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Old 12-11-2007, 10:11 AM   #1
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Cost per square foot -- very small addition


I'm looking to turn a breakfast area in the back of a house into a larger room by adding a small addition off the back that would only be approximately 72 square feet. The resulting addition could described as essentially half of a sunroom (about 6 x12) with french doors to the patio, a side door and one big window. It would require extending the existing wood floor to the new floor space. I'm looking for moderate finishing and minimal electric. I am not a handyman, but this seems like a pretty basic job to me.

The first person I spoke to gave me an estimate that is roughly 30-35 thousand. That sounds extremely high to me considering that it comes to about $400 per square foot and everyone tells me in Atlanta I should expect construction costs to run about $130 per square foot.

Is this contractor out of line? How can he account for the $400 per square foot estimate? Any insight you can offer is appreciated.

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Old 12-11-2007, 10:20 AM   #2
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Cost per square foot -- very small addition


It could be due to the small amount of space your expanding... Only 72 sq feet. A larger addition although taking more materials may help even out some of the cost.

I would get another bid or two and ask the original bidder if thats the case.

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Old 12-11-2007, 11:02 AM   #3
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Cost per square foot -- very small addition


That seems high to me, but I agree with Sammy.

I would think you would be $325SF max on the addition you have described.

You may have heard $130SF for new construction, remodeling will always be higher!

Last edited by Cole; 12-11-2007 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 12-11-2007, 11:42 AM   #4
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Cost per square foot -- very small addition


The contractor is not out of line and doesn't need to account for anything. His bid is what you'll need to pay if you want him to do the job. Other contractors may require more or less. The only way to find out is to ask them. There is really no way to put out a standard cost per square foor for additions. It can vary substantially depending on many factors and size is a big factor.

Regarding your square foot cost, you are basically having the most expensive parts of a construction project done and very little of the least expensive parts of the project. Opening up a load bearing wall, putting in a new foundation, tieing in to the existing roof/wall and matching the existing floor height perfectly and continuing the existing floor are all the expensive parts for any addition. If you were to continue your bump out from 6 feet to 12 feet I'm betting the cost per square foot of the extra 6 feet would be a lot less unless this causes other issues.

Small additions are often not worth the expense. If you think you'll eventually want more space it would be much more ecomnomical to go with one larger addition than a couple small ones.

You might also try asking the builder (and others) if he has any ideas on how you can obtain the additional space you want in your budget of $xx. Maybe bumping out in a different area or different configuration would be cheaper?
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:22 PM   #5
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Cost per square foot -- very small addition


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The contractor is not out of line and doesn't need to account for anything. His bid is what you'll need to pay if you want him to do the job. Other contractors may require more or less. The only way to find out is to ask them. There is really no way to put out a standard cost per square foor for additions. It can vary substantially depending on many factors and size is a big factor.
Absolutely correct. Sq.Ft. costs are AVERAGE. Not every project is average size, and average material. Not every contractor is going to price every job at an absolute average figure.

Quote:
Regarding your square foot cost, you are basically having the most expensive parts of a construction project done and very little of the least expensive parts of the project. Opening up a load bearing wall, putting in a new foundation, tieing in to the existing roof/wall and matching the existing floor height perfectly and continuing the existing floor are all the expensive parts for any addition. If you were to continue your bump out from 6 feet to 12 feet I'm betting the cost per square foot of the extra 6 feet would be a lot less unless this causes other issues.
And could easily add only a couple hundred in cost for the extra materials.

Quote:
Small additions are often not worth the expense. If you think you'll eventually want more space it would be much more ecomnomical to go with one larger addition than a couple small ones.
As previously mentioned, even avg. sq. ft. costs are not really applicable to remodeling. Some people think a new addition should be priced as new construction, but it's not even close.

Quote:
You might also try asking the builder (and others) if he has any ideas on how you can obtain the additional space you want in your budget of $xx. Maybe bumping out in a different area or different configuration would be cheaper?
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:43 PM   #6
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Cost per square foot -- very small addition


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Originally Posted by Cole View Post
You may have heard $130SF for new construction, remodeling will always be higher!
Absolutely. I have yet to meet any other GC's (with any degree of experience or knowledge) that will agree to price a remodeling project simply based - by the sf.
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:39 PM   #7
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Cost per square foot -- very small addition


Should anything ever be quoted by the square ft.?, I'm a landscape contractor and I never quote anything thing ( not even lawn installs by the square foot). Seems to me that there are just to many variables. When people ask me to give a per square ft. cost on anything I simply won't do it. The problem with this is that it gives a false sence of what jobs actually run. If this guys giving you a quote don't just look at the bottom line, check his references and reputation, if it's solid give him a chance to explain all the costs, most large differenes in quotes can mean large differences in quality of materials,labor and expertise. All those possible details that a company with less experience might overlook, but may want to bill you for when it's all over.
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Old 12-13-2007, 12:41 AM   #8
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Cost per square foot -- very small addition


AtlanticWBConst. is right, I've been a GC for 20 years, not only won't I agree to an SF price, I'll walk before I do it. It's a total cost or nothing.
Again I stress to all that care to listen, get more than one quote, read the quote thoroughly to ensure it covers all you require. You don't have to go with lowest but it keeps everyone honest in their quotes. I don't think the quote is unreasonable at all and I don't base that on the SF price, each job is so different, material quality is so different.
A standard 15' x 12' full kitchen remodel without addition may cost up to $30,000 with appliances. I did one a month ago at that price and earned a below average profit from it. I did one before that for $19,000 and earned about the same. Two different kitchens.
Get more quotes....))

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