Cost of Gut rehab on 1500sq ft in Philadelphia?! Including basement!

10 Replies

Hi out there in BP land!

Do you guys have experience with estimating gut rehab costs for Philadelphia? I know it will all depend on who does it and how nicely its done... 

The house is a 3 story, single family, 1500 sq ft. 4 bed/1.5 bath in a good part of Francisville that absolutely needs a gut renovation. It will need everything done, roof, electrical, basement slab, kitchen, baths, flooring, windows. Everything, except for the new furnace, and even the ducting will need to be reconfigured.

It will be a rental and I plan to hold it long term. I want to do it well enough to attract tenants who want something a little better than average. At the same time, I want to save money.

Currently my thought is to hire a general contractor for the job. In my fantasies, I have time to oversee the job myself but honestly I don't have much time available. Any other suggestions for how to get it done? I'm not eligible for FHA 203k as I don't plan on moving in.

I was guessing 75k. 

What do you think? 

Garrett M., Pleasant Street Properties, LLC

I work for a property preservation company for bank owned and foreclosures that are generally in pretty rough shape. On average for a full gut and remodel for that size house could be from 60-80k but it all depends like you said on who does it. I'd say get a general contractor to walk through and give you an estimate and have them itemize the proposal for you. It's a case to case basis Id personally have to see the home to give better numbers. There are also calculators and estimators through out BP and on the internet. Hope it helps, good luck (: 

Medium captureCharles Kappe, Connect The Dots Recovery | [email protected] | 4846851925 | http://www.connectthedotsrecovery.com

Obviously there is a lot of variability in costs depending on exactly what is needed an finishes you need.  But my instinct is that you could get that done with the right GC for ~$75K, but if the guy is professional and does good work then he is going to be hard to find and in high demand.  What I mean is, my go-to contractor could probably do it but only because I give him steady work and basically full-time employment... he would charge more for a one-time client.

So most of the bids you get around the $75K price will be from guys who won't perform the job successfully for some reason (slow, poor work, hard to deal with, requires lots of oversight, no permits, bid didn't include everything, won't finish the job, etc.).  I would add $10K-$20K to your budget in order to find a trustworthy GC, especially if you are going to be mostly hands off.

If you are considering doing all of that work, especially if you are going to make it 'above average', you should strongly consider flipping it.  If you are in a good part of Francisville and the rehab will be done in Spring/Summer, you should be able to maximize your profit by selling and then using that money to buy rentals in areas of Philly that have higher cap rates.  Just a thought.

If you don't have the time to be there nearly daily, at least first thing in the morning, it's not likely you can GC yourself. Even if you do, taking bids and finding subs will eat up not only your time on a daily basis, it'll add weeks, if not months, to your project. I'm GC'ing my own flip right now and I've lost almost two weeks shopping for a drywall sub. I saved $1200 by shopping, but, due to their availability, I've now lost time. Luckily my holding costs are next to nothing and the longer the rehab takes, the closer to prime selling season we'll get, but, if this were a high holding cost house, these setbacks could eat us alive.

Full gut with basement, roof and all systems, coupled with not having a relationship with a GC, I'd budget $100k. That may be high but it'll keep you out of trouble and cover most contingencies. Are you considering brick pointing, landscaping, etc.? It all adds up rather quickly. I'd bet you could find someone that'll say they'll do it for $80k but what's their track record? I got a quote for a similar house and scope recently that came in at $100k but that was from a local GC with a track record who is in the middle of $100k rehabs on $400k houses right now. PM me for his info. 

Originally posted by @Garrett M. :

... It will need everything done, roof, electrical, basement slab, kitchen, baths, flooring, windows. ...

What do you think? 

The words "basement slab" there have me wondering what is that about and why. Are you saying that you have to pour a concrete basement floor (because it is either dirt or the existing concrete is fracturing)?  Or are you saying you want to excavate the basement floor to gain headroom?  Unless there is some egress, I wouldn't be spending lots of money in the basement.

Garrett, 

As other folks mentioned, there are several factors that will affect your final cost.

It seems to me that this is not a simple project, so even if you had time, in Philly you have to hire a GC for certain jobs, you can't hire the subs yourself. 

Francisville is an upcoming area, so city inspectors are constantly checking if you have the permits to do the rehabs and make sure things are done the right way.

The properties I did with similar spaces cost me $80 to $120 and they got sold in less than 15 days. Considering you are renting and the grade doesn't need to be high .... I would say your should be under my costs depending on finishes you select.

Get at least 3 to 5 bids (Dont be surprised w the discrepancy lol)

Let me know if you need any help.

Best,

Andresa

Medium logoAndresa Lobrace, Corsa Home Solutions | 2676393278 | http://www.corsahomesolutions.com

Originally posted by @Steve Babiak :
Originally posted by @Garrett M.:

... It will need everything done, roof, electrical, basement slab, kitchen, baths, flooring, windows. ...

What do you think? 

The words "basement slab" there have me wondering what is that about and why. Are you saying that you have to pour a concrete basement floor (because it is either dirt or the existing concrete is fracturing)?  Or are you saying you want to excavate the basement floor to gain headroom?  Unless there is some egress, I wouldn't be spending lots of money in the basement.

 In that market, at least for a flip, everybody is finishing the basements. I personally hate finished basements but the market demands it. I assumed he was talking about gaining headroom and not just pouring a "rat slab" as they used to be called. Not sure for a rental you have to finish the basement, but if he's going to do a full gut, now is the time if he ever wants to sell for top dollar in the future. 

For egress, most are putting in wells with grates over them and the appropriate sized window to meet the egress code. 

If I ever built my own home, it'd be slab on grade. I hate basements. 

First, you need a scope of work, and decide on the level of finishes you want. Having multiple contractors do a walk through will yield massively differently results.

Originally posted by @Andresa Lobrace :

Garrett, 

As other folks mentioned, there are several factors that will affect your final cost.

It seems to me that this is not a simple project, so even if you had time, in Philly you have to hire a GC for certain jobs, you can't hire the subs yourself. 

Francisville is an upcoming area, so city inspectors are constantly checking if you have the permits to do the rehabs and make sure things are done the right way.

The properties I did with similar spaces cost me $80 to $120 and they got sold in less than 15 days. Considering you are renting and the grade doesn't need to be high .... I would say your should be under my costs depending on finishes you select.

Get at least 3 to 5 bids (Dont be surprised w the discrepancy lol)

Let me know if you need any help.

Best,

Andresa

 Good point, I forgot to mention the permit piece. I also missed that it's a rental till I read your post, I guess I read what I wanted on that one! That should save him some money on materials. Flooring, he could go with a $2/sq ft laminate instead of 3/4" hardwood. Where else? Cabinets, cheaper tile. I could see saving on finishes, depending on the rental market he's looking to hit. If he's looking to get top rental dollar though, he'll still need to rehab to near flip-level finishes. 

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