Posted by jimi on August 09, 2003 at 06:26:08:
I’m currently doing this in Vienna, VA.
Costs vary Widely as it’s still a market that favors the contractors relative to the owners. GET MULTIPLE BIDS! I found it more productive to work the phones rather than digital searches, due to the local nature of specific cost estimates.
As for the tear-down, if you have some time, the cheapest way is to offer your site to the local fire department for a “training exercise” … I didn’t have the time and got four estimates for demolition and excavation.
I’d work backwards in terms of cost to build. What will the market bear in your specific neighborhood for a final selling price? What size home is marketable, “permit-able” and appropriate? Divide that sale price by your square-footage … now subtract your soft costs(architect fees, permits, marketing costs,carry costs, etc.) … subtract demolition costs … subtract excavation costs. What’s left over? Divide that number by the square footage again, and you’ve got your maximum cost per square foot for building cost. Solicit bids from at least four builders/general contractors. If their estimates aren’t at least 20% below your max, modify plans or move on.
This is just a “ballpark” approach, sharpen your pencil appropriately as the numbers flesh out.