Pierce, a real estate investor based in Northern Virginia, over the next few months will chronicle his experiences renovating and selling his house in Temple Hills.
After being in limbo for weeks about a modified plan to double the size of my 800-square-foot investment property in Temple Hills, Prince George’s County approved the changes and now it’s full steam ahead to get work on the rambler completed for a fall sale.
Back in the beginning of May, we bought the house with the plan of removing the top and adding a second level. Our plans changed when Prince George’s County told us the home sat too close to the road.
Code dictates that new construction cannot be within 25 feet of the street. The house is only 20 feet from the road.
We modified the plans to have the second level sit five feet back from the front edge of the main level. To achieve the needed square footage, we also had to plan for the addition to go from the back of the house. Modifying our plans and resubmitting them still cost us a bit of time — and will add $11,000 to the project. But after two months, we’re relieved that we finally got full approval from the county to proceed.
Just before Independence Day, the crews began construction in earnest.
We ordered the trusses, and even opted to pay extra to expedite them so they’d get here sooner than the typical five-week delivery. We are pressing to have the home ready by fall because we don’t want to list it in the slow winter months. So, we’re making every attempt to speed to progress where we can for reasonable expense.
As I write this, construction crews are removing the existing roof. The back addition has been all framed and the floor joists have been set for part of the second level — not bad for less than two weeks of work time. We’re hoping that the roof trusses will be delivered this week.
We have been getting a lot of rain this year. The weather has been another impediment to progress but even more worrisome is the damage rain can cause to open construction.
We plan to have the second level framed out and under roof by week’s end. If the trusses arrive on time, we should be able to get the home closed up, avoiding a lot of the water problems if this wet weather trend continues.
Once the home is framed and enclosed, we can get the plumber, electrician and heating and air-conditioning subcontractors on site to do most of the interior rough work for their trades.
If all goes reasonably well, we should be able to get our four-way inspection — the county’s initial peek at the rough framing, electrical, plumbing and heating and air-conditioning work — within a couple of weeks.
Once that is done, the project will be about 60 percent complete.
As I’ve chronicled in previous posts, rarely does everything go well on these projects. I’m sure we’ll have at least a few more bumps in the road between now and the four-way inspection and many more before it’s all said and done. The nature of this business requires constant vigilance, flexibility and a good plan B.
Our goal is to have the home all wrapped up and listed no later than October 1.
Follow Pierce on Twitter at @justinpierce1.
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