Framing Labor Cost For New House

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Old 01-07-06, 07:03 PM
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Framing Labor Cost For New House

Is there a general guide about how much the framing labor would cost when building a new house? And, if so, what all does that include.

Thanks
 
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Old 01-07-06, 10:43 PM
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Not really, costs can vary greatly from area to area, they can even vary greatly between two companies in the same area.

Best bet would be to get estimates from several local companies.
 
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Old 01-08-06, 02:13 PM
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Your cost will also have to do with how hungry the contractor is at that time.
 
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Old 01-27-06, 12:13 PM
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not too many people willing to discuss actual costs. i am serving as g.c. on my own house, and i'm not one of those people!
to frame our new home construction, approx. 1600 square feet plus basement and two car garage, was about $12,000 labor only. the bids i got for this ranged from $10,000 all the way up to $63,000!!! bidding the labor and materials separately was the only way to go as far as i was concerned. the bids for both were completely ridiculous.
 
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Old 01-27-06, 07:51 PM
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I'm doing my GC work as well. The framing is done and my framer give me a bill for basically $10 sq/ft for framing labor. Our contract was for around $8 sq/ft. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. He claims "extras". My brother who builds houses says $7 - 8 sq/ft is the going rate around here (we live of different sides of our metropolitan area). I'm just trying to figure out what is a fair price. Thanks
 
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Old 01-28-06, 04:59 AM
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Originally Posted by bbarnhart
I'm doing my GC work as well. The framing is done and my framer give me a bill for basically $10 sq/ft for framing labor. Our contract was for around $8 sq/ft. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. He claims "extras". My brother who builds houses says $7 - 8 sq/ft is the going rate around here (we live of different sides of our metropolitan area). I'm just trying to figure out what is a fair price. Thanks
You said around $8 s/f. What did the contract say? Did it have a dollar amount or a s/f amount?

Did the framer specify in writing what his labor amount was for?

He claims to have extras. Did he say what they were and was there any changes or additional work between you and him during the framing process?
 
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Old 01-28-06, 04:05 PM
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There is really not much you can do, except pay him. If you do not, he will file a lein against your property. He mentioned extra's. Find out what they were. If you had an original blueprint, and even changed the location or size of a window, this is an extra. The same for moving a door. Also any red line changes done on the original drawing. $7.00 tp $9.00 a sq ft for framing only is about the right price. Your contractor is saying about $3200 more, which is not that far out of line. I know that if you ask him, he can tell you right away why the cost was more. It could be even a weather problem, or something you did not even think of. Good Luck
 
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Old 01-28-06, 07:23 PM
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We have a contract for framing the house which was broken out into dollar amounts for things like basement, framing materials, framing labor, waterproofing etc. The contract itself was very short - two pages I think - I don't have it in front of me. The contract also mentioned that changes would be done only with written approval. He said that the reason the framing labor increased was because we changed from roof truss framing to a regular stick roof framing.

He said that changing from the roof truss to regular stick framed roof would save me money. The total framing materials were about $2000 less that what was originally quoted, but the framing labor increased by about $6000. I don't see how that saved me any money. It cost me $4000 more.

I think either he under bid the cost and was trying to make up for it by switching from roof trusses to regular stick roof framing but still have me pay the extra for framing labor. Or, he just flat out bid incorrectly. Or, I'm getting a bad deal.

There were some changes from the blueprint, but they were extremely minor. There were a lot of problems with the actual workers building things incorrectly.

To make matters worse, they installed my cement fiber board siding and billed me for the labor. I was under the impression the entire time that this was to be included in the price of the framing labor. Our contract never mentioned siding explicitly, nor did it ever mention it would be extra. My framer always knew that I wanted the siding installed from the very beginning. He never said it would be extra.

I don't know if I'm getting a bad deal or if this has been a bad transaction. I would think that at a minimum he would have said your siding will cost $X,XXX - Would you like me to install it.
 
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Old 01-28-06, 08:50 PM
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I am not sure how you want to look at it, but stick rafters are always more expensive then trusses. Yes, the materials were less, but the labor was more. Thats why I always recommend trusses. As for the siding, yes, that would be extra, since framers do not do siding. I would say that this was a bad transaction. Yes, maybe a smart contractor took advantage of you, but then you were the general contractor, and it is the GC's job to know all this stuff. As a GC, I deal with this stuff everyday. I have had just about every deal pulled on me by contractors you could think of. Chaulk this one up to experience. Now, you still have alot of house to finish. Learn from your mistakes when dealing with other contractors. I feel sorry for you, but, thats how it is. Sorry. Just another reason, I tell people that being your own GC will not save you money, but cost you money. This is a perfect example.
 
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Old 01-29-06, 06:22 AM
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Originally Posted by bbarnhart
We have a contract for framing the house which was broken out into dollar amounts for things like basement, framing materials, framing labor, waterproofing etc. The contract itself was very short - two pages I think - I don't have it in front of me. The contract also mentioned that changes would be done only with written approval. He said that the reason the framing labor increased was because we changed from roof truss framing to a regular stick roof framing.

