This is not something you see everyday. A serious DIYer in our neighborhood by the name of Brian is building a house OUTSIDE his old house. It's kind of hard to see in the picture above, but the old one is in there. See:
We stopped and spoke to Brian, a building project manager by profession, last week and asked if we could take some pictures. He gave us the okay and proceeded to tell us about the project. Here are some of the highlights of our conversation: He's going from a 1000 square foot rambler to a 3500 square foot two-story; he's doing most of the work himself, but he is hiring out some of the big jobs, like framing; there was 'discussion' with our city inspectors as they insisted that he was building a new house, whereas Brian insisted he was building an addition, they relented and now Brian is officially building an addition. (I'm sure there were permit issues that made Brian argue the definition of his project.)
Brian and his family are currently living in the 'inside' house. His plan is to move everyone into the second story of the new construction when it's finished, then start dismantling the rambler and chucking out the material through the front door. (Can't wait to see that.)
People have asked why Brian just didn't buy a new house. His response: There's no sweat equity in that. As far as Brian recouping his investment is concerned, he has no worries there. His property borders a brand new neighborhood of about 15 homes; their prices start at $650k. He invited us to return when he's farther along, so I plan to post more pictures as he progresses.