New garage estimate seems very high


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Old 10-29-16, 04:13 PM
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New garage estimate seems very high

I met with a builder today regarding my attached single car garage addition and he gave me a ballpark of around $40k. This does not include removing the existing 350 sq ft concrete driveway and apron and installing a new 300 sq ft driveway and apron. Seems very high to me. This works out to about $135/sq ft. I assumed it would be more like $75/sq ft. I'm obviously getting more estimates, but is this what I should expect for a 15' x 21' attached garage? He said that since I have a finished basement, they'll need to dig down to the footer where the garage meets the house (two points), and back fill with concrete. The reason being was to support the garage so it is not applying any lateral force to the existing foundation. I didn't realize my garage would be applying lateral force on the house Either way, I don't really see how this would add very much cost. Dig more dirt and pour more concrete. Big deal.

In addition to the garage, I want to add a 5 ft wide by 15 ft long attached "corridor" that connects the garage to the inside of the home (basically bump out the dining room wall five feet to allow a passage). This will also supposedly require digging down to the depth of the existing footer and back filling. He mentioned the alternative would be to put the structure on stilts (like a deck) and insulate the floor. I guess I wouldn't be opposed to doing it this way. I'd hate to do it on stilts to save a couple thousand and regret not doing a foundation with crawlspace instead. Not sure what if any drawbacks there would be to doing it on stilts. I'll be building a wooden deck off the side of that corridor, so I suppose it kind of makes sense to do it this way. Plus it will be cheaper.
 
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Old 10-29-16, 04:37 PM
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You've already stated that you are getting additional estimates and in my opinion the more the better. One thing, be sure that all are bidding on the same package and include all permit and other fees.

I had a friend, since gone to his reward, that wanted to extend his kitchen into the back yard. It looked like a pretty simple job but the only contractor he could get to even bid on the job wanted about triple what Bert (and I) thought it should cost. This was maybe six to ten years ago.

Another friend had a two-car garage built with limited storage in the overhead requiring special trusses. This was about twenty years ago and cost about $40k.

I have no idea what building costs are in your area but I saw a sign a couple of weeks ago advertising for electricians, the offered wage was $46 an hour plus unspecified benefits. Building materials are not cheap and neither is skilled labor. Of course in the Pacific Northwest where I live prices are traditionally higher than national averages but I'm thinking that your guesstimate of $75 a square foot is unreasonably low.
 
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Old 10-29-16, 05:14 PM
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I'm just south of Washington DC, so the cost of living, etc, is also higher here than the national average (about 20%). I may have to scale back my design a bit and do a simple 8 ft long x 4 ft wide corridor on stilts and cut a 4' opening into the existing dining room wall for access to the house as opposed to bumping out the entire wall as I initially planned. That way I wouldn't need to install a 10' beam to support the roof and that would be one less 10' deep footing. Not really what I wanted, but my deck would be that much bigger though. Cinder block is also an option. The deck will conceal the foundation, so it wouldn't make a difference appearance wise. I'm assuming as far as cost, from most expensive to least expensive, it would be poured foundation, cinder block, then stilts.
 

Last edited by mossman; 10-29-16 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 11-01-16, 08:13 AM
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About how much should I expect to save by doing all the interior finishing myself? In other words, I'd be doing the electrical, HVAC (one register), insulation, sheetrock, flooring, trim, and painting. I really just need the structure in place with siding, roofing, one slider and two windows installed (I already have the slider and windows), and I'll be doing the rest. I imagine an electrician would easily charge upwards of $1,000 for such a small job, and HVAC would easily be $500. Sheetrock and paint easily $3,000. Reminder that this is a 300 sq ft single car attached garage with a small 50 sq ft enclosed/conditioned hallway (stilt construction) leading from the garage into the dining room.
 

Last edited by mossman; 11-01-16 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 11-01-16, 12:01 PM
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Any work you do will save you money. I would take that money and invest in the tools needed to easily run electrical cable and the like.

Have you considered paying for foundation/concrete and roof shingles only? All other work you would do yourself.

I added a $50k room to my home for about $14K. This includes foundation and all materials but not the roof shingles. Your foundation work is more complicated but you could still save a ton.
 
 

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