Page 1 of 1

Multiple Large Home Improvement Project Estimates

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:07 pm
by creditdefaultswaps
I live in a HCOL and want to seek estimates for foundation repairs (few piers, minor leveling), new roof, rehab exterior and upgrade the electric panel. What I usually do for estimate requests is write-up a detailed list of items I want addressed in their estimate and give it to them at our first meeting. I also always request the estimate in writing with proof of liability insurance and detailed payment terms + permits.

In this case, we'd like to get all of this work done at around the same time. My thinking is that I might get better pricing if I hire a reputable contractor to do it all under one roof. Is that a good idea or would it better for me to piecemeal each project to specialized contractors (roofer for roof, electrician for electrical, etc). Any other tips for pursuing this large project?

Re: Multiple Large Home Improvement Project Estimates

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:37 pm
by HomeStretch
Do you have the expertise, time and temperament to manage the subs, deal with inspectors, manage the schedule, etc.? If you do, great.

If you don’t, you are likely better off with a (licensed, insured, reputable, experienced, well recommended, on site) general contractor. That said, you will need to manage the GC and your project. No one will care about your project, money and timetable as much as you do.

Re: Multiple Large Home Improvement Project Estimates

Posted: Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:50 pm
by Broken Man 1999
If a project needs more than one trades person, we use a GC.

That way if something comes up with multiple players pointing fingers at each other, the GC gets it settled/done.

A side benefit is it is a good opportunity to judge the trades people for use in later, single projects.

As well with a vetted GC, we don't worry about liabilty, a concern if you have a lot of worker traffic in your home.

As McCoy often told Kirk, "Dang it Jim, I'm a xxxxx, not a GC!" Insert your particular occupation.

Broken Man 1999

Re: Multiple Large Home Improvement Project Estimates

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 2:40 am
by fareastwarriors
Go with what home stretch and broken man said. They get it.

I’m in the Sf Bay Area so even a tiny bath remodel is like 30k. There will be pain.

Good luck!

Re: Multiple Large Home Improvement Project Estimates

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:45 am
by WengerTodd
creditdefaultswaps wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:07 pm
I live in a HCOL and want to seek estimates for foundation repairs (few piers, minor leveling), new roof, rehab exterior and upgrade the electric panel. What I usually do for estimate requests is write-up a detailed list of items I want addressed in their estimate and give it to them at our first meeting. I also always request the estimate in writing with proof of liability insurance and detailed payment terms + permits.

In this case, we'd like to get all of this work done at around the same time. My thinking is that I might get better pricing if I hire a reputable contractor to do it all under one roof. Is that a good idea or would it better for me to piecemeal each project to specialized contractors (roofer for roof, electrician for electrical, etc). Any other tips for pursuing this large project?

I do NOT recommend doing all these at the same time. Unless you are in a rush, or really have a problem being inconvenienced, you will not save money on this. Of the projects you're looking to do, three of them almost always come with their own general contractor when you purchase the service from a reputable company.

Foundation repair... there are many companies that deal specifically with this. There is absolutely no reason to hire a general contractor to handle this because the company that offers the service will handle all that work for you.

New Roof... again, there are dedicated companies that JUST do roofs, and they come with their own general contractor and team of people to handle this.

New Electrical Panel... this is a very common and routinely requested service. There are lots of electrical service companies, including some well-known names you'll remember as you start doing your research. It's generally anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500 for the work, and it's literally one, maybe two electricians that come out and take care of it on a Saturday.

In each of these situations, the companies that you've hired to do the work will come with their own insurance, will do all the permitting, and warranties. I think you're over-thinking this, absolutely no reason to hire others to handle this.


For that matter, you'll probably want to do all these things at different times anyway. Have the slab / foundation done first. You don't want the roofers doing work and have the slab shift only to create a flaw in the new roof. So foundation repair first, then roofing, then electrical, and THEN outside rehab (since your exterior will now be trashed from the foundation repair, and the roofers).

Re: Multiple Large Home Improvement Project Estimates

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 8:49 am
by Sandtrap
WengerTodd wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:45 am
creditdefaultswaps wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:07 pm
I live in a HCOL and want to seek estimates for foundation repairs (few piers, minor leveling), new roof, rehab exterior and upgrade the electric panel. What I usually do for estimate requests is write-up a detailed list of items I want addressed in their estimate and give it to them at our first meeting. I also always request the estimate in writing with proof of liability insurance and detailed payment terms + permits.

In this case, we'd like to get all of this work done at around the same time. My thinking is that I might get better pricing if I hire a reputable contractor to do it all under one roof. Is that a good idea or would it better for me to piecemeal each project to specialized contractors (roofer for roof, electrician for electrical, etc). Any other tips for pursuing this large project?

