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Nova 07-28-2009 12:53 PM

Attached Garage Construction in Northern Virginia
I've been reviewing the message board, and I can't believe I didn't find this sooner! This is my first post, so please excuse me if I am missing a previous post that has the information I'm looking for...

I currently have an attached 2 car carport LXW 25X22. The carport is structurally unsound as the slab has shifted away from the house. Ultimately my goal is to replace the carport with a 2 car garage 25X25. I have been getting conflicting advice so I figured I would throw out my questions to the here we go.

1. Existing Slab - (a) Break up and pour concrete over (b) just pour over the slab and tie into the side of the house (c) remove the 12 tons of concrete and pour a completely new slab.

2. I am debating whether or not to act as my own general contractor. I have been told that's a bad idea...but honestly I really can't find anyone in Northern Virginia that I can trust, or that has given me a reasonable quote. I have done a bunch of reading, and I'm thinking that the project involves the following: Am I completely off base here with the steps and my back of the envelope estimates? Total Cost Under 20K?????

A. Hire engineer to draw up plans. I want a custom roof line, so the roof trusses need to be designed special...otherwise it seems pretty standard. Estimate $500.

B. Get all permits. Cost - misery of working with Fairfax county.

C. Remove existing carport and slab - Hire a junk removal company...It's a thousand dollars worth of debris (including concrete) to bring to the I'm estimating 3500 to 4000 for this work (Heavy equipment cost one day= $1000, 3 workers = $1500 one day, Landfill = $1000.

D. Pour new concrete - 4inch at 4000psi with fiber additive..premix is about $1200 for the 8 yards I need. I wouldn't consider doing this myself but I think $5000 seems forms, pour footings, pour slab a few guys a couple days? Any tips on what I should look out for?

E. Build structure (with two windows). A good carpenter combined with a good building supply company (custom pre-engineered roof trusses)..seems like this could be done in a couple days. Materials Cost $2500 and Labor $2500????? 5K estimate

F. Roof: Estimate 1K.

G. Garage Doors - $2000

H. Other: I want this garage as basic as possible and then I can DIY add the bells and whistles (insullation, work room, drywall, epoxy floor, rafter storage). So this is just to get it to light, replace door to make it fire proof. 1K

ARI001 07-29-2009 12:09 PM

There is a lot more involved than you think there is to do this project. You will not get plans done for this project for anywhere near $500. No you will not contract out the entire job for under 20K. Similar projects I have done have come in at around 38K total.

Nova 07-29-2009 12:20 PM


Originally Posted by ARI001 (Post 308206)
There is a lot more involved than you think there is to do this project. You will not get plans done for this project for anywhere near $500. No you will not contract out the entire job for under 20K. Similar projects I have done have come in at around 38K total.

Thank you for the input...where do you think I am also underestimating? Do you do work in fairfax?

ARI001 07-29-2009 01:00 PM

I think you are underestimating across the board. Labor and material costs can not be accurately predicted without doing a take off based on all known factors of the job. Without a set of detailed plans there will always be some contingencies. You must itemize the different aspects of the job in order to get an accurate time frame. Once you know this you can start figuring the additional factors and adjust for those. Additionally other factors may affect cost like ability to get equipment in out. Storage of equipment and materials. Working hour restrictions. Of course there is o&p, job management, overhead expenses specific to the job not included in the fixed percentages. I think you get the point.

I have done some work around Fairfax in Oakton and Annandale. Generally speaking I don't like working in Northern Virginia because of the traffic and congestion in and around there. However, obviously if the money is right I do go.

jogr 07-29-2009 03:27 PM

In 1985 the bid I got in cheap southern Illinois for only the footing and slab for a similar size garage (no old work removal) was $7000. Now that might have been an unusually high bid but it makes me think that 24 years later it won't bid out anywhere near $5K especially in Fairfax County. Needless to say I did the job myself and built the whole garage for less than the concrete work bid. But I fortunately had free experienced help (relatives) that wanted to help out a young couple with their new old house.

Your estimates look low but the only way to know how low is to request bids. You could ask for "budgetary" numbers based on rough drawings and some contractors will give you a ballpark number with the understanding that the actual bid when you have a plan could change.

Permits shouldn't be a big deal and can actually help ensure you get a good outcome. I've seen the Fairfax County info on decks and it looks like they do a good job communicating requirements to homeowners to help them DIY.

Oh if you want rafter storage you need to be sure the trusses are designed for the load.

Scuba_Dave 07-29-2009 09:47 PM

I'm into this project so far for around $30k
That includes digging & pouring the foundation - 24 x36 - $5k (no floor)
All lumber windows & doors, roof, skylights, some large beams in the garage
Thats DIY

I figure the floor may cost $3k or more
New garage doors maybe $2-4k - insulated & what the wife wants (semi-designer)

They wanted $3k for architect plans, I did the plans instead
Permit was ~$550

Get some estimates from local builders
That is the only way to get an accurate estimate

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