Kitchen Demo - Is this quote too high?

13 Replies

Kitchen Plan PDF

Hello,

I have a property in Renton WA and I am starting a kitchen remodel. I am looking to hire a contractor for the kitchen demo. The attached link has a downloadable PDF that shows the demo plan. Its a complete gut job down to the studs. Demoing - cabinets, drywall, and a dividing wall.

So far I have received a quote for $2500. I am still shopping for other quotes, but does this sound like a decent price?

The contractor that quoted me said he could get it done in a day. Even if its a team of 4 guys working 8 hours...thats almost $80/hr. Seems high, but am I out of touch?

Thanks!

I cannot really comment on the labor prices or dump fees of your area, but unskilled labor typically should not cost $80/hr. Pure demo is more of a $10-$20/hr job. At least it used to be. Could be $20-$30/hr by now with the ways things are. Either way, the best way to find out if a quote is high is to get at least 3 bids and compare.

For example. I recently got a quote to do some patio work on my personal residence. The first guy quoted me at $3300 and I thought it was pretty high. Next two guys came in and quoted $4500. That $3300 quote might be $1500 in Alabama or Kansas for all I know. Doesn't matter. I live in AZ so I have to go by AZ prices.

The point is you have to get multiple bids and compare them. Asking random people in other cities/states isn't going to do you much good.

@Pete Perez, Getting multiple bids as @Bob Okenwa suggested is smart and make sure you are comparing apples to apples on the competing bids. Remember, the cheapest bid isn't always the best way to go either. Ask yourself why are they a $1,000 less? aIs this just a side job for this contractor? Make sure the dividing wall isn't a load bearing wall! What is your budget and how does this impact cash flow if it's going to be a rental or what would this add to the ARV if you are going to flip it?

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Without knowing the size of the wall or full details of the demo plan (like if it is load bearing and needs shoring or not), hard to say, but you are missing some factor here. Taking your $2500 quote and using 4 labor guys 1 day for a total of 32 man hours to arrive at your $80 per hour ($78.13 per hour actually), you failed to factor the cost of the dumpster rental and subsequent dump fees. On top of that, the contractor (assuming he is licensed) has overhead like liability insurance, gas and auto expenses, office expenses, workers comp insurance, employee benefits, matching taxes on employee incomes, etc. Then the contractor also has to make a profit too. Add that all up and $2500 does not seem far fetched, but it certainly may be possible to get it done for less. Your 3 bids will help answer this question, just make sure (as others pointed out) that the 3 competing bids are apples to apples).

As an old contractor said to me when I was griping about a subs quote "how long would it take you to do it?" If you feel the price is too high get some gloves and sledgehammer and dumpster and go to it.

Originally posted by @Pete Perez:

@Don Gouge 

@Evan Polaski

I took Don's advice and did it myself. It was one of those things that seemed more daunting that it really was. All it took was a phone call to my trash provider for a dumpster + 6 hours of my time. 

It is faster to just do it than getting 3 quotes. 

Demo is easy. Just do it yourself. But his $2500 was fair when you consider the cost of doing business (CDB)

Most people come on here *******g about Contractor prices and don't even understand the concept of overhead....

@BruceWood,since I have been a licensed GC for over 25 years I very well understand the concept of overhead. Doing quality work with responsible employees that are well paid isnt cheap. Workman's comp,GL, health insurance and benefits can quickly add up. Then add in licensing, equipment, supervision, advertising, vehicles and a modest profit and the sum is large 

  The op said the job took him 6 hours. We don't know dump fees but let's get wild and say $1000. So if you bill $2500 for the job than that means you are billing out $250 an hour for unskilled manual labor. Do you bill out $750 an hour for master carpenters?

Originally posted by @Don Gouge:

The op said the job took him 6 hours. We don't know dump fees but let's get wild and say $1000. So if you bill $2500 for the job than that means you are billing out $250 an hour for unskilled manual labor. Do you bill out $750 an hour for master carpenters?

Maybe it is a little high, but not much I think..... My old demo Contrs (Licensed, Bonded, Insured) would have sent 3 guys and 2 Dump-trucks. Got to figure in those costs. Worker's Comp on demo guys is high because of the potential injury, so figure with all labor costs they're at $40 hr..... Probably would have taken them 4 hrs to leave it broom clean. (we don't know how the OP left it, could be a mess and still need more fine-tuning) Dump fees of $250 ea. The owner should want at least $500 on top.....

Originally posted by @Bruce Woodruff :
Originally posted by @Don Gouge:

The op said the job took him 6 hours. We don't know dump fees but let's get wild and say $1000. So if you bill $2500 for the job than that means you are billing out $250 an hour for unskilled manual labor. Do you bill out $750 an hour for master carpenters?

Maybe it is a little high, but not much I think..... My old demo Contrs (Licensed, Bonded, Insured) would have sent 3 guys and 2 Dump-trucks. Got to figure in those costs. Worker's Comp on demo guys is high because of the potential injury, so figure with all labor costs they're at $40 hr..... Probably would have taken them 4 hrs to leave it broom clean. (we don't know how the OP left it, could be a mess and still need more fine-tuning) Dump fees of $250 ea. The owner should want at least $500 on top.....

 Bruce, I guess this might be more of a regional difference in how we do business and the expectations of client and contractor. I have a man I can send out that can easily do that work and leave it clean in 8 hours.  A three man crew will get in each others' way and undoubtedly one will spend 90% of his time standing around outside on his phone smoking a cigarette. Two dump trucks are overkill since it looks like this job wouldn't fill up half of one. 

  I would send one man with my company truck pulling a dump trailer. He can do it in 8 hours @40 an hour insured all of the way. Dump fees are much cheaper here so figure $100. Figure $100 for vehicle. If I add on $400 for the company that brings me to $920. Make the price $1000 and everyone is paid and legit and happy. Perhaps things are done very differently in your neck of the woods and maybe that is why our cost of housing is probably less than half of what it is on the west coast.