a closet has been added while keeping with the style of the house? Both the appraiser and bank are "hiding" behind the definition of a bedroom having a closet even though when the house was built without them. Needless to say I am hell bent on adding closets with the smallest impact on the rooms footprints.
Mar 31, 2013, 01:56 PM
GardenSprite
Sounds to me as if the bank just doesn't want to lend on the house. Is this one of the national banks or a local one? And without being nosy, are you applying for a HELOC? Is it the same or a different bank than the one which presumably financed the house when you purchased it?

I learned a few years ago that Chase had significantly declined its HELOC portfolio and was granting only a few new ones. I also found that some other national banks were really, really picky about HELOCs. I had heard this from other potential mortgagors as well.

Have you tried other banks? Some, including local ones, might be more flexible. I've been told also that local credit unions are more flexible, but I've never verified this. Still, it's worth it to check with others besides the bank which has taken this rigid position.

Do you have a floor plan of the bedrooms that you can post? There are a lot of people here who could help but I suspect any additions would depend on the configuration of the existing bedrooms, unless you want to build out into the rooms.

And for the record, if closet space were a serious issue, you could just get a wardrobe; that's what was used decades ago in some of the European homes.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Mar 31, 2013, 03:38 PM
Jaybee
It's not a bank conspiracy, it's just a matter of old vs new. Back when your house was built, 'closets' were frequently furniture pieces. Even if built-in, the old fashioned closets were not deep enough to hang things in from the front.

These days, to be considered a bedroom, it must have space for bed, a 20" deep closet and an opening window or other outside means of egress that is at least 5.7SF clear and can be opened without tools. if it doesn't have that then it cannot be listed as a bedroom. It's just a standard - you can certainly make a room without the above into a bedroom, you just can't market it as such.

Fortunately, it's easy to add closets. Sure, any closet is going to take space away from the room but all you need is to frame out a closet space in a corner, drywall, duplicate trim and door styles, add some shelving and hanging space and you have a closet the looks like it was always there. Depending on your floor plan, you may be able to steal some space from an area between rooms and use them for closet space.


Jaybee
Apr 01, 2013, 05:06 AM
joecaption
May sound silly but around here there's a few brand new homes being built without closets.
Reason being is the size and type of septic system needed is designed for the # of bedrooms, not the number of rooms or bathrooms.
Also zoning is limiting the number of bedrooms allowed.
Those rules Jaybee mentioned have been around for many years, someone's just catching it now.
One way to build a closit and not have it take away from the look of the room is to build it like this.
http://www.bing.com/images/sea...3A65&selectedIndex=8


joecaption
Apr 01, 2013, 09:38 PM
monzanick
Well the rooms have beds, doors, windows and hvac vents. Square footage for each room is about 100 sqft. We had a 3 season porch that I had converted into a guest bedroom but it cannot be considered a bedroom due to it having a door to go outside?!
When we moved in, we had the septic inspected they said it was set up for a boarding house.
In my area all the banks sublet all appraisals go to the same company. I am just finishing up a garage build(snow killed the old one) so it looks like the closets are next on the list. Gotta love old homes!
Apr 01, 2013, 09:49 PM
Jaybee
100SF is tiny - that's like a 10' x 10' space. Going to be tough to add a closet if it takes away from any of that space.

Just because there is an outside door doesn't disqualify the space from being a bedroom. Many bedrooms, especially masters have outside doors to balconies or decks. As long as it still has a closet then it's a bedroom. It just may be that it is easier to see it as something like an office.


Jaybee
Apr 01, 2013, 10:58 PM
monzanick
Yup, small. 1890s farmhouse in wisconsin.I am pretty sure I can knock into the wall an get 20" deep without too much trouble. Is there a minimum with anyone knows of?
Apr 02, 2013, 04:28 AM
Jaybee
quote:
Originally posted by monzanick:
Is there a minimum with anyone knows of?


