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Old 07-30-2020, 10:14 AM   #1
winterh
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Default House on piers

Friends of mine have been looking for a while to get themselves a place on the water. At the lower price points every house has some issues. They have found a place they like but it is on concrete piers and is considered seasonal. The piers do look solid. What can be done to make it a comfortable year round home short of lifting the house and putting in even a slab foundation? I would imagine that even for a 1000 sq ft rectangular ranch lifting it would cost 50k easy. (just a guess)
Anyone have a similar situation and were you able to use year round?
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Old 07-30-2020, 10:47 AM   #2
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The usual issues with seasonal camps revolve around the water delivery/sewer system. They need a professional opinion on what will need to be done, as every case is unique.

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Old 07-30-2020, 10:51 AM   #3
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The house does have a well and a functioning septic system which they plan on having inspected.
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Old 07-30-2020, 10:59 AM   #4
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Less then 50 feet from the water line will limit what can be done


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Old 07-30-2020, 11:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterh View Post
The house does have a well and a functioning septic system which they plan on having inspected.
Yes but a seasonal house on piers normally has water and septic exposed underneath hence not operational in winter.

I agree with Woodsy
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Old 07-30-2020, 02:08 PM   #6
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Default What is most economic sense?

In so many cases, converting an old camp to year round living as a primary residence doesn't make economic sense, never mind comfort and ongoing maintenance where there is year round wear and tear. You're most likely just buying the land. Bulldozing and installing a pre-fab, super efficient house could be a better deal in the long run. That's why so many people do it.
Rex Roberts (Your Engineered House, available at Amazon) is an advocate for piers, and it's a good read. Beyond that, so many questions and considerations, Woodsy is right.
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Old 07-30-2020, 02:49 PM   #7
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Descant and Woodsy are both right. Descant hit it as the price point toward prefabs are the way to go. State forces builders to guarantee their work for a year. Something most homeowners do not realize as builders do not declare this. if you do try to get back for some reason, most likely get lip service.

Prefab homes comes with 5 to 10 years warrantee and materials and workmanship. Something stick-built contractors won;t do unless you buy insurance (bond) against them.

Something to look onto.

Also wetlands may have a say if the building is within 100 feet. Even though the building may be grandfathered.
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Old 07-30-2020, 04:38 PM   #8
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You can put walls and insulation around the foundation and heat the crawl space but will it be cost effective, that's the big question mark?
Most camps aren't worth it, so demo and rebuild is most likely the best way to go.
A family from NY just bought an A frame on the water across from me for 550K.
After getting estimates on remodeling, new roof, new septic, new kitchen, new baths, new windows, new heating system, adding up to over 200K, and you're still stuck with an A frame. They have decided to tear it down to the foundation and start over.
It has a 30' x 40' poured concrete foundation which will need pointing sealing and a drainage system.
So they basically bought a 1/2 acre waterfront lot with a foundation, 150' waterfront and dock on Lake Waukewan.
I expect they will have close to a million in it when done if not more.
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Old 07-30-2020, 10:36 PM   #9
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Desirable waterfront lots with cottages or cabins are being purchased for their geographic locations, and many are tear downs because it's sometimes easier to start fresh than deal with huge remodeling issues.

Tear downs first came on the scene in the late 1980's, and now they are all too common with the younger generation who grew up as the "throw away' generation. Plus a lot of them have a lot of money to toss around.
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Old 07-31-2020, 04:39 PM   #10
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Making a camp into a year round place is not for the faint of heart. If it was going to be my residence I wouldn't do it.

However to use as a second home year round, there are many things that can be done. Yes you have to worry about plumbing, so of which is pretty easy to take care of just like when you have a mobile home. There are also great systems to pull water from the lake during the cold months.

I would like to get my seasonal camp to the point, that I am using until Thanksgiving and back up for easter. I have done the research, and know what needs to be done. Now to find the time and money.

But It will not be my residence, it will still be only used on the weekends and pretty limited in the colder months.

Think about things like heat tape etc. for the water lines....
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Old 08-01-2020, 07:13 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by winterh View Post
Friends of mine have been looking for a while to get themselves a place on the water. At the lower price points every house has some issues. They have found a place they like but it is on concrete piers and is considered seasonal. The piers do look solid. What can be done to make it a comfortable year round home short of lifting the house and putting in even a slab foundation? I would imagine that even for a 1000 sq ft rectangular ranch lifting it would cost 50k easy. (just a guess)
Anyone have a similar situation and were you able to use year round?
Our camp was converted to year round years ago with a drilled well and new legit septic system. It is on concrete piers. We have had no issues at all with water delivery or septic use through many winters. There are ways to handle these systems a good plumber can address. To make it more comfortable, we insulated with closed cell spray foam including the underside of the first floor.
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Old 08-01-2020, 08:38 AM   #12
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I was thinking that on oceanfront a lot of places are requiring houses to be built on piers so there must be a way to handle them being on piers yet being year round.
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Old 08-01-2020, 12:01 PM   #13
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Default House on piers

Some of the homes built on piers were built many years ago, long before the current building codes and zoning codes were enacted. This introduces the issue of being able to renovate and stay within the Code(s), versus, tearing down and NOT being able to rebuild because rebuilding won't meet the Code.

I think that before someone gets too deep into any building plan, it would be wise to have a very careful review of the current Code(s) for that particular lot to see if what you want to do is do-able within the Code.

The physical needs can be addressed by builders, plumbers, electricians, etc., but the "administrative" needs must be approved by the appropriate officials.

Good Luck.
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