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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've hired a company to start building a 2000 sq ft craftsmen style house. The original home plan was about 2380 sq ft but to keep costs so I could afford the house I needed to eliminate 380 sq ft.

I decided to eliminate the bonus room above the garage (315 sq ft) and a bath room up stairs making the house 3 beds 2.5 baths at about 2000 sq ft.

I plan to finish the room above the garage in a few years. The builder said I would need to pay extra so he could use 2x10's above the garage instead of 2x6's.

First of all, if I used 2x6's could I come back in the future and finish the room, maybe add reinforcements? Or do I have to use 2x10s now?

He's saying it would be an extra $1100 to add 2x10's instead of 2x6's - does that seem high for the 315 sq ft room?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If I used 2x6's now could I still finish the room in the future - maybe sister with 2x8's?

It seems like $1100 is expensive just using 2x10's instead of 2x6's.
 

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Have you done the math? Doesn't that work out to something like $65 to $70 EXTRA for the difference in installing a 2x10 compared to a 2x6? That's for each joist!

I'd sure have him " 'Splain it a little better to me, Lucy."

Go find out what the difference is in your price at the lumber company. You know he's not paying your costs. Kind of looks like he's simply trying to make up some of the money he's losing by not building your bonus room.

And don't buy into how it's a cost of changing the plans from the "usual". I could see a hundred bucks, (maybe even two) to draw a red line through the bonus room on the plans, and of course the price difference in the two sizes of lumber and their accompanying hangers (plus perhaps 10%). But $1,100 on top of the original price? No way.

The joists were going to be set anyway... no matter the size.
The beam (if so designed) had to be built anyway.

All that changed was buying a little larger lumber. It was already engineered for the bonus room, so you're not adding anything additional.
I'd sure have a talk with the guy.

And, yes, you should put in the heavier lumber now, not later.

I used to hit customers pretty heavy like that for change orders "after the fact" of contract. But this sounds like you are not in the middle of construction asking him to switch up things. If you are.......... Well you may have to pay for not thinking things through.
 

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Structurally you would do the 2x10's over the 2x6's. This is assuming the 2x10's are the correct lumber for the span and the loads.
The pricepoint is a little larcenous. Difference in price of a 20' 2x6 and a 2x10 is about $10.00 a joist. 16-20 joists, about $160.00-$200.00. difference in price. Add a 20% markup and you're still pretty far away from $1100 land.
Ron
 

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Have you done the math? Doesn't that work out to something like $65 to $70 EXTRA for the difference in installing a 2x10 compared to a 2x6? That's for each joist!

I'd sure have him " 'Splain it a little better to me, Lucy."

Go find out what the difference is in your price at the lumber company. You know he's not paying your costs. Kind of looks like he's simply trying to make up some of the money he's losing by not building your bonus room.

And don't buy into how it's a cost of changing the plans from the "usual". I could see a hundred bucks, (maybe even two) to draw a red line through the bonus room on the plans, and of course the price difference in the two sizes of lumber and their accompanying hangers (plus perhaps 10%). But $1,100 on top of the original price? No way.

The joists were going to be set anyway... no matter the size.
The beam (if so designed) had to be built anyway.

All that changed was buying a little larger lumber. It was already engineered for the bonus room, so you're not adding anything additional.
I'd sure have a talk with the guy.

And, yes, you should put in the heavier lumber now, not later.

I used to hit customers pretty heavy like that for change orders "after the fact" of contract. But this sounds like you are not in the middle of construction asking him to switch up things. If you are.......... Well you may have to pay for not thinking things through.
Willie I couldn't have said it any better. I just spent the last 10 minutes writing a post, and yours says it all.

Rockne, e-mail me. I'll be in the office until 5 pm EST. I can run numbers for you to give you a sanity check.
 

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I mostly built custom homes. But we did have some 15 basic models to give the average buyer a shot. And I invariably sat down with each and every customer to make sometimes as many as nearly a hundred little changes here and there. More often, it was less than twenty.

And unless there were excessive material costs involved, or extensive design or additional engineering work necessary, there was never a charge for any of that. Moving a wall usually costs the builder nothing at all. Swapping out materials... size or quality... only involves an adjustment in pricing at the yard. Sometimes, an upgrade DOES involve a labor adjustment...... such as level 5 drywall finishing, or four paint colors in the same area... But none of this is coming into play with what you're talking about.

You should only be paying for a different size lumber. And don't forget that he already had the 2x6's marked up. All he needs is the difference in price, with of course, a markup on that part. The labor costs him no more... although it may take a few minutes longer to set and secure the larger lumber.

Ordinarily I'd say to give him a break on perhaps an additional hour labor for the three men involved. But since he's already obviously not too concerned with helping you out any................ :whistling2:
 

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Could very well be that this is one of those contractors that gives a very low initial bid to get the job and then really works you over on every change order. But maybe we're missing some info. Are the 2x6s already installed?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Have you done the math? Doesn't that work out to something like $65 to $70 EXTRA for the difference in installing a 2x10 compared to a 2x6? That's for each joist!

I'd sure have him " 'Splain it a little better to me, Lucy."

Go find out what the difference is in your price at the lumber company. You know he's not paying your costs. Kind of looks like he's simply trying to make up some of the money he's losing by not building your bonus room.

And don't buy into how it's a cost of changing the plans from the "usual". I could see a hundred bucks, (maybe even two) to draw a red line through the bonus room on the plans, and of course the price difference in the two sizes of lumber and their accompanying hangers (plus perhaps 10%). But $1,100 on top of the original price? No way.

