Ask me anything about...Construction.

113 Replies

So that is the problem no schooling that would qualify and all the experience has been off the books. It is actually for my father he wants to get his residential contractors license to run the subs for our flip projects.

@Katherine Marquez

2 bed 2.5 bath plus laundry and kitchen. Probably 21 to 22k for the plumbing. That brand new everything. No demolition. They will charge you to pull pipe they cant use. This can be less in other parts of the country.

If theres a pool that's a little out of my scope.

I would go with a 200 amp panel. Electrical for a new install is about 20-25% less than plumbing. It sounds like you have a wiring system that's too old for combining. I would expect to pay 16k for electrical. Plumbing might include basic fixtures. Electrical you'll be buying you're own fixtures.

@Meryl McElwain This may be a silly question but when looking at 2-4 unit building with a basement/garden unit that is not legally zoned as an additional unit here in Chicago, can permits be pulled for the renovation work on that basement?

I’ve heard that can be done and one can even rent an illegal basement to Section 8 as long as it’s up to code and permits were pulled. Looking for some confirmation and clarity if possible.

Thanks in advance!

@Alex Martinez

I'd have to clarify a couple things but what you're talking about is most likely called legal non conforming.

It's not legal now because of current zoning laws but it once was. So while you cant create a situation like this now if it already exists you can keep it.

Yes you can pull a permit for legal non conforming. If you need help with this just DM me. I'm in Chicago.

@Meryl McElwain this is a great thread. I'm sure you'll agree, it's important that everyone understand that every state, as well as local planning and building departments have their own processes, fees, permits required, etc. and though contractors can get close on pricing of materials, labor costs are affected by local market conditions. Therefore; don't rely on a BP post, but get actual bids, and learn your local regulations, and licensing requirements. I'm in CA where you almost need a permit and pay a fee to breathe, and labor costs and materials are through the roof. In Oregon you almost need to be licensed to think about anything construction related. It's ridiculous.

Originally posted by @Karen Margrave :

@Meryl McElwain this is a great thread. I'm sure you'll agree, it's important that everyone understand that every state, as well as local planning and building departments have their own processes, fees, permits required, etc. and though contractors can get close on pricing of materials, labor costs are affected by local market conditions. Therefore; don't rely on a BP post, but get actual bids, and learn your local regulations, and licensing requirements. I'm in CA where you almost need a permit and pay a fee to breathe, and labor costs and materials are through the roof. In Oregon you almost need to be licensed to think about anything construction related. It's ridiculous.

For sure. What happens in Chicago or my experience can be very different from a person in Florida. California probably has regulations that I cant even begin to understand.The questions from out of state are a little more difficult for me but anything I'm laying out here is going to be subject to plans, codes, local laws. There is also just different ways of doing construction.  We can't stick frame over 3 floors in Chicago because of the fire code. I'm sure there's plenty of places around the country you can which is drastically going to change your cost of construction.  But I'm just trying help people get a general idea of what they're facing. There always unknown factors. The more info I have the more specific I can get. But I hope everyone knows this is just my opinion. People everywhere will disagree with me. There will be people out there that have better methods than I do to. And that is life is this business.  Or maybe in any business.

 

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

In NEC 2017 it says that bedrooms should have AFCI breakers. So, should the 12/2 in an attic space go through the rafter or is it okay to staple to the top of the rafter?

 

You're allowed to use Romex in AZ?  Must save a lot on rehab costs.  

 

@Meryl McElwain

Thanks for offering your expertise!

I recently listened to a BP podcast in which the guest was doing wholesale land deals to developers. Do you see a niche for this in your experience? If so, what would you look for in this partnership? My impression is this is someone who can go out and negotiate off-market land and perform the due diligence necessary for developments, taking a lot of the ground work off the developers plate. Do developers typically have someone in-house that does this, or that works with the outside parties who would?

Hi


Have you personally worked with section 538 loans. Basically loan for low income with 90ltv. 


If so how does it differ from traditional loan 70 ltv


Any good books on development and apartment investing

@Luka Milicevic

Outside walls always carry the load.

