We LOVED the plans we got back from the architect, but we likely won’t see them come to fruition. When the bids came in, they were all way outside of our price range – in fact, two of the bids were 3 times our price range. First, we just can’t afford to do it. And second, even if we could afford it, the cost is just insane and we can’t rationalize it since we know there’s no way we’d see nearly that much return on our investment.
Now, we’re back to the drawing board. The architect is going back to the contractors to ask them to rebid it after we’ve done some value engineering (paint grade wood trim instead of real wood trim that would be stained, etc). I anticipate the bids will still come back quite high, so we’re also talking with one of the contractors to see whether it’s feasible to build out the space for our price range. We’ll see what he says we can get for the price we’re able to pay. And, lastly, we’ll start talking with some other architects/contractors to see whether we can add a bathroom and skylights in the existing space without building out dormers. Ultimately, if the answer is “no” or “yes, but you’ll still have to pay through the nose”, we just won’t do it.
I’ve decided that Chicago bungalows are kind of racket in the real estate market. Yes, it’s a great house with great bones, but most don’t have the attics built out because it seems too expensive to do that. But, realtors don’t tell you that part. They market the bungalow as “ready for expansion” but never really tell you that you’ll spend almost $100k to build out the attic. (Can you tell that I’m a little bitter and disappointed?) Don’t get me wrong, I love our house. But, we might have made different decisions had we known how much it really costs to build out an attic. Maybe.