One of the biggest unknowns for many homeowners is how to estimate home repair costs. Depending on the author of the estimate, it can be confusing and very difficult to understand exactly what is included and what is the amount of money you will have to pay. I can not teach you, in one page, to be a professional estimator. It takes years of experience and is a constant learning process. My goal here is to provide you with a basic understanding of the methods used by estimators to determine costs. It all starts with quantities. How much of each particular product or service do you need?
Reduced Repair Costs
Most things in construction are measured in linear feet, square feet, and square yards. Many of you already know it. If so, do not hesitate to go ahead. But I start from the very beginning for those who may not know these terms. Linear feet are the simplest. If you pull your tape measure from one end to the other of a straight wall and measure: 10'6 ", then you have 10 linear feet of 6" wall. For example: If you were renovating your kitchen and replacing the cabinets, you would measure the length of each cabinet to determine if you needed 18 linear feet (lf) of lower cabinets and 22 (lf) d & # 39; Upper cabinets.
The next type of measurement I'm going to talk about square feet, it's probably the most used measure in construction and it's pretty simple: in fact, we multiplied 2 separate measurements, if you wanted find the square foot of a bedroom floor for example, if the room is 12 feet wide and 15 feet long: 15 x 12 = 180 square feet If you need the area of one wall in the same room, you would simply multiply the length x height The square foot measurements are used for the majority of household repairs, including: ting pain, drywall floor, counter tops, and many more. Square yards are another measure used in cost estimation, mainly for carpets and other floor coverings. To find the square of the area of an area, you divide the square feet by 9. Thus, if a room measures 10 feet x 9 feet (90 square feet), divide by 9 and you have 10 square yards. Measuring for the rug is a little more complicated than finding the square meter of a room. For more information on this check out our floor page.
Define the scope of work for home repairs
Now that we understand the measurement process a little better, let's move on to the preparation of the estimate. It all starts with the extent of the work. Let's say we are going to remodel the kitchen. Create a line item that lists each home repair.
- Replace Cabinets-18 lf Lowest, 22 lf Upper
- Ceiling and Wall Paint-Ceiling 192 ft2, 240 ft2 Walls,
- Remove Linoleum Floor- 156 ft2
- Lay Ceramic Floor -156 sqft  Install Granite Countertops- 36 sf
- Install Ceramic Backsplash Splash- 27 sf
- Install (6) Recessed Ceiling Light
- Install New appliances-built-in double oven, glass cooktop, hood,
- Install the sink and faucet
- Cabinets for dyeing and finishing
Establish the cost estimate
The simplest way to determine the cost of your project is to have general contractors bid. Try to align at least 3 GCs to give you quotes on the project. Schedule different appointment times for each of them. You do not want them all together, but mention that you are waiting for other offers. Hope this will make them more competitive. The following tips may be helpful in the interview process.
- If you have any questions or wish to get their opinion on the project, prepare a list and use it with all bidders. We do this to make sure the process is equal.
- Decide when you want to get their estimate. (A week to 10 days should be enough time). This will show you something about their ability to do things quickly and meet deadlines.
- If you want the contractor to include all the labor and all the materials in his bids, you must specify certain items like appliances and floors to make sure you get the quality you desire. An experienced and qualified contractor will ask you to answer these questions.
- Ask them to include an estimate of the time (number of days or weeks) that will be required to complete the project.
- Tell them that you will need a list of subcontractors that they will use. (So you can check them and get privilege releases to make sure they've been paid).
After completing the interview process, sit back and wait for the offers. When you receive them, compare them closely to make sure they are equal. Look for exceptions or exclusions in the small print. Some people may omit items that were in your field of application. This can be OK, you just need to know in advance. If you are satisfied with the number of offers you have received, select the cost estimate that suits you best and go ahead. If you can not get several offers, keep reading and you'll find tips on how to determine if prices are fair.
If you want to contract your own work, you will need to evaluate each phase of the work and put it together to estimate the repair costs of your home. Let's start with all areas of work that you plan to do yourself. Maybe you'll paint or dye the cabinets. In this case, your only expenses should be materials and new tools that you may need. When you make your list of material, do not forget the little misc. items you will need. When painting, in addition to the paint itself, do not forget caulk, putty, paint thinner and plastic to cover floors or furniture. These are low cost items, but all of this adds up. After estimating the cost of the hardware, it's a good idea to add about 10% contingency for errors or unexpected problems that occur (there are always some). Make a line item for each phase of the work you plan to do yourself.
