Opinions on contractor estimates?

5 Replies

Hey guys,

Brand new to the forum, I just started my first flip and I had some questions mainly about contractor prices and how to find 'investor friendly' contractors.  The area is Washington, DC however for future projects Prince George's County MD is a likely target so if you're willing to pass along any contact info for contractors I'd appreciate it.

The house is a 3 level duplex in DC about 400 ft2 per level (per tax record) but really they measured from the outside walls it is about 350 a level if you measure interior dimensions.  We're gutting the thing down to the studs and rebuilding it saving not much more than some sub floor and the framing that had not changed per the plans.  So I know, I know, without you being in DC or having been inside the house it is really hard for you to say.. so all I'm looking for is very general feedback.  Obviously you can spot a great price or a very bad price on a job, and anything that doesn't scream out great or horrible, is at least 'within reason'.. so really just any idea on where you think if any I should look to get more quotes.   I marked the ones I suspect possibly I could do a little better on with a (*) if you think you can give feedback let me know.  If not I understand I see people make similar threads and get screamed at, but like I said about 1000 ft2 on 3 levels, 2 baths, gutted to the studs.

Plans - to draw all the plans structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing and take them down to DCRA and get them approved he's charging $3,500.  I pay the cost of the permits.

To demo the whole house - $3,000 plus I pay for the dumpsters.

New Roof - $3,000 

Waterproof basement - busted up concrete and installed french drain system  fed into sump pump (kept existing sump pump) and water seal paint the inside (no outside work) $5,000.

Frame whole house - $3,000 (basically basement and main level.. upstairs didn't really change)

Drywall - delivered, hung, and finished - $32 per sheet he estimates 120 sheets needed ($3,840 total)

Insulate all walls and attic - $1500

(*) Rough electrical including permits,new panel & wire - $4000  (outlets, switches, cans, fixtures, etc. additional)

(*) New duct work - $4,000 ... seems fairly simple with the house demo'd and being such a small house.  Furnace in basement.

(*) Handrail - $750 (25 ft of handrail) .. not sure seems like a lot.  Maybe I'm missing something I think it just means the handrail leading upstairs and another leading downstairs.

Paint house inside & out - $4,000 (I think this is very good)

(*) Windows - $350 per window installed for fairly normal sized vinyl replacements.. I was thinking I could probably beat this by about $100 a window going with a window company?  I There are about 8 normal sized windows and 3 or 4 smaller windows in bathroom/kitchen areas.

(*) Rough plumbing - waiting on his plumber to estimate but he thinks $4,000 which was one item I was a bit suspect of because basically you have a bathroom in the basement with laundry beside it, kitchen above it, and bathroom above it, basically all straight up and down in a small house and this is not including bathroom vanities, toilets, etc.

(*) Flooring -  $8400 - we didn't actually finalize anything I'm not sure what materials he was planning all over, but I think wood floors in the top 2 levels and engineered wood in the basement, tile in bathrooms and kitchen area (very small).  I was thinking we go hardwood on main level and carpet in the upstairs bedrooms.. then maybe carpet in the basement since it is water proofed saves me a good bit.

Some of the pricing here seems low, particularly for DC. Roof, framing, ductwork all seem low.

On windows, make sure the cheap vinyl windows are appropriate to the price point and neighborhood. Riggs, Park for instance they will be. Shaw or Petworth could go either way, Dupont or Capital Hill you shouldnt use them.

@Adam Hoff Id get a second opinion from another contractor. What I’ve realized as an investor is that contractor cost vary based on 1. How busy they are 2. How many families they have to feed. The busier the contractor is, the more expensive they will be for the next job. The more people they have on their team, the more eager they’d be to keep them busy I can send you some recommendations if you’d like.

Some of those prices seem very low: paint, windows, roof, framing (even if that is just for labor), rough in electrical (if it is the entire house)