Adding an addition to back of semi-detached home

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Posted by: from Toronto
9/21/2016 at 11:52:55 AM

I have a 2 story semi detached home in Toronto. Since it is very difficult to move we were hoping to add a 2 story addition to the back of the home. Part of the concern is we have no rear access and not sure how this would impact the possibility of doing renovations.

Can someone please let me know if 1- this is even possible and 2- what steps I should be doing/thinking about?


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Peter from Ace Renovations in Brampton
Date/Time9/21/2016 at 9:11:32 PM


We have built numerous additions over the years, some of them in tight spots. I assume there must be at least a 36" walkway on one side of the house from the front to rear of the property. You would never get a Bobcat back there but there are ways around that.

A few years ago we converted a 100 year old 2 storey semi at Yonge and Davisville into a 3 storey house. There was only access to the back yard along a 39 inch wide walkway.

We had to strengthen the foundation under the existing kitchen by screwing giant helical posts into the ground and then setting 3 steel beams on them and the interior foundation wall at the opposite end of the kitchen. Once that was done we proceeded to tear the attic off and framed and finished the new third floor in about 8 months total. The job would have been done quicker except for the poor access. We used boom trucks and skinny scaffolding to work on various points of the third floor and to get materials up that high.

If you need to excavate a standard footing trench at the rear of the house you can use a soil liquidator truck. It's basically a giant hose with a water jet that liquidates the soil and sucks it out of the ground into the truck out on the street. So no backhoe or Bobcat required. Not cheap but does the job when nothing else can except lots of shovel work and wheelbarrows. The big saver is the time factor.

To pour your footing you use a reverse process where a concrete pumper on the street is filled by the concrete truck and pumps the concrete to your excavation. The boom arm can even go over your house or the hose can run at ground level around to the backyard. It's quick and easy and about

$ 1,500 for a 6 hour pour.

Once you get past the foundation stage the rest isn't that bad as long as you have at least enough room for a man to walk down the side of the house while carrying stuff in his arms.

Good luck!

Peter, Ace Renovations, Brampton

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Sylvia in Toronto
Date/Time9/21/2016 at 9:25:27 PM

Hi Pete that is very useful info. But there is literally no backyard access. There is a small gap between the us and the other house, I would guess it's about 30-40 cm wide. Definitely not enough for someone to walk through. All access is through the house itself.

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Craig from C&M Interiors in Woodbridge
Date/Time9/21/2016 at 10:28:32 PM

Access will have to be done from the side of your home. First steps. You need and architect and engineer to draw up permit drawings. Then it's likely off to the committee of adjustments. Once approved you should be good to go. Contractors have a way of making things happen. It just may cost a little more for the difficulty to access your backyard.

Craig Miller

C&M interiors

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