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PricelessDharma 01-18-2008 06:17 PM

Best way to save money on project?
Hello Folks, I know that appearing cheap on these forums is a sure way to get flamed by the pros that contribute but I am going to ask this question anyway. What is the best way to save money on an addition and remodel project? Addition will be single story 400 sq ft. Will include a new kitchen. Remodel some interior framing and surfaces plus a new bathroom. Maybe new finish floors (probably not in the budget this time around). I am pretty handy. Have done some of almost everything, but am not a pro at anything (except demo :wink:). I would like to find a way to pay the subs what they want but only for the best projects to use them on. Has any one done a DIY + subs job and been happy with the mix of tasks/result. I am only worrying about this because I need to get my family housed with the cash I have and in this market no one is going to lend me any more $. Thanks.

fireguy 01-18-2008 07:28 PM

I sure hope you get some realistic, helpful comments

Tscarborough 01-18-2008 07:46 PM

It is called "value Engineering". There are certain things you can do yourself, and certain methods and specifications you can use to lower the cost. The first step is to spend the time and effort (and it does take a LOT of time and effort) to determine exactly what you want up front.

The best way to save money on a remod/addition is to have complete working drawings and specifications. With these in hand, you can:

Get bids for the work that can be compared apples to apples.
Value engineer certain items/finishes/materials.
Decide which segments of the construction you are willng to do yourself.

That is the start.

slickshift 01-18-2008 08:12 PM

One of the toughest things will be, being absolutely realistic and objective about what you can do, and what you can't do

One of the other things is, I would suggest NOT acting as your own GC
(general contractor that hires and schedules subs)

Hiring a GC that will take care of certain aspects of the job, and leave you to take care of others, is (imo) a better choice...on many levels

troubleseeker 01-20-2008 06:07 PM

[quote=PricelessDharma;89723]Hello Folks, I know that appearing cheap on these forums is a sure way to get flamed by the pros that contribute but I am going to ask this question anyway. What is the best way to save money on an addition and remodel project?

Don't feel like the pros are out to attack an owner for wanting to do work and save money. It is just that we understand (often from the school of hard knocks), that the most important part of contracting any job is knowing where to find quality, dependable people, and knowing the limitations of what you can do "in house" and what you should hire a professional sub for. That is why you see the recommendaton often that the best way to save money is to hire a reputable GC who can get the job done on a timely basis, with honest labor costs. Picking up a bunch of unknown guys to work for you as the GC will most likely cost you more money because:

As a one time homeowner customer, you will likely be quoted a higher price by most subs, because they know that these situations almost always involve problems with scheduling/coordinating between the trades and getting the required materials on site when needed, thus costing the subs money.
As the GC, you will be responsible for having all the materials when needed, and be responsible for being able to distinguish an acceptable quality product from a cheap piece of junk that will LOOK the same, but fail in two years.
You will also be responsible for permitting, insurance, etc.
Understand that your job will not rate the same importnance/urgency as the call from a contractor who gives a particlar sub numerous jobs during the year; maybe not right, but just the way it is.

I suggest you assess what skills you have that you think will give you an acceptable quality of finished work, then talk over with the GC the possibility of you doing these tasks. Most owners can probably paint a project of this scope, some can do tile work or lay factory finished flooring, etc. Most cannot do framing, roofing (especially tying in an addition) , properly plumb new bath rooms or kitchens, or effectively hang/float drywall.

gregzoll 01-20-2008 07:19 PM

I figured out for our Bathroom & Kitchen, it would be about $8,000.00, and to do the floors in the house, it would be another $2,500.00 to refinish them, and re-attach mouldings that where removed when the original home owner had carpet put in.

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