The joists were going to be set anyway... no matter the size.
The beam (if so designed) had to be built anyway.

All that changed was buying a little larger lumber. It was already engineered for the bonus room, so you're not adding anything additional.
I'd sure have a talk with the guy.

And, yes, you should put in the heavier lumber now, not later.

I used to hit customers pretty heavy like that for change orders "after the fact" of contract. But this sounds like you are not in the middle of construction asking him to switch up things. If you are.......... Well you may have to pay for not thinking things through.
Thank you very much for the detailed response... I was on this forum because I figured the $1100 was a little crazy. Of course I know almost nothing about construction so he could tell me anything and I'd believe him.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Could very well be that this is one of those contractors that gives a very low initial bid to get the job and then really works you over on every change order. But maybe we're missing some info. Are the 2x6s already installed?
No, they haven't even started the house... We signed a contract but now I'm changing the plans. He's probably not happy. Originally we kept the 3 bedrooms upstairs - we took 2 feet off one room, cut the bonus room in half, took a foot from the back bottom floor of the house, eliminated a walk in closet upstairs.....

All this trying to get the square footage down to 2000. The house is $125 a sq ft and I don't want to spend a dime over $250k.

After realizing how small the rooms would be I decided last weekend to simply eliminated the entire bonus room, closet and a linen closet in the hallway. This got me down to 2000 sq ft.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Structurally you would do the 2x10's over the 2x6's. This is assuming the 2x10's are the correct lumber for the span and the loads.
The pricepoint is a little larcenous. Difference in price of a 20' 2x6 and a 2x10 is about $10.00 a joist. 16-20 joists, about $160.00-$200.00. difference in price. Add a 20% markup and you're still pretty far away from $1100 land.
Ron
Ron... Thanks for the price breakdown. This will be very helpful when I meet with them.
 

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No, they haven't even started the house... We signed a contract but now I'm changing the plans. He's probably not happy. Originally we kept the 3 bedrooms upstairs - we took 2 feet off one room, cut the bonus room in half, took a foot from the back bottom floor of the house, eliminated a walk in closet upstairs.....

All this trying to get the square footage down to 2000. The house is $125 a sq ft and I don't want to spend a dime over $250k.

After realizing how small the rooms would be I decided last weekend to simply eliminated the entire bonus room, closet and a linen closet in the hallway. This got me down to 2000 sq ft.
This might explain the charge.
Ron
 

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Depending on how a contractor views Change Orders, they either love them or they hate them. (Read: how much they soak you for them) But most would rather not deal with them at all.

If you are changing anything after the ink is on the contract, expect to pay three times what it's worth. That's why is is so foolish to jump into building a house before you have every last duck in a row. Know exactly what you want, and exactly what you are getting. No guesswork anywhere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Depending on how a contractor views Change Orders, they either love them or they hate them. (Read: how much they soak you for them) But most would rather not deal with them at all.

If you are changing anything after the ink is on the contract, expect to pay three times what it's worth. That's why is is so foolish to jump into building a house before you have every last duck in a row. Know exactly what you want, and exactly what you are getting. No guesswork anywhere.
Yeah, we thought we knew exactly what we wanted. We signed the contract a couple weeks ago. Luckily they were building the exact same home plan we picked and just this weekend started framing the upstairs.

Once we were able to actually see the upstairs and do the measurements we realized the rooms were going to be too small for our needs. Luckily they don't really seem to care that were changing the plans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
The total quote is now $2000.

I just met with the builder. They are charging me $10-$15 extra per board for the 2x10s which came to about $450 for the entire room. The additional $1500 was for labor and some heavy duty beams they had to put in. The room is very long (24x13), they said it required strong beams if I wanted to finish the room in the future.

Unfortunately it was raining and I wasn't able to take notes so I don't have detailed info. That will come in a few days.

I don't know much about building so I need to research if that room needs the addition of "heavy duty" beams. These builders have a great reputation so I'm sure everything is good.

I have to make the decision if I want to pay an extra $2k....
 

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The price point for the change would be a counterpoint to that observation.
Ron
 

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24' x 13' isn't that big, you can span 13' easily
My garage is 24'x36' with same size great room over it
Then a walk up attic
I have 4 sets of beams in the garage
The main set is a triple 16" LVL spanning 24'

Strong beams are not needed on a 13' span
The 2x10's are needed
Something is wrong - maybe

This is what happens once you sign on the dotted line
Prices go up after that :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
24' x 13' isn't that big, you can span 13' easily
My garage is 24'x36' with same size great room over it
Then a walk up attic
I have 4 sets of beams in the garage
The main set is a triple 16" LVL spanning 24'

Strong beams are not needed on a 13' span
The 2x10's are needed
Something is wrong - maybe

This is what happens once you sign on the dotted line
Prices go up after that :(
Hmmm, I wonder why he made it seem like I needed stronger beams, your bonus room is much bigger.

Yeah, but we have 4 more days to get out of the contract and still get our deposit back. I would hope he's not trying to inflate the charges, but who knows...

I just wish I knew more about construction. I've been learning as much as I cant he last few days.

Is code different is certain states regarding this? I'm in Georgia. He really made it seem we needed the additional support, like it wasn't even an option.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I spoke to the builder earlier. He said he was charging me $400 for the difference in getting the 2x10s, then the additional cost was for 5.5"x18" laminated beams, and then some kind of connectors that were $37 a piece.

The total is $2k extra.
 
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