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Options for Finishing an Outdoor Enclosed Staircase

  • Transcript

    LESLIE: Susan in Michigan, you’ve got The Money Pit. What can we do for you today?

    SUSAN: Hi. Well, I have an old farmhouse – a two-story farmhouse – and I have a question on what to do about an outdoor staircase.


    SUSAN: OK. My question is – OK, this is a staircase that was built to go up to the second story that used to be an apartment.

    TOM: OK.

    SUSAN: OK? But now it’s the stairs to nowhere because I – it’s a one-family house now and – so it’s just a staircase that goes to nowhere but is enclosed. OK? I have a handyman who told me it would cost about $2,000 to take it off or $2,000 to like insulate it, reside the outside, drywall it and maybe make it an additional little room off my entry. But I’m kind of stuck. What makes more sense.

    TOM: So he wants 2,000 bucks from you and that’s like his number? (chuckling) Beyond that, he’ll do whatever you want, huh?

    SUSAN: (chuckling) Yeah, well. And he’s kind of a family friend …

    TOM: Oh, OK.

    SUSAN: … so I kind of go with him because he helps around a little (INAUDIBLE) around my house and …

    TOM: Well, what’s your end goal?

    SUSAN: It’s the ugliest thing and …

    TOM: Yeah.

    SUSAN: … it’s the side of my house and it’s what you see when you pull up in the driveway. It’s really old. It has old clapboard on it. You know, I used to repaint it every year. Two old, old wooden doors. A window that’s being held up with a board. (chuckling)

    TOM: Hmm. Well, could you use the space if you fix it up?

    SUSAN: Probably.

    TOM: Yeah.

    SUSAN: I wouldn’t (ph) probably heat it.

    TOM: Right.

    SUSAN: But that’s the other thing I’m thinking. It’s totally not insulated.

    TOM: Right.

    SUSAN: You know, you can see the rough nails and everything.

    TOM: Well, maybe this could be the first step in trying to create an additional finished space there. You know, a lot of these old buildings that have these additions to them or these standalone buildings were put up way before we had, you know, the pesky codes to follow. (chuckling) (INAUDIBLE) building codes. (Leslie chuckles)

    SUSAN: Right.

    TOM: And so if you take it down you may not be able to get it back. So, you know, if he thinks 2K will fit it up and have it look nice, perhaps do some landscaping around it that would probably be a better step than tearing it out.

    SUSAN: OK. I’ll keep it then. (chuckles)

    TOM: Alright. See? Simple as that.

    SUSAN: OK.

    LESLIE: (chuckling) You convinced her.

    SUSAN: Thank you.

    TOM: You’re welcome. 888-666-3974.

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