An estimate

Old 07-25-02, 09:01 AM
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An estimate


I'm just in the infant planning stage and I haven't contacted a contractor or renovation salesperson yet, but I was wondering if anyone could provide me a good estimate on my basement having insulation, sheetrock, and ceiling tiles/sheetrock installed? My area dimensions are three walls that are 25 feet long each. I live in southern New Jersey. Also, the cost to have some basic ceiling lighting installed as well.

Thanks for any help on my estimate.
Old 07-25-02, 11:54 AM
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This is a tough question to answer. In my own case, I had estimates from contractors in neighboring towns varying by as much as $20,000 for the same job. You'll really have to have it quoted to know for sure. In the end, I just priced up the bill of materials myself, considered my own labor to be free, and decided to undertake the work myself. I only contracted out a couple of items and saved a bundle in the end.
Old 07-25-02, 01:44 PM
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Yes it would be much less expensive to do it myself. But with me not having any experience as to all that is involved with the installation of insulation, drywall, lighting, etc., thought I'd save myself a world of stress and grief if I just contracted out the whole job. I'm not looking for anything really high class, just some sheetrock and insulation to be installed along three walls. Also the lighting installation. I can do the painting and lay carpeting. It's the sheetrock installation that I don't have a clue about. And reading a bunch of books does not take the place of the experience of having done more than just once or twice. I've never, ever done it before.
Old 07-25-02, 09:37 PM
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Crafting a good contract for this work may require that you familiarize yourself with the technologies involved, even if you will do none of the work. You need to make sure you understand enough about electricity to know how many watts of power to ask for. You need to understand enough about bathroom fixtures to get the quality you want. You need to understand about how ceramic tile is rated so that you don't end up with junk. You need to know what your choices are in lighting, and how to figure out how much you need. You need to understand how to determine what constitutes a quality carpet and pad. You need to understand common basement water problems and what you need for a dry basement. You need to know enough about paint to specify a good painting job. You need to understand enough about HVAC and insulation to verify that your basement will be sufficiently warm in the winter. You need to know enough about framing to know whether you want the studs 24" o.c. or 16" o.c.

You may get lucky and get a great contractor without doing this research, but how are you going to tell? There are infinite gradiations to quality. Make sure you get the amount of quality you want. That's not likely to be the cheapest bid. Check lots of references. Good luck.

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