Tips/Tricks/Suggestions for Home Reno Project Estimating

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Old 04-29-13, 10:53 AM
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Tips/Tricks/Suggestions for Home Reno Project Estimating

Any tips, tricks or suggestions on how to estimate a home reno/improvement job?
What I have done so far is add up a rough amount of the major components, round that up to the nearest hundred, and add sales taxes.

The reason I'm asking is I have a couple different projects and options on the plate.
I have one which the wife and I would love to do, but we know we know it'll have to be done in stages to avoid borrowing money, and the first stage has to be done before winter. If the estimate is within reach, we'll be looking at expanding the attic bedroom to consume the remainder of the usable space (~20ft x 30ft) and include a full bath. The attic floor is already built with subfloor, so it would be rough-in walls, Over insulated walls and ceiling (ceiling to code, walls way above code at ~R50).
I'm trying to do an estimate for the walls and ceiling roughed in and insulated (need done before winter).

These tips, tricks and suggestions would be used for this and other home projects.
 
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Old 04-29-13, 11:56 AM
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Make a list of all the materials you think you will need. Go to the homecenter and get prices for these items. Double that figure for the cost of materials.

For the time, guesstimate how long you think it will take you for either the entire project or for major stages of the project. Multiply that time figure by three.

This will usually get you a ballpark figure of both time and money required. It may be a little low.
 
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Old 04-29-13, 12:17 PM
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It's funny, I had a similar idea in the back of my head (for the multipliers) but didn't want to admit it.
I guestimated ~$5k to rough-in the walls (with insulation and vapor barrier) and same for the ceiling using similar logic. Electrical is going to hurt (outlet every 6 foot plus lighting).

As much as we want this project started, the first major step might put it on hold if we want to do it without borrowing.
 
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Old 04-29-13, 12:46 PM
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Electrical is going to hurt (outlet every 6 foot plus lighting).
You don't need a receptacle every six feet, only be able to plug in a device with a six-foot cord anywhere against the walls. That means a receptacle every twelve feet. Make it every ten feet to be safe.

OOPS, I forgot you are in Canada. I don't know the code for your area so it might be every six feet. Twelve feet works in the US of A except for kitchen counters where the distance is four feet.
 
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Old 04-30-13, 04:40 AM
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I just double checked that, and you are right Furd. We're basically the same (6ft cord rule).
 
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Old 04-30-13, 05:53 AM
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Craftsman books makes a whole line of estimating programs which cover just about any facet of home improvements from general to specialties. Here is a link, they have free 30 trial versions. Look for the 2013 National Home Improvement Estimator.

Craftsman Book Company, Download Center
 
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Old 04-30-13, 06:17 AM
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Thanks for all the input.
The more I think about it, and the more I play with the numbers, the more "nice to have" projects are being knocked off the list.
I suspect it'll be must do projects only this summer and maybe the wife's extended pantry.
 
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