Now we are ready to receive sub-auctions for the rest of the house repair costs. Finding the right subcontractors is the key to a good organized project. All it takes is a bad one to mess up for everyone. Make an appointment with submarines for each phase of the work. It's a good idea to arrange appointments with different trades at the same time to get feedback on things that one craft can do for another. For example: It may be that the plumber or electrician must move the pipes or wiring before the carpenter installs the new cabinets. But, as a general rule, do not plan submarines of the same craft at the same time. You must have an idea of each individual without an ongoing competition. Give each bidder a copy of all of your work so that he knows in advance under what circumstances he will work. It can raise questions you have not thought of. Clearly indicate whether you plan to provide equipment or accessories, such as appliances or lighting.
If you want the subset to understand everything, specify what you want or ask for an allowance. An allowance is a designated amount of money allowed for a particular item. For example: If you have a $ 200 ceiling fan, this amount will be set aside in the contract. After watching, you decide that the fan you really want is $ 329. You owe an extra $ 129 to the contractor. If it is less, you will receive a credit. This is a good way to get estimates, but I recommend you always choose what you want rather than leaving it to the contractor, to make sure you receive the value you pay. If you have an allowance, you can save money by finding good deals on customs clearance or used items. Once you have received all your sub-offers, make your selections and combine the sub-auctions with the item prices for the tasks you perform yourself, and the total will be the final cost of repairs for your home. It's a good idea to then add 5-10% contingency. There are usually unexpected things that come up. If this is not the case, you will still have the money, but if other costs arise, you will have it planned.
Checking the Costs of Repairing a Home
The last thing I would like to discuss about the repair costs of a home is how to determine if you are getting a fair price. The easiest way is to have multiple bids when compiling your cost estimate. If you have the following 4 awards:
$ 31,000, $ 22,000, $ 19,500, $ 17,900
It is quite clear that the market price should be between $ 18,000 and $ 22,000. The price is high. However, you may not be able to get 4 offers. You can only get 1. If you have not received enough offers to write an estimate of your home repair costs that you feel comfortable with, you can do some research using the estimated techniques we discussed earlier. Use the footage measurements and make a few phone calls or visit the home centers to check prices. For example: You need 156 feet of ceramic tile. Call several tiling contractors and ask them what they're charging by: sf to install the floor slab (only workmanship). After making several calls, you determine that the price of the job should be about $ 3 per sf. You know from your previous purchases that your tile costs $ 6 per: sf and that miscellaneous materials are $ .50 per: sf, the following formula can help you check the costs:
Work $ 3.00 Material $ 6.50  Total sf price $ 9.50 x 156 sf = $ 1482.00% 2B 20% O & P = $ 296.40 = Total price $ 1778.40
Add 20-30% for overheads and profits It's not unreasonable, but if you use small contractors, you may not need to. If you receive a bid of $ 3,500, it is likely high. This process can be used with many elements of your cost estimate whose price is based on metric measurements. This is not an exact science, but it can help you know if you are in the ball park. The exception would be very small projects. If all you do is a small bathroom, entrepreneurs are probably not going to offer it by foot because they can not make money that way. It is really impossible to estimate the costs for certain services, in particular: plumbing, electricity and HVAC. The only option, even for professional estimators, is to use multiple offers. Spend extra time if necessary. It will be worth it.
I would like to conclude this subject by offering some tips that I've learned the hard way.
- The cheapest quote is not always the best. If you have 3 prices and one is half of the next drop, be careful. They may have missed something or, most likely, do not know what they are doing. It's tempting even for veteran entrepreneurs. But, if the submarine or the GC has submitted the project and can not finish, you have a big problem. I've been on both sides of this and it never turns out good for both sides.
- Do not fool yourself. If you got your bids and did your research and the cost estimate looks like a $ 20,000 project, but you only have $ 15,000, it's still a project. $ 20,000. Do not continue, thinking that you will find a way to save $ 5,000. You could end up with a torn house that you can not finish. Either take something off waiting until you have the necessary funds.
- Finally, make sure your prices are up to date. Some services and materials can fluctuate a lot for a variety of reasons. If it's been several months since you made your estimate, check with suppliers and contractors to make sure the prices are still good.
I hope you are armed with a little more knowledge and ammunition to prepare a quote. Proceed with caution and good luck!