Cost to finish gut rehab?

10 Replies

I'm looking at a 100+ year old,~2500 sqft house, 2 stories with unfinished attic and basement. The home has been completely gutted down to the studs.  I'm wondering how much it would cost to finish the job?

  • Variables:
    • The windows have all been replaced, as has the roof. 
    • The siding has been removed, I would replace it with fiber cement (vinyl would look ridiculous in the neighborhood)
    • The floors have original the hardwood. About half would need to be replaced(with midgrade hardwood, the rest of it can simply be refinished. 
    • The basement has a dirt floor, I'd like to have concrete poured down there, but wont do anything else at this time (there are windows and a back door to pour/bring in cement)
    • I'd like to finish the attic and add a bathroom. (for my mother)
    • Add master bathroom on second floor (would be placed directly above the kitchen and across the hall from another bathroom)
    • All new systems (2 Zone HVAC, Plumbing (copper pipes), and electrical)
    • I intend to use Spray foam insulation
    • The entire house would use low-mid tier materials with certain splurges(hardwood, kitchen cabinets)
    • This will not be a rental, I'd live here. 

I'm aware that it is hard to quote without seeing a property, but i'm really asking for a close ballpark estimate. I've gotten a few quotes from local contractors and they have ranged from 120k to close to 220k. I'd just like to know what you would pay/charge for similar in your respective markets. 


120-140 in DFW, roughly $50/sf

In the process of doing something very similar in NJ at work for a flip.

We had a gutted Home with good roof and siding. Installing all new mechanicals hardwood, 2 bathrooms with low-mid finishes, batt insulation, $5k kitchen plus granite, new appliances, misc framing changes and a foundation repair. We are coming in around $100k.

Note we are Builders with good discounts for fixtures, hardwood, tile, Cabinets etc. Also leaning on our trades for good pricing because of the amount of work we give them.

I think you are looking at every bit of $150k, If not more considering you are using copper piping (pex is a good product now if using the proper fittings, and saves on material and labor), spray foam, fiber cement board (probably hardie), 2 zone HVAC plus you will probably need “make up air”because of spray foam and new energy codes.

How many bathrooms are there now? They can be big cost drivers.

@Brian Widdis There are currently 1.5 baths. Full bath on the 2nd floor, Half bath on 1st floor. 

And i mentioned that i want to add 2 more (one in master bedroom, another in the attic).

I was looking into pex but based on my research, Chicago building code does not allow it(yet). 

Good evening David-

Was the home recently bought? I can pull up the listing and give you a rough idea. I am a licensed and insured contractor in Chicago btw :)

Good day David-

This will be better to type, since I jumped on a desktop. Before you actually start getting quotes I’d recommend having a sit down with an architect to prepare some kind of preliminary drawings so you can bid off. This will come 15-20% closer vs a ball park. 2,500 sqft at 120,000 is just impossible especially for all the things asking for you. For construction costs I’d factor 200,000 250,000.

Things you need to check:

Service size of water (might need think of a pressure booster), electrical service panel, spray foam entire home I would recommend closed cell spray foam, since this is higher r value and moisture barrier. how is the structure of the building? hows the foundation? these are all things that need to be investigated. Drain tiles? 

Rough cost break down without seeing property:

Architect 5,000-10,000

Plumbing 25,000-30,000

Electrical 25,000

HVAC 20,000

Concrete 10,000

Spray Foam 20,000

Drywall 15,000

Painting 15,000

Bathrooms 15,000

Siding and gutters 20,000

Stairs 15,000

Kitchen with appliance and granite 15,000-20,000

Finish trim doors, casing, baseboards, shoe 25,000

If you have any further questions feel free to ask. Have a good day! 

Here's a completed gut finished

In Chicago you are typically $90 - $100 per SF. Finishes could drive it up to $125 per SF dependent on comps. 

Hi @David Clarke we are also a licensed GC here in Chicago. And I concur you are absolutely going to be spending every bit of 200K (probably more). Great rough breakdown by Robert Los above, good ballpark figures for our market. And you are correct, no pex (or pvc) in Chicago, all cast iron and copper. 

Also, if you are going to finish that basement -- put in the drain tile and an overhead sewer!  Personally, I would put them in even if I was not finishing the basement. Run the underground plumbing before you pour the basement floor so you are not ripping it back up later. You will spend  more than just pouring the concrete slab, but it will be money well spent. Based on the age of the home, I would also anticipate running a new water service from the house to the main, it will in all likelihood be required by the City so figure it in now. 

Hope this helps!

@Ann Folan thank you, just a quick price breakdown for our BP family member. The mobile app is having too many errors :( i hope BP can fix the issues.  Have a great day! 

@David Clarke  

I would figure $10-12k per bathroom.

Didn’t realize you had so many. I think you need to push budget to $200k, maybe slightly more.

You should put together a very defined scope or work if not drawings to use when bidding otherwise you will be all over the place with numbers that will ultimately change when construction begins. 

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