Functional closet space has room for hanging clothes. An average hanger is about 15", add in a little for overhang of clothing and 18" deep is about the minimum you can get by with and still be considered a hanging closet.


Jaybee
Apr 02, 2013, 01:07 PM
GardenSprite
[QUOTE]

Originally posted by Jaybee:
It's not a bank conspiracy ...

QUOTE]

Guess I shouldn't have watched that X-File movie before I posted Roll Eyes


Joe,

Maybe I'm missing something but wouldn't the septic system be more a function of the number of bathrooms than bedrooms, even though in upscale homes there are sometimes as many bathrooms as bedrooms?

Seems like this could lower the developer's costs and shove them down the line to the eventual homeowners, who might have to clean out the septic system more often.

Actually, I'm kind of surprised to learn that septic systems are still installed. Is this a rural area where municipal systems haven't been extended and aren't available?

I'm curious as to the reason behind zoning laws limiting the number of bedrooms. Is this to prevent the McMansion subdivisions?
Apr 02, 2013, 02:23 PM
swschrad
sewer load is determined by occupants (x) X gallons of water average use per day (40?) this times the permeability of the soil type tells you how much leachfield to have to pipe and/or build in a clay soil. so number of bedrooms looks legit to me.


sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Apr 02, 2013, 03:09 PM
GardenSprite
quote:
Originally posted by swschrad:
sewer load is determined by occupants (x) X gallons of water average use per day (40?) this times the permeability of the soil type tells you how much leachfield to have to pipe and/or build in a clay soil. so number of bedrooms looks legit to me.


Swschrad, thanks for the explanation.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
Apr 02, 2013, 06:02 PM
joecaption
Rural, sort of.
It's right on the Chesapeake Bay.
Unless they reduce the polution in the bay the Gov. is going to cut off funding for a whole lot of projects.
There closing fishing and shell fishing areas because of e coili.


joecaption
Apr 02, 2013, 07:33 PM
monzanick
Not to over analize, The with measurement would be as you are looking @ it. the 20" Depth would be the amount ya can stick your arm in/or how you you would be sticking the hanger in an hanging it on the rod in the center. Sooooooo back to my original question, if 20" is min depth, what would be min with be considered? I am guessing 32" to take in account for a 24"door and framing.

quote:
Originally posted by Jaybee:


Functional closet space has room for hanging clothes. An average hanger is about 15", add in a little for overhang of clothing and 18" deep is about the minimum you can get by with and still be considered a hanging closet.

Apr 02, 2013, 07:49 PM
Jaybee
There really is no minimum width - other than as you point out to make it wide enough so that you can install a door. You can make a closet with a 16" wide door and hardly any wing space. So that would make the absolute minimum interior dimensions to be abut 24" wide by 18" deep. Any more that you could squeeze out in either direction would be a bonus.


Jaybee
Apr 03, 2013, 05:31 PM
GardenSprite
Joe, thanks for the information. I wasn't aware that there was a pollution problem in the Bay, but it's not surprising given the extent of pollution in our lakes, waterways and oceans.

The Bay is one of many iconic American natural wonders, so it's especially sad that it's befallen hard times.

In this area, so much news has been focused on Detroit and its multitude of problems that little attention is paid to climate problems of other states.

If there are issues addresing waterways surrounding Michigan, it's primarily of the native species invading the Great Lakes, or periodic local pollution of our many inland lakes and rivers.
Apr 03, 2013, 06:08 PM
joecaption
Detroit needs to have marshal law of just nuke it and start over.


joecaption
Apr 03, 2013, 06:16 PM
GardenSprite
Joe, I think you're right! The situation has been out of control for years, and isn't getting better. Marshal law is an interesting concept but I suspect it would result in a repeat of the 1967 riots. There's so much hostility amongst the populace and the City Council that the whole situation is becoming volatile.

But if they nuke it, I need to get out of Michigan first!