What is the cost of adding brick ledge to new construction?
I'm new to this site and appreciate any and all advise that you can give me. Now let me give some background.
I am in the very early stages of planning to have my home built. We have found a builder that we are comfortable with and now are purchasing the plans online for our new home. Here is where the problems start. The builder asked me to verify that a brick ledge is included on the floorplan to eliminate confusion when we begin construction. As it turns out, there is no brick ledge included on the plans but can be easily added by the architect at no charge. Of course, this adds to the size of the concrete slab and will cost more money in the pouring of the concrete.
The square footage of the house hasn't changed at all due to adding brick ledge but the builder assures me that the change will add to the cost due to all of the changes that will be caused by adding the ledge. Having no construction experience I assumed that pouring concrete is about $4/square foot and we will only be adding 5 1/2" to all of the perimeter walls of the house. This will only add 50 square feet of concrete so I'm thinking that the cost won't change significantly but my builder quoted me a price of $3000. That is $60/sf!!!!! He is charging me about this mount for all of the covered space in the home (heated space as well as garage and covered patios) and feel that there has to be some wiggle room in his price.
So this is my question...what is a reasonable amount to pay for such a seemingly minor change? I think that this should be a negotiation and not a contractor telling me how much it is going to be but not sure what it truly should cost.
Thanks in advance for the advice.
It may seem like a minor change but the contractor has to dig out the footing more of course but the big thing is that the forms for the concrete have to be laid for the brick ledge probably without encroaching into the footings.
That means more form material and a significant amount of labor to build forms for the ledge. This is much more difficult than just a simple straight vertical dirt wall for the footings.
Not trying to attack you here, but Joe's right. You need to ask your builder to sit down with you and explain how he's arriving at the $3000 number. Also remember that he's doing this to make money and has the right to mark up any and all change orders to the contract.
Is the house slab on grade or is it on a poured foundation? If not, a brick ledge can add thickness to a poured foundation wall, at significant cost. The labor in forming that ledge up is something to consider as well. Even if it is slab on grade you're talking about a little extra footing as well.
I've got to say that buying house plans online is a big, big risk. Construction techniques vary significantly from state to state and even city to city. Codes vary significantly as well. You'd be very wise to have an architect look over whatever plans you buy and make any necessary changes to make them work better for you. In all my years as an inspector I have yet to find a set of online plans that was actually buildable without some serious modifications.
Thanks for all of the input. Let me start by saying that in no way am I saying that I don't trust my builder. I'm just very unfamiliar with the building process and trying to investigate it a bit to find out if these are reasonable prices. After posting this thread I found a pic that details what a brick ledge is and it's purpose. That in itself has helped me to realize that he is probably charging a fair amount. He did explain it to me in a way that I'm sure made sense to him but left me more confused so I thought I would ask around.
I have no intention of getting someone on the internet to quote a price, just looking for some unbiased opinions.
Not sure of the question about the slab on grade or a poured foundation. It will be a concrete slab but we are still in the planning stages. My property is on relatively level ground so not much dirt work would need to be done. We are planning to build on the crown of the property to get good drainage but even so it is still pretty flat ground. We will have soil samples done soon to check for the stability of the soil and the potential need for pouring piers based on the outcome of those tests.
I sure hope that the plans are usable without too many modifications. The builder didn't seem too concerned and told me that he is sure that we will need to make a few changes but none that are too costly. What kind of serious mods are you talking about, kc?
Again, I'd like to thank everyone for their input. I'm just trying to make sure that I know what is going on. This is going to be a process for me like none that I have ever encountered. I'm also sure this will be the most stressful time of my life but will be well worth it.
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