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Old 07-15-2009, 09:53 AM   #1
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need estimates for DIY basement reno


My town requires that I put a figure to the work that I will be doing in my basement in order to get permits.

What would be some good figures to use for the following: Electric, pluming and building?

The space is about 500 sq ft. I am going to build a 6x8 full bath, install electric floorboard heat, window a/c, laundry room and storage space under stairs behind the bathroom.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks.
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:03 AM   #2
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Just give them a swag estimate. $1000/fixture for the plumbing. How much are you going to do yourself.
To pull a permit on my project, one of the inspectors in my town tried to get me to use a figure of what it would cost if I had a pro do the work (It probably would have been $25k start to finish), then his boss came over and said $2000. Done.
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:54 AM   #3
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Agreed, just throw a number at it. You're a DIYer so you should only give them materials cost. When I take a permit application from a DIYer we just look to make sure the number seems realistic for materials. $500 would be suspiciously low for a 500 square foot remodel/finish for example.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:52 AM   #4
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I do a rough calc of materials that I will buy & use that
Multiple permits & no problems
I estimated my 24x36 garage/great room walk up attic at $50k
The lady at the building Dept actually asked what it would cost to finish out only the living space to figure the permit cost a different way
But it came out the same in permit cost - $555

Rough building I'm into it for about $30k with all windows/doors/roof
I still have the garage floor to pour & the new driveway to go in
So I think I'll be pretty close to my estimate



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Old 07-15-2009, 12:08 PM   #5
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Clutch, thats the problem. When I had my upstairs bath and kitchen done they told me to put a figure as if a pro were doing everything. That is what I did. Now that figure is on my home value profile even though the job was done for much less than half of that.

I havent priced out my materials yet. This is why I was asking for some ball park figures.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:11 PM   #6
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This site just isn't geared toward providing cost estimates, even ballpark ones. Way too many variables...So any number you get will be a wild guess.

I'd suggest visiting the bookstore and looking at a copy of Means Building Construction Cost Data (the residential version). That'll have some reasonable square foot costs in your area.
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Old 07-15-2009, 02:58 PM   #7
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Square foot costs are almost never accurate. As KC stated there are a lot of variables involved when pricing a job. I would ask to speak to a supervisor at the building department and see if you can work something out with them. It is unreasonable for them to expect you to provide a cost estimate similar to what a professional would do. First off every companies variables are different as well as their production rates. Secondly a professional is not doing the job therefor the cost to do the work is in fact less. If they still push you for a professional price the means residential square foot cost to finish a basement of 600 SqFt in an average 1 story home is $27.75 per SqFt. That is out of the 2005 cost book. I do want to caution you that as I stated earlier square foot costs are almost never accurate especially in remodeling situations. As stated earlier there are way to many variables to be considered in order to accurately price any job. Also materials costs in costbooks are never correct. They are meant to be used as a guideline not the sole pricing source. Good Luck and hope this helps.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:36 PM   #8
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KC and AR, what the two of you said makes sense. I guess I am better off running the actual numbers of the project and base it on that. My main thing is not having to put down an inflated number for the cost of the job since I am DIY.

Thanks for the help. I'll be posting a lot of ?s as the project goes along. Thanks again.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:38 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leoskee View Post
Clutch, thats the problem. When I had my upstairs bath and kitchen done they told me to put a figure as if a pro were doing everything. That is what I did. Now that figure is on my home value profile even though the job was done for much less than half of that.
Sounds like they are using building permits to increase taxes



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Old 07-15-2009, 07:44 PM   #10
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Thats exactly what they are doing. This is the reason why I dont want to inflate my costs being that I am not a contractor.

I was told at the tax dept that they are going to reassess properties that pulled permits and any work that is considered "modern" will be taxed more. For example, I am already paying for a finished basement because it was done in the early 80's. But since I am redoing the work I will have to pay more.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scuba_Dave View Post
Sounds like they are using building permits to increase taxes
In a sense they are. Building activity is way down right now as I'm sure you are aware. That was a big source of revenue for many counties and cities. They are doing all sorts of things to try and offset their budget deficits. Where I am since the overall value of homes has decreased the county has reassessed (sp?) the land values (increased of course) to account for the difference.

If you think its bad now though wait till the feds pass the new health care reforms and require the states to pick up 42% of the cost of medicare and medicaid.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:55 PM   #12
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I haven't closed any of my permits yet but still my assessed value went up. Funny how that works.
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Old 07-15-2009, 09:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clutchcargo View Post
I haven't closed any of my permits yet but still my assessed value went up. Funny how that works.

Same here. I haven't closed out the permit for my 40x68 pole barn, but the county auditor showed up and raised my taxes. I still need to get the electrical and building final.

When I pulled the permit I listed what I thought the cost of materials would be with no labor since it was DIY. Their online system now shows:

08-16XX, DET BLDG, C/C $14,000 9/22/08
08 N/C POLE BLDG 100% 1-1-2009

I supposed I could call and complain that they marked it complete January 1, even though it wasn't until May...and they didn't show up until then....It is all about getting retroactive taxes I am sure.
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Old 07-15-2009, 10:12 PM   #14
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Well, I guess Towns have always used building permits as a way of re-assessing house values
But my view on the cost of the permit is that it is based on the actual cost of the improvement
Not the value increase or what it could cost to build/have built
Its one reason that many people will not pull a permit - as taxes then go up
But that can bite you even worse when it comes time to sell & you have unpermitted/un-inspected work

All of my permits are still open
But I had to go before Conservation for approval & was told anything not started within 2 years had to go back thru the approval process
So....I started everything

Found out after that it was actually 3 years to start projects
Oh well....you play...you pay

Lots of houses have been devalued in price, so overall taxes & Town revenue are down. I know my last house sold for $67k less then I sold it for. I thought they bought it to flip, but it has not been resold in the past 2 years. A house on our street has dropped in price over $60k. Another one the people moved out & told the bank the house is theirs last year
It just sold for $176k ($60k less then the other house for sale & over $120k less then what we bought our house for) & is being renovated - probably to flip



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Old 07-15-2009, 11:08 PM   #15
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This cracks me up.

People do their own work and save money in the process. That's a good thing. If their work is on par with most contractors' work then the work the DIYer does should increase the value of the home the same as it would if a contractor had done the work. Makes sense, right?

Leoskee, I don't see why anyone could be suprised by the fact that the work you do in your house increases the taxes you pay on your house. Whether you do it for $500 or a contractor does the same project for $5000, the home's value is increased the same. People that want nicer modernized homes pay more tax than people that are living in less valuable homes...That's the society we live in and what our economy is (or was ) based on. People that want to eat a larger slice of the pie while paying for a small slice of pie do so on the backs of everyone else and that is a shame. It comes down to integrity...Some got it, some don't.
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