6 Replies

Has anyone on BP used Homewyse to help estimate rehab costs?  If so, did you find it accurate or way off?

I realize it is a website that gives general high and low prices for each item but I was just wondering if those prices it gives where even close to what it actually costs.

@John Hixon  I was just wondering the same thing. I am new at this and just went out and did my first home visit today. I took good notes and measurements but now just need some ballpark figures on a few things. I found the homewyse and used their "high end" pricing to be safe but still wasn't sure how accurate it was. 

I think at the end of the day a contractor will get the materials much cheaper than what they are listing. These prices seem to be for the general consumer. I think they are safe but my guess is that they are on the high side.

@Jeremy Ferguson

@John Hixon

I found this site today and am using it to see if their "national" average price is anywhere near the actual quotes I get for labor on things like title floor removal, install kitchen cabinets, and painting.

No computer program can let you know how your contractor is really going to price it.  They got the prices from Estimating books, and even those aren't accurate, they just give a "factor" when you change zip codes. They are at least 20% different from my price in some areas. Nothing beats a contractor's quote still, I guess you could use it, question is, is it safe? Another question is, what is inclusive and exclusive on their price, the third question will be, do you really know what you want?

Say for example, I install a granite slab that they price per square foot, now these slabs go around 21" x 96", now if your project requires 2 96" and 1 50", when I go to the slab yard, I need to order 3 slabs, and the program only prices it for 2x96 + 50" giving yourself short.

On some things it seems pretty accurate but on other things it seems way off...and that's the problem: how do you know which is which?  

It's hard when you're starting out, to figure what things will cost but after several projects you will develop a sense of your own local market and its costs.  The website in question is interesting but there's really no substitute for actual experience. 

A general contractor would be able to perform the majority of the items in house much cheaper than a owner/flipper could get them priced. Homewyse is great for a starting point or even a conceptual estimate. A great example is for us in Charleston SC any hired trim carpenter from an experienced trim company will cost you $35-$42 an hour. (This is not a day laborer). Do the estimate on homewyse and you will find that for the average of the two rates provided you hit it right at $36 an hour. Just keep in mind that this wouldn't be optimal for a flipper who needs the "2 guys and a truck" crew that works for $15 an hour laborer and then $27 an hour carpenter. Play with the rates long enough and you learn how lucrative the gc world can be.