Construction Costs Estimates

12 Replies

Hello All!

Does anyone know of any existing apps that can at least give a rough estimate of carpet, tile, wood flooring, roof, paint, sheet rock per sq ft?

It doesn't need to be exact and I realize the quality and quantity will influence the price but is there anything out there?

Thanks,

Jessy Milner

Austin, TX

Here is a link: http://buyingafixerupper.com/calc.html

Also, flooring estimates are a bit easier to find online or as follows. It also depends on the quality of the product that you are using in addition to the installation costs. 


Carpet: PPSF + 1-2 per square foot installation. 

Tile: Materials cost (tile, grout, backer board, sealers) + 7 per square foot for demo, board, tile, grout and seal.  Or you can save a little money by doing the demo and backerboard yourself and pay about 5 per square foot for tile, grout, seal. 

Refinishing wood floors: 1-2 per square foot without staining, and 2-4 per square foot with staining. 

Painting: for a 2k square foot house - i'd image it's close to 1-2 per square foot for a normal job. 

Roofing is approximately 150 per square (square is 10 feet by 10 feet) for re-shingling, and if the roof requires redecking in addition to shingling it will be 2x that cost - this cost includes standard materials. 


Drywall costs can be split between hangers and finishers, assuming that you have studs in place to hang new drywall on and it's not a totally new wall.  Approximately $1.50-$1.75 per square foot to hang and another $1-$1.5 to finish. 

These prices are coming from Rochester, NY - so there may be differences regionally or in larger cities. 

All of the costs you inquired about can be found by doing individual google searches too.  Generally I've looked for the best and most reputable as my benchmark for costs - and usually they are worth the money - unless I have a side work guy that is willing to do it on nights and weekends for less (although you'd have to manage the person). 

David, 

That looks great and thanks. The thing I am looking for is something that can give me an idea how much a contractor grade sq ft of tile would be, etc. Any suggestions?

Thanks again,

Jessy

I have looked at Homewyse a couple of times.  It seems light for our area even though you can enter a zipcode.

Means is a cost book "used" in commercial construction.  I put it in quotation marks because Means is not something you use when real money is at stake.  But it can get you in the ballpark.

I also caution you about using pricing guides or unit prices.

Let's take painting for example.  Do you need to re-texture the walls?  Patch any holes?

Do you need primer or can you just paint?

A couple of line items I always see lacking is demolition and dumpsters.

When I was a young pup estimator a senior estimator tested me on estimating drywall. I came back with a price only to find out I only priced drywall.  I had not included layout, studs, tape & float.

The moral to the story is know what is included in unit prices and know your scope fo work.

Copied this from Homewyse.  It applies to ANY pricing guide:

"Homewyse cost estimates are approximate ranges for basic work in typical conditions. The estimates should only be used for preliminary planning. Homewyse estimates are NOT substitutes for quotes from qualified vendors. Homewyse strongly recommends that you contact reputable professionals for an accurate assessment of work required and costs for your project - before making any decisions or commitments."

Here are a few resources I've come across recently that provide actual numbers/formulas :

Originally posted by @Joel Barrett :

Here is a link: http://buyingafixerupper.com/calc.html

Also, flooring estimates are a bit easier to find online or as follows. It also depends on the quality of the product that you are using in addition to the installation costs. 


Carpet: PPSF + 1-2 per square foot installation. 

Tile: Materials cost (tile, grout, backer board, sealers) + 7 per square foot for demo, board, tile, grout and seal.  Or you can save a little money by doing the demo and backerboard yourself and pay about 5 per square foot for tile, grout, seal. 

Refinishing wood floors: 1-2 per square foot without staining, and 2-4 per square foot with staining. 

Painting: for a 2k square foot house - i'd image it's close to 1-2 per square foot for a normal job. 

Roofing is approximately 150 per square (square is 10 feet by 10 feet) for re-shingling, and if the roof requires redecking in addition to shingling it will be 2x that cost - this cost includes standard materials. 


Drywall costs can be split between hangers and finishers, assuming that you have studs in place to hang new drywall on and it's not a totally new wall.  Approximately $1.50-$1.75 per square foot to hang and another $1-$1.5 to finish. 

These prices are coming from Rochester, NY - so there may be differences regionally or in larger cities. 

All of the costs you inquired about can be found by doing individual google searches too.  Generally I've looked for the best and most reputable as my benchmark for costs - and usually they are worth the money - unless I have a side work guy that is willing to do it on nights and weekends for less (although you'd have to manage the person). 

 Joel,

Can you explain what "square" relates to for roofing? I've looked at several homes where the permit says it was "reroofed shingles with (28 squares)..." or it will have "(19 squares)". When I looked at the home it was clearly obvious the entire roof was reshingled. I've googled and read a little on reroofing but nothing speaks of the number of squares that I'm finding in the permit description. Does this number refer to the size of the shingle?

Thanks

Check BP resources, there are a few spreadsheets on there to help estimate costs. 

Here is how I personally do it, but I do all of the work myself so this is 100% material only estimates that don't include labor.

I do this in a spreadsheet. Nothing fancy

Measure all flooring surfaces and decide what floor I want.

Depending on the flooring: I find the actual floor sq/ft price and multiply by the space. On a separate line I calculate the subfloor prep-Carpet pad, moisture barrier, tile mortar, etc.

With tile mortar-the back of the package should tell you how much surface area it will cover depending on the tooth width your trowel has. Grout is the same. It will tell you how much surface area it will cover depending on how wide your tile gap is.

With paint, it depends on the type of paint (whether it needs one or two coats). Usually if you're painting over a dark color you will need two. I estimate about half a 1-gallon can for 1 normal sized room that requires 2 coats. 

Flooring and paint are probably the most common items. There are hundreds of other projects I'm sure. 

Once all that is done, I calculate the tools I need for the job. I have all the tools, but some things like paint rollers, saw blades, etc need to be replaced.

Once I have all these estimates, I multiply the tax on the final price. Last thing I add 10% to the total as an estimate buffer.

Hope this helps if you intend on doing the work yourself.

@Jessy Milner    I would be careful using an app for estimating costs. A couple things here...Estimating construction costs is where most people fail miserably. They check out these shows on TV and think you can remodel an entire home for 15k. Its just not possible.  

I was a project manager for 7 years and we used a program called Xactimate for smaller jobs or to give a rough estimate. Insurance adjusters use it for claims, so it takes into account what area contractors are charging.  With an app, unless it is area specific, I just don't think you could get a good estimate for what you may need. Hope this helps

Labor costs are so region specific I don't know how anyone can write a book or app on it. 

I don't even comment online about them unless the person asking is in the tri state area, even than they very. What a contractor charges in lower NY is vastly different than upper NY. 

This is one area of the business where you kind of just need to do your homework locally.

Originally posted by @Hugh Ayles :

@Daria B.

A square is 100 square feet.  So 19 squares is 1900 sf.

 Thanks Hugh! Is it that simple..... :)

@Chris Field

You are exactly right about labor rates being area specific.  

Means has regional multipliers but very few professional estimators use Means.  

There really is no shortcut to pricing.  Either you know pricing or you hire someone (a contractor for instance) to provide pricing.

Too much is at stake.

I saw a post a couple of weeks ago where someone used a square foot price for the entire rehab (not even unit price by work item) and then wanted to know why his budget was short after he had started the project.

I guess I have priced work too long to rely on unit prices.

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