for all you rehabbers - Posted by elena boisvert

Posted by Tom_MI on February 03, 2002 at 13:38:35:

I happen to be a builder and it’s not that we are lazy. The fact is when you start to break down your price to much potential clients start doing the same and decide you are charging to much for this or that then it becomes a battle. Most people don’t understand why contractors charge what they do. However, a reputable contractor will give you free estimates and will more than likely be willing to break apart the sections of the house but unlikely to break down labor/material.

Good Luck!

for all you rehabbers - Posted by elena boisvert

Posted by elena boisvert on February 03, 2002 at 06:02:32:

What is the best way to accurately estimate cost of repairs in order to formulate an offer. Or, where is a good place to go to learn enough to accurately estimate cost of repairs. Right now, I have just enough knowledge to be dangerous. If I hire someone to walk through each and every property I want to make offers on, I may very well go broke within a week. Thanks in advance for all your advice. Elena Boisvert

Re: for all you rehabbers - Posted by DaveB(KC)

Posted by DaveB(KC) on February 05, 2002 at 13:28:52:

ANd by all means… as my partner and I learned the hard way, when you are estimating yourself, add a percentage error. If you’re good, maybe put 25% into your estimate. I am a builder, and my partner an architect, and we still add 50%. Better safe, than sorry.
Just an addition to help.

Good Luck.


Re: for all you rehabbers - Posted by Steve-DC

Posted by Steve-DC on February 04, 2002 at 08:01:47:


There are several courses that outline this process. I can personally recommmend Steve Cook’s section on estimating repairs.

I’ve also called contractors that advertise free estimates. You could try that.


Re: for all you rehabbers - Posted by Todd (OH)

Posted by Todd (OH) on February 03, 2002 at 08:58:32:

These suggestions presume you know nothing about rehab costs, and that you do not currently have a fixer-upper property…

  1. Find a property you want to make an offer on AND HAVE ACCESS TO. In fact, it could be a property (preferably vacant) that you put under contract either through a realtor or FSBO. In your contract you should have an inspection clause that allows you to get repair estimates and back out if the repair costs are too high. Heck, it might even be a HUD house that you are contemplating putting a bid on…

  2. Take some time and write out a “Scope of Work”, i.e. repairs that you want done to the property. Be as specific as possible.

  3. Get two or three contractors to come by and give you FREE estimates (maybe even 1-hour apart or 2-hours apart on the same day). Ask a lot of questions, take notes frantically, especially when they mention a cost figure.

To get them to come out, if necessary, explain that you are going to be buying a lot of property and you are looking for someone to give all of your work to. If that doesn’t work, worst case scenario, pay 3 contractors $50-$100 bucks each since you will only have to do this ONCE before you become knowlegeable enough to get them to do it for FREE in the future.

  1. Try to get them to break down their estimate to YOUR benefit, not just to theirs (i.e. Win/Win). I.e. How much is Labor vs. Material? How much is for the BATHROOM, how much is for the KITCHEN, how much for the PLUMBING, ELECTRICAL, DRYWALL, etc. Most contractors are lazy with paperwork and don’t want to break this down for you, but in reality that is exactly how they figure their own costs.