How much does an addition really cost?

7 Replies

My wife and I recently purchased a single family home that we plan to live-in-flip. I'm in the military so we will be moving in a few years and we plan to rent or sale it after that. Its a two bedroom/ one bath. I've been interviewing general contractors that seem to be charging entirely too much. Which has led me to ask, "How much does a renovation really cost?" I just want to add an additional bedroom and bathroom (a master suite). How much is that? I understand that I'll pay a premium because I live in Los Angeles but it just seems though the prices are extremely high. I watch a lot of flip shows and it seems that they are quoted a lot lower. 

Hi Gabriel,

Thank you for your service!

Pulling an owners permits you can expect to be in the $175 to $200 per sq foot range.  If you are choosing very nice finish material the price will go up considerably.  

Hiring a draftsman verse and architect and/ or structural engineer with also help to save a ton of money.  You can typically find them around the building department passing out cards flyers etc.  Get several quotes and find someone you can relate with.

If you are going to save money you will need to get involved searching for contractors that deal with investors.  Typically you can find these trades by driving neighborhoods and taking note of the homes being renovated get out and talk to the crew to find the person who is running the job.  

The general contractors that are doing room, kitchen, and bathrooms additions are retail. You can spot these by really nice lifted trucks with big tires they provide white glove service with expensive pricing.

Good luck!

you can PM me if you want further info.

You can't go by what's on the flip shows. Different cities, different circumstances, and they work with contractors they've used for years in most cases. Additions can range anywhere from $10k-40k or more depending on the contractor, the size of the addition, the style of home, and the finishes you choose. 

Those flip shows have lower quotes because they use the same contractors every time and get deals from them because they promise work on the next house they flip. My team actually just sold a flip in near you in Northridge which was a 2/1. We have the same crew of workers for all of our projects and our price for an addition was 150 a square foot. So like @Loren Becker said above, for a 1 time job your probably looking at 175-200 sqft range

Each structure is different, you also need to think like an investor and not think that you will want an addition that you will live in 30 years. Expectations can be difficult, and expensive, keep em low. Also, shows are really cheap, because they are ......... shows. And there is usually an “educational” course that they want to capture, that will cost you tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars, 10 students will beat any flip any day.

Thanks for all the helpful advice. I'll keep my eye open whenever I see construction crews around. @Loren Becker most of the contractors have quoted me at [email protected]$250/sq ft. Now that I'm thinking like an investor I know that that is too much. I'd probably be willing to pay it if I were planning to live in it for a while. @Jason Franklin I'm familiar with the Northridge area. Thats actually where I live.

@Gabriel Fairman @Jason Franklin we have a BP real estate meetup here in Northridge every 3rd Thursday of the month at Collective Lifestyle - 8906 reseda blvd., Northridge, 91324. 6:30-8:30pm. You should come by! The next one is November 16th. 

I'll try to make it. Thank you for the invite. 

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