He said that changing from the roof truss to regular stick framed roof would save me money. The total framing materials were about $2000 less that what was originally quoted, but the framing labor increased by about $6000. I don't see how that saved me any money. It cost me $4000 more.

I think either he under bid the cost and was trying to make up for it by switching from roof trusses to regular stick roof framing but still have me pay the extra for framing labor. Or, he just flat out bid incorrectly. Or, I'm getting a bad deal.

There were some changes from the blueprint, but they were extremely minor. There were a lot of problems with the actual workers building things incorrectly.

To make matters worse, they installed my cement fiber board siding and billed me for the labor. I was under the impression the entire time that this was to be included in the price of the framing labor. Our contract never mentioned siding explicitly, nor did it ever mention it would be extra. My framer always knew that I wanted the siding installed from the very beginning. He never said it would be extra.

I don't know if I'm getting a bad deal or if this has been a bad transaction. I would think that at a minimum he would have said your siding will cost $X,XXX - Would you like me to install it.
The $6000.00 difference for framing labor is way to high and I'm a Framing contractor.

What would even make you think that siding labor would even be considered in his framing labor? It's not framing, Period!

Even if you talked to him about doing the siding it wasn't mentioned in your contract, right? Framing is Framing and Siding is Siding two seperate jobs.

Joe Carola
 
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Old 01-31-06, 07:49 PM
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I'm working as my own GC and building my first house. It does not take ANY experience as others have claimed. It only takes common sense. Most GCs think they are God but the truth is the average person is a moron and GCs are smart enough to be aware of this.
 
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Old 02-07-06, 04:06 PM
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the $7-9 sq ft is that for labor only or does that include materials?
 
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Old 02-07-06, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by jtb19nh
the $7-9 sq ft is that for labor only or does that include materials?
Labor only.
 
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Old 02-08-06, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnnyM76
I'm working as my own GC and building my first house. It does not take ANY experience as others have claimed. It only takes common sense. Most GCs think they are God but the truth is the average person is a moron and GCs are smart enough to be aware of this.
What was/is your occupation before this house?
 
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Old 02-09-06, 01:26 PM
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Sure anyone can be a gc, but not everyone can be a good one. Part of being a gc is knowing materials and labor pricing, which is something most can probably figure out with some research and bids. But a large part is knowing who to hire - who gives the best price AND does quality work (and the "GC" needs to be able to tell what quality work actually looks like) AND gets the job done quickly. Are they reliable, how are they to deal with on callbacks, etc. Your typical sub is going to put the homeowner GC's needs alot lower on his priority list than another GC who gives him steady work. Many people underestimate the importance of experience, and the difficulty and time involved in coordinating the entire building process efficiently.
 
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Old 02-09-06, 08:31 PM
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Kona has hit the nail on the head. Yes, anyone can be a GC. However, unless you yourself know how to do the work correctly and efficiently, you will not know if the people you hire are doing it correctly. Its kind of like taking the square root of a number. If you can't do the mathmatics long hand, and you use a calculator, how do you know if the calculator is correct.
When a person acts as a GC subs know it immediately. Sure they will take the job at a higher rate, they will cut corners you will not even know about, and you will probably wait for them, and they will use more materials. Contractors keep subs busy all year and so subs are loyal to them. Then again, the good subs usually will not work for a person acting as his own GC. So you end up with lesser quality of workers and workmanship. Just remember guys, the difference between First Class and Coach is only a few dollars. Have a good day.
 
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Old 02-09-06, 09:33 PM
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OK Guys: Here is a cheap lesson in Building 101. First of all those of you who are calling yourselves GC's are wrong. Your correct name is a Builder.
You want to be the Builder. A GC does all sorts of building. From houses to skyscrapers etc. Now, I know that everyone thinks that the Builder makes alot of money on a house. Here is just how it breaks down. For ease in arithmatic we will use a $100,000 home. Before it begins, the most a builder hopes to make out of it is $15,000 or 15%. If everything goes just right, he might get lucky and make 12% or $12,000. But things do not always go right. The weather is a big factor. So he really homes he can get 10% or $10,000, and usually ends up getting 8% or $8000. Now, lets just say he gets his 10% or $10,000. It takes between 90 and 110 days to build a home. So lets take the average of 100 days. Divide $10,000 by 100 and that builder gets $100 a day profit. That is about $12.50 per hour. How many of you would even work for $12.50 per hour. I know I would not.Have a good day.
 
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Old 02-11-06, 08:45 AM
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Very good point! I think most people have this idea builders are making toons of money doing these homes, when in reality it's not happening due to too many factors outside the control of the contractor since he's relying on subs for many aspects and thing happen to their schedules and puts the builders project behind and time is money. If you could build a complete house in a month you'd be doing okay, but that is'nt gonna happen from the time it starts until it done. There are alot of ambietious people that "think" they can do this or that, but once in it they quickly realize how out of their league they truely are. Even though it's easy to say "you just need common sense" to be a GC/Builder, I can truely say with 100% certainty after dealing with thousands of customers, contractors and subs that common sense is not something alot of folks have. That may sound rude, but all you have to do is think of a few freinds and you understand I'm right.

