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Old 09-21-2010, 09:09 PM   #1
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Two part question - novice alert


I am new to this site. I have a two part question.

The first is a cost question which I apologize for in advance as I know that these are hard to respond to. With that said, I am looking to purchase a new home in the inner-ring DC area early next year. A family member will need to move in with me and my family and the plan is to provide an in-law basement suite for that relative.

My hunch is that it would cost significantly more to purchase a home with an in-law suite already built in, versus paying a contractor to add a new kitchen and bathroom to an already finished basement. In spite of the inherent challenges in providing cost estimates for a space without first seeing it, is there any range (however large that range is within the lower and upper bounds) that I can use as a reference point to weigh my options of either buying a home w/ a suite vs. a home requiring that one be constructed?

I saw one home this weekend that already has a bathroom but no kitchen.

The second question is how to find a high-quality contractor. Where and how does one find a reputable contractor that will price their work fairly and be competent?

Thank you!
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Old 09-21-2010, 09:29 PM   #2
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For what it's worth.... I have seen several finished basements, and most still had a basement feeling or smell. If you have it built to suit, you could use the most recent design research and make sure its done right to control moisture and make the space feel "non-basementy". Building Science Corp has explored this quite a lot and publishes a lot of material that may be useful.

Off point but I'll toss it out there anyway.... foreclosures? Buy a rental property or duplex? How about "moveable walls", designed to change the inlaw suite to some other function without major remodelling, in event your needs change.

Good luck
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:40 AM   #3
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Zoning. Make sure you check and get zoning approval. If they catch you creating a mother-daughter suite, inlaw-suite, whatever you want to call it, in a zone where it's not allowed, they will make you rip it out and fine you.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:26 PM   #4
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My hunch is that it would be cheaper to buy a house with an in-law suite already done than to contract one. Putting it another way, if you paid a contractor to put one in would you expect a 100% return or greater if you had to sell it? I doubt it.
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Old 09-22-2010, 10:36 PM   #5
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The 'Inner ring" of D.C will cost more for construction than the areas where most of us contractors work--

I won't work in Chicago,for instance, because of the added costs of parking,security for the truck and tools and the added time to get supplies----To get a local 'guesstimate' you will have to ask a local--

Good luck---Mike---
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Old 10-12-2010, 12:51 AM   #6
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If you choose to go the route of contracting out the basement,

If you aren't going to contribute how to advise. Then no free advertising of your business

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bathroom , cost estimating , kitchen

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