# \$135 per foot?

• posted on December 9, 2006, 5:39 am

I have seen in a number of different places that \$135/sf is a good ballpark cost figure to use for rough estimating on a remodeling job. For example, I am adding a 1 story 8'x8' room to my house, so 8x8x135=\$8,640 ballpark cost. Or, I am redoing a 10'x15' kitchen, so 10x15x135=\$20,250.
My question is: Does this number include things like appliances, or is it generally just construction materials and labor?
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<%-name%>
• posted on December 9, 2006, 8:24 am
Y-Town wrote:

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• posted on December 9, 2006, 1:53 pm
well since a bedroom doesn't require appliances, and it supposedly costs the same to remodel as a kitchen, appliances must not be included. your number is the roughest of ballparks. think of it. remodel a kitchen with new counters, flooring, cabinetry, etc for the same square foot cost as a carpeted bedroom? how could that be?

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• posted on December 9, 2006, 1:58 pm
call your local building inspector they can give a ball park estimate, the more sweat equity the better for lower price.
I like doing wiring and have traded my helping friends with their wiring for some of their efforts here, like brick laying.
so if you have some skills and good friends you can save big bucks:)
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<%-name%>
• posted on December 9, 2006, 2:42 pm
I would not call the first example a "remodel". I'd call it an additon. And I if adding that room means everything from the foundation up, \$8600 sounds very low. And the second example shows the problem with a fixed ballpark cost, because remodeling a kitchen is very different than remodeling a bedroom.
I would say \$135/ft is in the ballpark for new construction of an average two story 3000 sqft house, using typical grade materials that you see in new subdivisions here in NJ. But that is for a whole house, where it's easier to make an overall comparison, because there is a lot in common. Even then, that number could probably drop to \$115 on the low end, or be taken to \$200+ by adding more tile, custom woodwork, high end appliances, energy efficient heating/cooling, special windows, high end plumbing fixtures, etc....
Now, since the bedroom in your example is all new, why isn't \$135 a good number? I'd say it's going to be higher than that because first it's a much smaller job than a whole new house. Second, it involves more work dealing with tieing it into the existing structure, as compared to starting with a clean slate.
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• posted on December 9, 2006, 5:45 pm
marson wrote:

If you think a bedroom does not require appliances you have never met my girlfriend.
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<%-name%>
• posted on December 10, 2006, 4:56 pm
snipped-for-privacy@juno.com wrote:

Well that only goes to the fact you might not being doing what you should be doing.
--
"You can lead them to LINUX
but you can\'t make them THINK"
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<%-name%>
• posted on December 9, 2006, 3:47 pm

I think you need to get some prices. There is no way a kitchen can cost the same as a bedroom. There are so many Variables. Cook top can be from \$400 to \$3000. Carpet verses hardwood , Formica Granite. The best thing to do is sit down and think out what you really want. List every thing you can think off , Maybe you want a electrical outlet in an odd spot this is the kind of thing they charge you threw the nose for. Extras that's a big money maker so pre planning is essential. Then get some hard prices. Always check for a contractors license call the state contractors board check them out. SEE PROOF of liability and workmen's comp insurance. References take them for what there worth, no ones is going forward an unhappy customer, But you can ask to see some completed jabs or some in progress. Butt do remember any job large or small will have problems. One more thing let the Contractor get the Subs let him assume responsibility for them, I guarantee you don't want to start dealing with them or Passing the Buck will be all to real.
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<%-name%>
• posted on December 9, 2006, 5:38 pm

Using square foot estimates for building is like using the weight of a car as an estimate of it's price.
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<%-name%>
• posted on December 10, 2006, 12:48 am
wrote:

And square foot prices can really only be calculated AFTER the fact.
Unless, you get a per square foot for say, framing, or sheet rock hanging, or painting.
Remodels and redos don't work like that.
Steve
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<%-name%>
• posted on December 9, 2006, 6:00 pm
Y-Town wrote:

I'd wait a few months. With the housing market crashing, contractors may soon be begging for work.
--
The e-mail address in our reply-to line is reversed in an attempt to
minimize spam. Our true address is of the form snipped-for-privacy@prodigy.net.
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<%-name%>
• posted on December 9, 2006, 6:34 pm
CJT wrote:

I think they already are. I saw a heating/ac truck going down my street putting fliers in the mailboxes. Haven't seen that in a long time.

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• posted on December 10, 2006, 12:50 am

I doubt it. Good competent contractors don't beg for work. Derelicts and fugitives do. And the competent contractors you want to do a special remodel are not busy slamming together cookie cutter houses using alien help. In my market the good guys are busy for months out. What's left is the dregs, derelicts, and fugitives.
And the dishonest.
Steve
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• posted on December 10, 2006, 4:53 pm
CJT wrote:

Nice, I'm booked for the next year and at this point in my life I only do high end stuff and those folks have money even in tight times. I only do custom and I do it myself. So yes wait for the scum bags to come out of the woodwork if that's what kind of job you want.
RV
--
"You can lead them to LINUX
but you can\'t make them THINK"
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<%-name%>
• posted on December 9, 2006, 9:19 pm

The counter top alone cost 15,000.
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<%-name%>
• posted on December 9, 2006, 9:25 pm

Not everybody uses gold plated countertops.
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<%-name%>
• posted on December 10, 2006, 12:52 am

That would depend totally on the square footage, wouldn't it? Mine was far less, looks exquisite, and I'm happy as can be with the materials and workmanship. Around \$6k IIRC.
Steve
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• posted on December 9, 2006, 9:45 pm
\$135/sqft is probably a fairly good ballpark for a new addition to a home - but that wouldn't generally include appliances or even cabinets for a kitchen unless the contractor had a 'base' style he was using. A room as small as 8x8 may end up costing you more since the Contractor has to build in some base costs for getting his equipment and crew there. We added a 20x20 room at \$150/sqft. We also remodeled the 12x12 kitchen it was gone next to, and that cost more than the new room!

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<%-name%>
• posted on December 10, 2006, 12:45 am

The answer is yes, not, definitely, and maybe. We spent \$40,000 to remodel 280 sf of kitchen. New marble, new appliances, custom cabinets, travertine, nice stuff all of it. That was \$142.85 per sf.
Your figure of \$135 should get you a decent remodel.
We had some extras, too. We took out the drop ceiling, and moving a wall involved putting in a beam. Lots of rewiring, too. We had to cut the concrete to put the sink a little farther from where it was.
\$135 is realistic. You get what you pay for. You can save money by going with lesser countertops, cabinets, and appliances. Although, they wanted more for HD cabinets than a friend of mine did the customs for. Go figger.
Steve
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<%-name%>
• posted on December 10, 2006, 2:30 am
I'd say \$135/sf is reasonable, depending on a lot of things.
If you are in a pricey area like Westchester County or NYC, nope. If you are in a lower cost area like Buffalo, probably. But that's a reasonable number of a house, which includes a mix of kitchen, bath, bedroom, living room, etc. spaces. So a kitchen is higher and a empty room might be a little lower (but not much because you still have mobilization costs). Rehabbing existing will be quite a bit higher.
Y-Town wrote: