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zman1969 10-02-2012 10:28 AM

newby having garage built - reasonable cost of framing?
Hello, I am new here - I am working with my GC on a shop build 30x30 10' walls, 1 16' garage and 1- 3' personal entrance no windows the only tricky thisng about this is i need a 12' ceiling in the center for a car lift so the joists will need to be engineered - I was quoted labor on framing which i am asking your opinion on - what would the normal cost per sq foot to build this building the contractor has one guy that will do all the concrete, frame and roof it. he is doing a cost plus build and he is at about 6.70 a sq foot for framing - is this reasonable for this building?

joed 10-02-2012 10:50 AM

Your answers can all be found here

zman1969 10-02-2012 01:48 PM

rephrasing my question
well thanks for replying maybe I should asked this- would the cost be less on a garage then say a house would be- for framing? meaning there are no interior walls, doors, rooms to frame vs a garage which has no interior?

i did some searching before my original posting and had found this on one thread :
"I am a framer in nw ohio. Our prices range from 3.50 to 8.00 a foot($1.50 for garage) depending on the house. So if you figured it 5.00 a foot, labor would be $13000(for a 2600 sqft home). that includes setting all windows and ext doors and tyvek. Vinyl siding runs about $65 a sq(average house around for that size of home would usually run between $1800 and $2200) the roofer runs about the same, $65 a sq,( average house that size 1600 to 2000) I am sure thinigs are different up there, but I thought i'd just let you know how we priced things. hope that helps a little. "

I am just trying to keep my costs to realistic amounts on this build. from what this worker posted I am on the high end for a simpler build. I am in DFW area and with all the cheap(illegal) labor we have available down here I thought that it would be lower. no sheetrock or insulation is being done, the building will be bricked and vinyl sided per code but those are extra charges
Thanks again

PS: I am not looking for bids

GBrackins 10-02-2012 04:11 PM

if you are working with a GC does that mean you have a contract with them? if you do why are you checking on their pricing now? just trying to make sure I understand what the purpose is.

anyone can post pricing on this website and it may be accurate for "their" area. labor costs vary in different parts of the country. I can get labor a lot cheaper back in Florida than I can in Massachusetts. The price you have does not necessarily mean you're on the high end, unless you have other bids from local builders. Cannot compare apples to oranges, and that is what you are doing when you compare labor costs in one part of the country with another.

did you talk with other builders before selecting yours? did you get references and call them? did you ask them if they would hire the builder for their next project? Check out for questions to ask, and additional information available to assist in selecting a builder for your project.

a far as cheap illegal labor ...... you get what you pay for. cheap illegal labor typically do not know how to build properly, is that what you want?

now shady fly-by-night "builders" (if you want to call them that) may use cheap illegal labor, build substandard, and take your money and run. Sometimes people only want "cheap, cheap, cheap", then complaint when they get what they pay for.

a legitimate building employs knowledgeable personnel, has a license, is bonded and has insurance (should see what they pay), must meet not only the building code but EPA and OSHA requirements. They have overhead as any business does and if they do not make a profit then they go out of business. What you want to look for is quality and value for your dollar, not merely how many dollars you will spend.

A fly-by-nighter has none of those requirement, so they can charge less (of course its not the same quality of workmanship).

If you do not have a contract with your current GC then check with family and friends and get references of builders they recommend. let you fingers do the walking in the yellow pages and follow the guidelines of the NAHB is selecting a builder. This is how you get quality and value.

Good luck!

zman1969 10-02-2012 05:20 PM

Gbrackins thanks for the reply
no contract yet i am just trying to get a grasp on what I'm paying. Contractor has one guty that will do concrete, framing and roofing - not necesarily the same crew but still thay are bundling all the labors to get a lower price. I have talked to a couple other builders - no quotes yet but i do want to make sure i get reasonable rates- I agree cheapest isnt always better.
I did not request illegals but we - well to say we have an abundance is an understatement and it is what it is- I'm sure the contractor has some regulars that know what they are doing and keep their job and stay with same company -personally I avoid enabling them and mow my own yard and will as long as i can.
as far as my GC i believe he has insurance and is licensed - this really isnt the issue
I will get refrences and check that kind of details and I will get a couple other quotes
I know labor is different in different areas one builder I talked to said that his framer is 2.30-2.50 per square foot for a garage building rate as i mentioned in my other post the guy mentioned "3.50 to 8.00 a foot($1.50 for garage)" so this has me wondering 1.50 for a garage? IMO home labor should be more than a garage due to so much more inside and out
I am building a square building - no inards, 2 sides to the roof seems to me to be alot less work and faster to build

AndyGump 10-02-2012 05:28 PM

Your best bet is to take your set of plans to about three contractors that are licensed and have good references and get quotes from them.
This way you are comparing apples to apples as it were, with people in your area.
Just because there may be a lot of illegals in your area doesn't mean the good reputable contractors are using them.


joed 10-02-2012 05:38 PM

Pricing by the sqft is no way to compare a garage to a house. A garage is basically four walls and roof compared to a house with interior walls, floor finishes, interior doors etc. An overall price is what you want to compare between several different contractors.

GBrackins 10-02-2012 05:52 PM


I would expect a garage to cost less per square foot as compared to a home. Andy is spot on, qualify some local builders and have them price out the garage. And don't be afraid to ask questions, especially if someone gives you a price alot less than the others.

Good luck!

sixeightten 10-02-2012 06:26 PM

"I believe he has insurance and is licensed"

Might want to check on these. Pretty important items that you are leaving to faith. Should have no trouble getting multiple bids on a job of that size. Any info you get here will not prove valuable for your area.

GBrackins 10-02-2012 06:34 PM

have him have his insurance agent provide you with a certificate of insurance (not him provide you with the copy). have him provide you a copy of his license and call the state and verify. if he refuses either, well I think you know what to do .....

zman1969 10-04-2012 09:31 AM

Ok got a second estimate : wood framing parts, labor $6500 orig estimate was $11,150 and will get third - i have to admit fast as second estimate was figured -i doubt they figured into engineered joists for the 12' ceiling with 10' walls-hmm
the first estimate concrete estimate was 12,750 vs second of 18,500 so the totals are near the same
there may be an error as they figured 4000sq ft of concrete and its only 2000- I will look into this
I'll be back with the 3rd when I get it

Gary in WA 10-05-2012 12:12 AM

This is DIYChatroom, where we help you (DIY) do it yourself. We discourage pricing for the reasons stated above. Numerous times. Please follow the link in the very first answer. I hope you get the price you want along with good quality. To continue this thread takes our members away from helping others that are doing it themselves, our goal here. If you have another question pertaining to DIY, ask away, in a new thread as this one is now closed. Thank you for your understanding, Gary

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