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Old 03-09-2008, 11:43 PM   #1
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Sq. Foot Pricing on Small Addition


Hello
We're considering putting a 350-400 ft addition on our 3 br 1 bath home. The home was built in the mid-80s to HUD standards. This addition will have a "master" bedroom and bath and possibly a small office space--nothing extravagant keeping with the current style of the house. Our home is a territorial style rectangle with propanel roof. Wood stove/forced air.The lowest quote we received thus far is $130 a sq. foot. We live in Taos, NM and just wondering if this is par for the course these days. We plan on soliciting more bids but just wondering what truly is fair these days, give inflation and slumping economy.
Thanks!

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Old 03-10-2008, 02:01 AM   #2
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Sq. Foot Pricing on Small Addition


While $130 a foot is not cheap, it certainly is within the range of prices charged here in central Texas. Often, the quoted rate is less than the end price at completion. Keep that in mind when you decide how much you wish to spend. A few rules of thumb. (1) Square foot quotes are based upon what the quality level of the lumber, fixtures and finish you requested. Be specific on this up front and get it in writing. (2) Never give more than 5 or 10 percent up front to any contractor even if it is your brother. Check out his/her ref's and community reputation carefully before you pay out anything. (3) Work performed is paid on draws and draws should be based upon the completion of pre-determined milestones. Each draw paid should be no more than 5-10 percent of the total price of the job so structure the milestones accordingly. (4) The final milestone is the most important one because it indicates that the job is complete and acceptable. Never pay the final draw (milestone) until you and the contractor have agreed the job is complete. Never, Never, Never!! Once you do pay it, you have nothing to negotiate with, ("you lost the hammer" in contractor lingo). (5) Normally, if you do not personally like the contractor at the start of the job you will hate him/her at the end of the job. Remodels are hard on the home owner in terms of mental health and financial strain. Be sure you personally like your contractor as an honest and warm person and not as the extension of a corporate entity.(6) Being a remodeling contractor is a tough tough job that is very demanding. The contractor is in business to make a profit and not in the business of "going into the tank" because he/she bid the job too low. Often if he/she bids the job too low, quality slips accordingly or worst, the contractor walks away from the job. Be sure the bid is not too much but not too little as well. (7 and last) Treat your contractor as you wish to be treated. And please remember, he or she is only human and has a life outside of his/her trade. Good Luck.

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Old 03-10-2008, 07:37 AM   #3
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Sq. Foot Pricing on Small Addition


Quote:
Originally Posted by atkinson27 View Post
Hello
We're considering putting a 350-400 ft addition on our 3 br 1 bath home. The home was built in the mid-80s to HUD standards. This addition will have a "master" bedroom and bath and possibly a small office space--nothing extravagant keeping with the current style of the house. Our home is a territorial style rectangle with propanel roof. Wood stove/forced air.The lowest quote we received thus far is $130 a sq. foot. We live in Taos, NM and just wondering if this is par for the course these days. We plan on soliciting more bids but just wondering what truly is fair these days, give inflation and slumping economy.
Thanks!
This is an interesting point, regarding whether the pricing is different on SF due to the lag of new construction in the economy.

The reality is this; the reputable REMODELING and ADDITION contractors are not lowering their pricing.
The contractors that might be lowering their prices, are the one's that do most of their work in(and are connected to)the NEW residential home-building and field.

Just as doctors, banks, pharmacy's, gas stations, & others are not lowering charges.....Please be aware, that the majority of established Remodeling and Addition contractors, are NOT lowering their prices.

Again, I am not talking about the "New Residential Construction" industry, I am refering to the Remodeling and Addition Industry, which is still booming.
I based this fact on our own pricing, the pricing of many fellow Remodeling & Addition GC's I network with, and my conversations with the same type GC's, I had at a NARI dinner, I went to this past Wednesday evening. (National Association of the Remodeling Industry)

Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 03-10-2008 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 03-10-2008, 12:31 PM   #4
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Sq. Foot Pricing on Small Addition


Groman,

The enter key is your friend. It will help you to divide up that large block of text into paragraphs and make reading your post more enjoyable for others, not to mention easier.

One other thing... Just how many draws at 5-10% on a $52,000 is it going to take to get site work and a foundation in... $2,600 to $5,200. I imagine your framer and framing package are going to run more than that. Just curious.

This being in Taos and the Territorial Style being a very finish intensive style.. $130 a square is sounding fair, but I have no idea about labor rates and craftsman rates there, so this is just an educated guess.

Last edited by Double A; 03-10-2008 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 03-11-2008, 12:45 PM   #5
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Sq. Foot Pricing on Small Addition


Just a quick thanks to those that took the time to respond to my post. I appreciate it.
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Old 03-12-2008, 10:04 AM   #6
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Sq. Foot Pricing on Small Addition


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Originally Posted by atkinson27 View Post
We plan on soliciting more bids but just wondering what truly is fair these days, give inflation and slumping economy.
Trying to figure out how "hungry" contractors in your area are? Gosh, you gonna ask them to sharpen their pencils, too? "Wondering" if you can get the job done cheaper 'cause the building industry is hurting is not going to endear you to a bunch of contractors online...

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Originally Posted by groman48 View Post
(2) Never give more than 5 or 10 percent up front to any contractor even if it is your brother. Check out his/her ref's and community reputation carefully before you pay out anything. (3) Work performed is paid on draws and draws should be based upon the completion of pre-determined milestones. Each draw paid should be no more than 5-10 percent of the total price of the job so structure the milestones accordingly.
Not sure how you came up with your percentages but 5-10%/draw? That makes no sense. You'd be writing checks on an almost daily basis. There's got to be more trust between you and the contractor than that.
If you've done your homework and have contacted the contractor's references, you'll be comfortable with whatever payment schedule they set up in the contract.

Quote:
Originally Posted by groman48 View Post
Often if he/she bids the job too low, quality slips accordingly or worst, the contractor walks away from the job. Be sure the bid is not too much but not too little as well.
This is why going with the lowest bidder sometimes costs a lot more. Low bidders often build their bids around cutting corners or swapping cheap materials for the more expensive listed ones. You thought you got a good deal 'til your addition starts falling apart...

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