Cost to Finish House

8 Replies

there is no way an educated estimate can be made based on this little of information, and I wouldn't trust anyone on this forum that puts a number up.   Montana is 4th largest state.    Allison, if you want advice you need to be more specific then  " how much does my car cost with 4 tires and a CD player in Missouri"

@Allison Anderson this looks like your first post so welcome to BP. 

Actually someone should be able to give you a crude estimation based on the sq footage. However a big problem is you don't now if what has been done, is done correctly. It is common for unfinished projects to be done wrong. The lack of skill and knowledge is one reason it is an unfinished project.

@Allison Anderson  I apologize for the misunderstanding.  I was just making a reference that if you are selling your car you need to provide as much info to the dealership so they can give you the best quote.  Where in Montana? What type of neighborhood? 4 levels, is this basement, 2 stories, attic? what types of finishes are there?   how many bedroom/ bathrooms?  What type of flooring?   I tend to disagree with @Ned Carey on sq footage ,   unless you are looking for an estimate with a + or - 25k .  However, Ned did greet you better than I did. So welcome to BP, I hope we can help with your project 

There are various free online calculators that can help with this. Google "estimating construction costs online" should produce a few to choose from. This site also has a rehab estimator tool ( see the tools menu above) but it's only free the first 5 times you use it.

 Assuming the Exterior is completely dried in, the next steps to finish the project would be:

  • Drywall or Wall Finish - a Cabin in Montana might prefer a Wood Finish instead of the Drywall we typically use in Arizona - Possibly a combination of both; I suspect Drywall would be least expensive but maybe not as Aesthetically correct.
    • Assume an inspection is required to confirm proper Nailing of Wallboard prior to next steps - Make sure Wiring and Plumbing passed inspection prior to installing Wallboard.
  • Tape, Texture, and Paint - If Drywall is used, not required for a Wood Wall Finish, but Wood might need to be Stained and Sealed.
  • Flooring - Carpet, Tile, Wood
  • Millwork - Cabinets and Countertops
  • Electrical Trim - Includes installation of Electrical Outlets, Switches, and Light Fixtures.  Final connection to the power source either Power Grid or Alternative Energy option.
    • Final connection will probably need to be inspected before a Green Tag is granted and power turned on.
  • Mechanical - Not sure that a Cabin in Montana needs an HVAC system, maybe just a Fireplace for Winter and open window's with Fans for Summer.
    • HVAC system may also need to be inspected, started, and possibly you may want to order a Test and Balance since you have multiple levels the system may be a little complicated.
  • Plumbing Trim - Installation of Sinks, Faucets, Toilets, etc.

As mentioned above, you might be able identify a rough SF budget by searching online for each of the above items and any others that I've failed to include that other commenters may point out.  A source I use to budget my projects is RS Means but the annual subscription is fairly expensive if your only looking for rough numbers one time.

I recommend contacting 3-4 General Contractors in the area and asking them to give you a proposal to finish the work.  If your looking at a potential purchase the Seller should be willing to allow your contractor the opportunity to inspect and estimate the project... you might need to try and get all contractors to walk the project on the same day as the Seller may not want you on the property over multiple days.  I do this regularly on my projects by inviting multiple contractors to attend a Pre-Bid walk thru of a project and tell them to have all their subcontractors tour the project between a specific set of hours (Usually from 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM).  I will be there the entire time collecting contact information from all who walk the project, explaining the scope of work we want completed, answering any questions they may have and possibly asking many of my own.

No matter what the final outcome, the process will be educational, possibly profitable and IMHO worth the time and energy you will spend on it.

Good Luck!

What city in Montana is the cabin located? Area's like Bozeman, Helena, Missoula and Billings are all hot markets with no shortage of work for builders making those areas more expensive to finish a home.  Also if the cabin is in the boonies it will likely be harder to incentivize a crew to get out there as there is so much work happening close to city centers. @Alex Young may have been blunt, but he was not wrong, lots of variables at play when estimating construction costs.

Allison, I work for a contractor in Missoula Montana and do some of the bid work. If it is near Missoula, I might be able to help you figure some numbers out depending on the information you have (see Alex and Wren.)  PM me if you want to dialog more.