Take any of these building trades and a GC is not the one making a ton of money once you factor in everything on their shoulders, when you go hr for hr or piece work per hr the subs on the jobs make a higher percentage of money than the GC does. There is not a lot of money to be made in typical home building, it's not until you start getting into mid to high end homes with custom items that the margin kind of opens up a little bit. It's nice to work on new construct imo since your not dealing with years of cobble jobs, but at the same time I'd rather build room additions than complete homes since I make more money that way with less headaches.
 
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Old 02-11-06, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack the Contractor
OK Guys: Here is a cheap lesson in Building 101. First of all those of you who are calling yourselves GC's are wrong. Your correct name is a Builder.
You want to be the Builder. A GC does all sorts of building. From houses to skyscrapers etc. Now, I know that everyone thinks that the Builder makes alot of money on a house. Here is just how it breaks down. For ease in arithmatic we will use a $100,000 home. Before it begins, the most a builder hopes to make out of it is $15,000 or 15%. If everything goes just right, he might get lucky and make 12% or $12,000. But things do not always go right. The weather is a big factor. So he really homes he can get 10% or $10,000, and usually ends up getting 8% or $8000. Now, lets just say he gets his 10% or $10,000. It takes between 90 and 110 days to build a home. So lets take the average of 100 days. Divide $10,000 by 100 and that builder gets $100 a day profit. That is about $12.50 per hour. How many of you would even work for $12.50 per hour. I know I would not.Have a good day.

I totally agree with Jack on this one. If I were going to build one (1) $100K house - it would be worth it to hire a G.C. and spend the $15K or $12.50/hour. However - as I'm going to build one (1) $500K home - I'd rather save the $75K or $62.50/hour.

In answer to the original question - $7- $9/sq. ft. is reasonable. Making changes in the plans during construction is going to add those costs. Make sure you and your sub are both in agreement as to what those changes are going to do to costs. Also, make sure you know what is covered in your contract and what is not. When in doubt, ask up front.
 
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Old 02-11-06, 04:05 PM
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"Yes, maybe a smart contractor took advantage of you, but then you were the general contractor, and it is the GC's job to know all this stuff."

When an individual "takes advantage" To me that contractor isn't smart - he's a crook.

Guys - Its all about the contract. Make sure everything is in the contract. If necessary pay a lawyer to look it over. Most crooked GC's will want to gloss over the contract writing making the wording of the contract as vague as possible. Get smart about what the law requires for HI contracts in your state. Protect yourself by making sure every extra is agreed upon and the contract is amended in writing and signed by both parties.Then if the GC wants to "put a lein" on your house for non payment you can resolve it in court. I'll guarantee you, if his "extra" isn't in the contract - you win.
IMO getting a good GC, like getting any other good contractor, is a crap shoot. Unless you know the guy, or know somebody who knows him, you are really at risk. For every straight up contractor doing business there are probably a half dozen guys ready to get as deep into your wallet as they can. If you don't know the guy, assume he is "a smart GC" looking to take advantage of you.
Things are going to change during the building process. Costs, mods etc. However, if a GC comes to you after the job is done demanding more than was agreed on because of "extras" he's a crook.
 
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Old 02-11-06, 04:28 PM
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Well put Wayne, and that's what I have to insist on when I get a contract signed for everyting we do-over $1K anyways. Most people after I meet with them to go over all the plans/wishes, rpeat visits etc..feel very comfortable and want to hand over money no questions asked, but I have to tell them before we continue I need to draw up a contract to protect both of us. This way we're both on the same page as to what's expected of each other and they know what they're getting. There is also a page where it deals with change orders, additinal costs, description, etc...that we both have to sign and date if a change is made. Again, it keeps all on the same page at all times and has saved my butt more than once. Contracts and change orders singed by all protect both parties. Sometimes it's hard because you build a trusting friendship with folks and verbal agreements should be okay, but as a builder I've lost tens of thousands with shadey customers in the past, so now everything gets documented.

Building is like any other job in the world, things always happen that are beyond your control no matter how well prepared your are. It's how you deal with the problem that sets good guys and "the other ones" apart. the most important thing is staying on the same page as the customer/builder so there are no suprises. I have'nt once had a problem since changing my contract and sticking with this system of change orders.
 
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Old 02-11-06, 06:58 PM
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HI Guys:
Your correct. Everything in writing. That is how I have done it for over 20 years. In fact, when we both sign the original contract, I give the buyers a booklet I have put together that explains how changes are handled. I also give them a pad of change order forms. That way if they decide to change something in the evening at home, they can write it down then, instead of waiting for a day or so, and then not getting the change correct or forgetting about it. There is one thing for those who want to be your own builder that you should know. Your subs will want to be paid immediately, just like a regular contractor does, and they will also put mechanic liens on the job, usually before they start. That is just part of the business. You will also have to have a builders insurance policy to cover all your subs, and also a special theft and hazardous weather policy to cover all materials and tools both yours and those of your subs. You will be responsible for everything that happens on your property. I carry a one million dollar policy on every job. Have a good day.
 
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