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Old 02-08-2018, 06:07 PM
 
Location: Mendocino, CA
748 posts, read 364,246 times
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I googled about how to be a builder. Many results say one has to go to college to do this. I think that's true for very large projects, such as a downtown building; but for the smallest projects I wonder how difficult it is.

For example, if I just want to buy a one story commercial building, add 2 more stories on the same footprint. How difficult is that? Anyone with experience on how to do this?
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Old 02-08-2018, 06:31 PM
 
Location: Mostly in my head
19,240 posts, read 51,440,351 times
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You would need a structural engineer to see if it's even possible. Then an architect to draw up plans according to code. Finally, a builder to do it. Not al all simple. Most 1-story buildings do not have the foundation and structure to carry a triple load.
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Old 02-08-2018, 07:07 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
19,688 posts, read 23,363,727 times
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You don't generally add additional stories to an existing building. If the building is super solid and vastly over built you might possibly be able to do it, but it is usually more cost effective to raze the building and start again from scratch.

You don't need the college yourself because you can hire the guys with the college (architect, engineer, lawyer, etc).

As for how difficult, my son is splitting one lot into three lots. He's been working on it for 6 months now and it looks like another 6 months to get it done at a total cost of about $100,000. Permits and stuff, you are dealing with government bureaucracy.
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Old 02-08-2018, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Mendocino, CA
748 posts, read 364,246 times
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So I prepare the required construction funds, hire the necessary professionals -- architect, engineer, lawyer, electrician, cement workers, roofer, etc. -- and supervise each of their work. Or, if I want to spend a little more money, hire a general contractor.

Does that sound like a rough plan?
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Old 02-08-2018, 07:55 PM
 
Location: Western Washington
6,841 posts, read 6,844,697 times
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Based on your questions, you arenít ready to do this yet.

The first step is architecture & engineering. You hire an architect, they hire the appropriate engineers and coordinate work.

Unless you know A LOT about construction, hire a general contractor. The money you spend on the GC will be saved many times over by the efficiency and coordination on the job. A forum poster by the tag coldjensens has a great story somewhere on here about a home remodel he was doing that went quite bad because he tri d to be his own GC. Keep in mind that coldjensens is a construction lawyer, and he supports using a GC.

If you want to go into commercial development, there are also a number of project delivery methods. Design-bid-build, design/build, or GCCM, amoupng other variants. These all entail different roles and relationships between the owner, the A/E team, and the GC.
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Old 02-08-2018, 08:21 PM
 
Location: Florida -
7,856 posts, read 9,305,729 times
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It's not uncommon for things that typically require significant education and training ... to appear simple. And, if no obstacles, problems or unexpected issues occur, the job is probably a lot simpler than it would be, if problems arose.

Over the years, I've found that taking on these 'simple looking projects,' invariably cost me more and take more time - than hiring a qualified individual in the first place.

In a manner of speaking, I could probably wield a scalpel in my hand and easily cut open a stomach and (if someone pointed-it out) lop-off an appendix ... if it was as 'simple' as it looks.
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:02 PM
 
5,537 posts, read 3,630,018 times
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Just google it, you'll be fine.
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:05 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
35,754 posts, read 34,386,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elhelmete View Post
Just google it, you'll be fine.
Yes, I'm sure there are some YouTube videos that explain it.
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Old 02-08-2018, 09:42 PM
 
6,287 posts, read 6,776,795 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhbj03 View Post
For example, if I just want to buy a one story commercial building, add 2 more stories on the same footprint. How difficult is that?
Generally, it would be very difficult to add 2 stories to an existing building unless the original building was designed to accommodate the additional load. In most cases, it's just not going to happen. There may be ways to retrofit some structures to handle 2 additional stories, but that's going to cost a ton of money. You'd usually be better off just building a 3-story building from scratch or, better yet, buy an existing building.

What's your end goal, though? Are you looking to rent commercial space? Make money as a builder or general contractor? Make money on the sale of the finished product? Whatever your reason, there are probably better avenues for you to consider.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rhbj03 View Post
So I prepare the required construction funds, hire the necessary professionals -- architect, engineer, lawyer, electrician, cement workers, roofer, etc. -- and supervise each of their work. Or, if I want to spend a little more money, hire a general contractor.

Does that sound like a rough plan?
Yes, that sounds very rough. Too rough. Nothing is cheap or easy in the development world. Lots of opportunities to lose money.
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Old 02-08-2018, 10:12 PM
 
7,879 posts, read 6,791,794 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rhbj03 View Post
I googled about how to be a builder. Many results say one has to go to college to do this. I think that's true for very large projects, such as a downtown building; but for the smallest projects I wonder how difficult it is.

Been there done that. But I was not stupid enough to try to do it all myself. I hired a good engineer, and a good architect when I did a project such as ths.

For example, if I just want to buy a one story commercial building, add 2 more stories on the same footprint. How difficult is that? Anyone with experience on how to do this?
It in the long run, is not a simple project, and with no more knowledge than you have, hire experts to do it for you.

In this type of situation, it is better, and cheaper to tear down and build from scratch. An existing 1 story building, will not even have the proper foundation to support those additional stories.

And with no more knowledge about such things, you are not knowledgeable enough to supervise building the building, and anything else needed to do what you propose. Talk to your architect and engineer about who should oversee the building. Often one or the other has a lot of experience in doing so, and one of them will be the one working with the General Contractor to get it done not you. It will cost less to do it that way, than for you being the one to select a GC and supervising the building.
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