Posted by Marcos on April 09, 2002 at 08:11:59:
I just have a few problems with your estimates. I think you need to shop around a little bit. Some of these estimates are quite high.
When I get estimates from a contractor, I want all estimates broken down into material cost and labor. I won’t do it any other way. The problem is if you don’t know exactly where the money is going, you don’t have a way to control it. I break it down into these components because it’s easier to control the negotiation.
For example, a 1000-1200 sf house that needs to be reroofed in Atlanta should cost around $500-600 in materials(perhaps less, depending on the shape of the roof and how many extras are needed). It takes two guys two days to do it. So, if you pay $5k to reroof a house, you’re paying them $4400. $2200 a piece. $1100 a day. Or almost $140 an hour. (I did roofing one summer 12 years ago, I wish I had gotten paid $140 an hour). My last roofing job was pretty extensive, I had to replace some of the roof supports, I had a licensed roofer do it, we broke out materials and labor. I paid $150 a day labor per worker, and I paid for materials. Total costs on a 1,000 sf roof with these major repairs, around $1,000). If you’re paying $5k+ you’re paying high end retail.
Cheapest Rehab windows at Home Depot or Lowes, usually cost around $60-70. And we’re talking nice Aluminum, beautiful windows. Double Hung should be around $80-90. Go to Home Depot or Lowes right now, they have windows in their circular. So, per window you’re paying $100 in labor. Two guys can replace a window in about 1/2 an hour. Depending once again on the complexity, IE do you replace with the same size windows? So, you’re paying $50 an hour to put a window in per worker. I shoot for around $110 per window myself.
Now, I don’t recommend doing your own rehabs. But, I can heartily recommend doing some of the work on your first few so that you get a feel for what it takes, and you don’t get ripped off.
For the same work you are doing, here’s how I see the costs assuming a 1200sf house.
bathroom - toilet, tub, sink, floors - $1,200
kitchen - the works + appliances? - $2,500 (I buy scratch and dent appls)
whole hse plumbing - $2k (My best friend is a plumber so your mileage may vary)
electrical - $1,200-1,500
new windows? those are killer. i got the cheapest rehabber windows around: $110 each
new roof - $1,200-1,500
drywall whole house - 500-1,000
Central HVAC - 3k(I agree)
tile, carpeting, = Roughly 1,000 to 1,500 I pay about 7-10 a yard installed
paint = One of the cheapest Upgrades costs me about $1k out and in.
fixtures = Depends on how extensive I go. I usually go about $1k or so
Assuming replacing around 15 windows, we’re looking at $17,700 is my repair estimates on the high side. And I’ll probably add 25% just to cover cost overruns. So, we’re looking at $22k.
Now, granted my rehab experience isn’t as extensive as some of the people here. I recommend you talk to someone like RonMD(Ron Guy), I can bet he doesn’t pay $5k for a roof on a 1200 sf house. If I recall correctly his total rehab top to bottom is about 20-25k.
Now what I did when I had a rehab I contacted over 60 different contractors to bid out the property. Most people contact one or two. They like someone and think that is fair, so they go with them. WRONG. I put a lockbox on the property. I contact everyone I can find, I give them two days to get to the property. I want a faxed bid sheet. List of at least 5 references. Much like we do in buying real estate. You don’t go look at two houses and buy one. I spend at least 20-40 hours determining who to use for my jobs(I only invest this time once). That time is returned to me 10-fold. If you’ve ever had a bad contracting job then you’ll understand. I also will go down to the county courthouse pull the last permits that the contractor has filed from about 90-180 days out, and will track down the owner and call them and ask them about the job that was done. This is an EXCELLENT way of finding out what the contractor is really like.
Hope some of this helps,