Advice Needed: Too Good to be True? Estimated Costs...

9 Replies

I'm thinking about buying this property but it has been completely gutted. It is a two flat but the second floor does not exist and so I would have to build out a staircase, put in the floors on both the main and second level, and obviously erect walls to divide up the rooms..etc..

I'm new to rehabbing so I asked my manager if she ever had to put in completely new floors and she said she made an addition to her 2 lvl house by extending one side of her home, and it costs around 200k, at around $100/sqft. That sounded ridiculously out of my reach in terms of money.

Then I asked me realtor on his advice, and even though he is not a rehabber, he estimated the costs to repair to be at least in the 100k ballpark, and materials alone would be at least 30k.

So here comes the interesting wrinkle, I talked to my friend who is currently the super in my apartment and he swears he has his own crew who can build out everything I need from this complete gut rehab for a fraction of the costs. He thinks he can do both floors for under 10k and maybe another 10k to to add the kitchens and bathrooms. He says 20k should do it.

Am I to believe my manager and my realtor who gave me these high estimates? or my friend rehabber? I just want to know is this even possible if you took out labor costs and only factored in materials.

For this example we'll use 1500 sqft each level, assuming 5 rooms each floor, 2 brs each, 1 kitchen and 1 bath on each floor.

I would get more estimates and be inclined to estimate high. Also, I generally avoid doing business with friends and family (with a very few exceptions)

Good luck!

Interesting.

you have gotten estimates from 3 people that do not do this for a living.

It's like going to the lawn guy to see if you have cancer.

One think for sure. I dont' think a crew can do this for what the guy says but without more info I can't say. For one, depending on where you live the elec and plumbing, hvac have to be done by a licenses contractor. Those 3 things alone will likely cost more than your 'crew' dude says he can do the whole job for.

IMO, as dcg says. get more estimates. hopefully from a contractor.

Splinter,

What's the cliche? All building projects are over time and over budget. And that comes from people who do building and rehabbing for a living.

Get estimates from real contractors.

I will also echo what dcg said ... avoid doing business with friends and relatives. I've been there and it very rarely works.

Good Luck,

NavyDoc

Originally posted by "hurrikane":
Interesting.
It's like going to the lawn guy to see if you have cancer.

Thanks, I was taking a sip of water and nearly spit it on my monitor. :lol:

I'm a general contractor and the first estimate seems low to me ... but closer than any of the others.

We run into RE agents all the time quoting per square foot building prices that are way out of line. They'll tell clients, you can add a nice guest house for $30 per square foot. I think they are living in the 60's. Guesthouses here run $150+ per square foot. When we tell them the cost, they think we are scamming them since "the realtor said".... They have no business quoting any construction costs.

As for your apt. super - I see him coming to you down the line for mo'money, mo'money ... and never finishing anything within a reasonable time.

None of these people are licensed contractors with any building experience. Its very funny how non-construction people look at something and always bid low. It shows they really have no clue.

Go find several licensed general contractors and get some bids. Those bids will be realistic and you may just want to pass on this project.

Good luck ...

Roan,
where are you located?

What are rehabings costing there?
150 sq ft is way out of line where I am (DC) and it's not cheap here.
As for guest houses you are doing all the exacavation, foundation, etc. things you may never have in a rehab.

I shutter at $65-$90 psf which is what I get from GCs at times.
they are great to have but I usually end up GCing the project myself.

I have no problem with people making money but a whole lot of deals would never get done at $150 sq ft. Or at $90.

Everything else you say is right on point and if our friend has no experience with GC or construction then a licensed GC is in the cards.

I got 2 estimates (in NY) for a 1000 sq ft. 2nd floor. 1 place I checked did modular extensions which are basically pre-built, fully finished units thats they just plop on top of your existing framework. That went for $100-$150/sqft which did seem like a bit much, but you have to remember how much work isn't being done at the residence.

The other estimate I got was from a contractor who would do all the work excluding furnishings for $60,000 - estimated as a project, not sqft (but it comes out as $60/sqft). With contractor estimates I like to increase the price they give me by 10% or so for a better estimate of what it will cost me at the end of the project.

I ended up deciding it wasn't worth the time & money to do it, i wanted to get the cash out of the property right away.

I got 2 estimates (in NY) for a 1000 sq ft. 2nd floor. 1 place I checked did modular extensions which are basically pre-built, fully finished units thats they just plop on top of your existing framework. That went for $100-$150/sqft which did seem like a bit much, but you have to remember how much work isn't being done at the residence.

The other estimate I got was from a contractor who would do all the work excluding furnishings for $60,000 - estimated as a project, not sqft (but it comes out as $60/sqft). With contractor estimates I like to increase the price they give me by 10% or so for a better estimate of what it will cost me at the end of the project.

I ended up deciding it wasn't worth the time & money to do it, i wanted to get the cash out of the property right away.

Hi - Hurikane - I didn't say it was $150+ SF for rehab - but for new or addition construction which would include any foundations, and other things new construction entails.

Rehab costs for me if I was doing it for you would be my cost plus my % for overhead. It would be a fixed bid. Say you needed paint, carpet, drywall, and some plumbing fixures, I'd get my bids for that - then add on my % for overhead. Then I'd give you a fixed bid.

So if my cost was - $10,000 - my overhead would be say 20% - so the final FIXED bid would be $12,000.

Using truly experienced people and "so-called" experienced people are two different animals - and you'll find that out. LOL

But if you can do some things yourself that you KNOW you can do and hire out some things, you can save money and time.

Hope that cleared things a bit.