Interior walls- I thought about answering this a few ways but it's actually pretty simple.

Load is carried by the foundation. You have to transfer down to the foundation somehow. If you're looking at a wall on floor 3 ask yourself does this wall transfer all the way down to the basement in the same exact place. And if it does, does it transfer to a footing or foundation wall. Transfering to a basement floor is not the same as a footing. It might look like a pier in the middle of a basement but its typically going to be at least 42 inches deep.

If it does, its carrying something.

This is assuming you have correct construction. People do weird things all the time in old houses to reinforce sagging roofs or floors that dont actually transfer load to the foundation but visually cure the problem.

My sage advice here is if you're about to do something to a house where you may remove a load bearing wall- talk to architect. That's one of those things where if you make a mistake its going to be a big mistake.

@Meryl McElwain

Thank you for making your free advice available. I’m keeping your name and this post as a future resource and you’ll definitely get some inquiries from me in the future!

How much are high end cabinets typically marked up by contractors? I’m doing a large scale remodel at my house and the cabinet costs definitely gave me sticker shock (45k). It’s a large kitchen, plus an island, plus a bar, laundry room & 1 bathroom... so it’s a lot of cabinets! My question is for a large job (spending 200k+), how much expected markup should I pay in the cabinet bill?

What would you say separates a successful startup and one that fails? (First 6 months). 

Originally posted by @Steven Lowe :
Originally posted by @Mike M.:

In NEC 2017 it says that bedrooms should have AFCI breakers. So, should the 12/2 in an attic space go through the rafter or is it okay to staple to the top of the rafter?

 You're allowed to use Romex in AZ?  Must save a lot on rehab costs.  

 

It's common practice n Arizona and also in at least Washington, both of which I've done flips to use Romex. I suspect Oregon, California, Nevada and Idaho are similar. It's kind of shocking (pun intended) to learn that you have to run pipes. Must have a really strong electrical union in IL.
So people can see what Romex looks like:

Originally posted by @Account Closed :

 

It's common practice n Arizona and also in at least Washington, both of which I've done flips to use Romex. I suspect Oregon, California, Nevada and Idaho are similar. It's kind of shocking (pun intended) to learn that you have to run pipes. Must have a really strong electrical union in IL.
So people can see what Romex looks like:

 Yep, strong unions in Chicago.  Romex isn't allowed anywhere, period.  

Originally posted by @Andrew Galeano :

@Meryl McElwain

Hey what is a good rule of thumb to come up with prices for

Labor on

Paint/sq ft cost

Vinyl floor/sqft

Upgrade bathroom/ sq ft

Kitchen remodel / sq ft

If any lol

 It depends on a lot of things including the level of finish, the area that the project is located in, the time of year that the project is being done, the complexity of the work, etc.  A high end house or condo is going to cost more to rehab per SF than say an efficiency apartment because of the quality of the work needed.  I've done $5,000 bathrooms and $50,000 bathrooms.  Or if you start a job during peak busy season when most contractors have multiple projects going they can't cut you a break on the price because labor is in short supply.

Hi Meryl,

I'm trying to put a deal together with a property that has a bunch of raw land. I know that construction in our area is around $175 sq ft but this is rough raw land that will need to be subdivided. It will need perk tests for wells and septic but no roads as the lots will all be along an existing road. How do I know how to price it? Not much raw land has sold in this area in the last few years. Thanks for your help!

Hi @Meryl McElwain

This is a great thread! Thanks so much for taking the time to respond to everyone.

I am new to investing and looking to build my team. Do you think it’s best to start by finding a general contractor who has the subs already in place? Or is it best to find each sub separately?

In addition, what is the best process for finding the right contractors?

I have been hearing from numerous investors that the Chicago area is running into a shortage of skilled contractors which is causing projects to be more expensive than people estimate.

Thanks!

Nate

Hi

Have you personally worked with section 538 loans. Basically loan for low income with 90ltv. 


FtIf so how does it differ from traditional loan 70 ltv

Any good books on development and apartment investing