I do NOT recommend doing all these at the same time. Unless you are in a rush, or really have a problem being inconvenienced, you will not save money on this. Of the projects you're looking to do, three of them almost always come with their own general contractor when you purchase the service from a reputable company.

Foundation repair... there are many companies that deal specifically with this. There is absolutely no reason to hire a general contractor to handle this because the company that offers the service will handle all that work for you.

New Roof... again, there are dedicated companies that JUST do roofs, and they come with their own general contractor and team of people to handle this.

New Electrical Panel... this is a very common and routinely requested service. There are lots of electrical service companies, including some well-known names you'll remember as you start doing your research. It's generally anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500 for the work, and it's literally one, maybe two electricians that come out and take care of it on a Saturday.

In each of these situations, the companies that you've hired to do the work will come with their own insurance, will do all the permitting, and warranties. I think you're over-thinking this, absolutely no reason to hire others to handle this.


For that matter, you'll probably want to do all these things at different times anyway. Have the slab / foundation done first. You don't want the roofers doing work and have the slab shift only to create a flaw in the new roof. So foundation repair first, then roofing, then electrical, and THEN outside rehab (since your exterior will now be trashed from the foundation repair, and the roofers).
+1
Great points.
Multiple estimates for each of roofing, electrical, foundation, etc.
j :happy

Re: Multiple Large Home Improvement Project Estimates

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:01 am
by lthenderson
WengerTodd wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:45 am
I do NOT recommend doing all these at the same time.
+1

I wouldn't want all these done at the same time either nor do they need to be done at the same time. If I were a foundation repair company, the last thing I would want is to work around a roofing and general outside rehabing project going on at the same time and I'm sure all but perhaps the electrician would say the same thing. So you are not going to save time or money by hiring a general contractor.

For what it is worth, I currently have a general contractor doing a major addition and remodel to my house. If I had a do over, I would have been my own general contractor.

Re: Multiple Large Home Improvement Project Estimates

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:50 pm
by creditdefaultswaps
WengerTodd wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 6:45 am
creditdefaultswaps wrote:
Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:07 pm
I live in a HCOL and want to seek estimates for foundation repairs (few piers, minor leveling), new roof, rehab exterior and upgrade the electric panel. What I usually do for estimate requests is write-up a detailed list of items I want addressed in their estimate and give it to them at our first meeting. I also always request the estimate in writing with proof of liability insurance and detailed payment terms + permits.

In this case, we'd like to get all of this work done at around the same time. My thinking is that I might get better pricing if I hire a reputable contractor to do it all under one roof. Is that a good idea or would it better for me to piecemeal each project to specialized contractors (roofer for roof, electrician for electrical, etc). Any other tips for pursuing this large project?

I do NOT recommend doing all these at the same time. Unless you are in a rush, or really have a problem being inconvenienced, you will not save money on this. Of the projects you're looking to do, three of them almost always come with their own general contractor when you purchase the service from a reputable company.

Foundation repair... there are many companies that deal specifically with this. There is absolutely no reason to hire a general contractor to handle this because the company that offers the service will handle all that work for you.

New Roof... again, there are dedicated companies that JUST do roofs, and they come with their own general contractor and team of people to handle this.

New Electrical Panel... this is a very common and routinely requested service. There are lots of electrical service companies, including some well-known names you'll remember as you start doing your research. It's generally anywhere from $1,500 to $2,500 for the work, and it's literally one, maybe two electricians that come out and take care of it on a Saturday.

In each of these situations, the companies that you've hired to do the work will come with their own insurance, will do all the permitting, and warranties. I think you're over-thinking this, absolutely no reason to hire others to handle this.


For that matter, you'll probably want to do all these things at different times anyway. Have the slab / foundation done first. You don't want the roofers doing work and have the slab shift only to create a flaw in the new roof. So foundation repair first, then roofing, then electrical, and THEN outside rehab (since your exterior will now be trashed from the foundation repair, and the roofers).
You're right - I don't need to rush it. I've been working on the house so much that I guess I was looking to do less work and just get it all over with, but patience will serve me well here.

I guess one other thing I'm trying to work out is what if in the midst of doing one of the projects - let's say the roof - I need to make a decision that might impact the exterior remodel in some way? Like I know I need some new rafter, fascia boards, curved trim, venting, etc. - I don't know what I don't know but I suppose I'm concerned I'll make a avoidable mistake that might cost me more down the road when I move to the other portions of the project.

Re: Multiple Large Home Improvement Project Estimates

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:54 pm
by dbr
I also see no reason to hire a GC to do those well defined and unrelated projects. I would also probably do them one at a time and clear the decks before starting another one.

Re: Multiple Large Home Improvement Project Estimates

Posted: Tue Oct 08, 2019 5:07 pm
by eucalyptus
Here's what we've learned from our building and remodeling experiences, fwiw: sure, get multiple estimates.

Get all the estimates you want.

Then, hire the best general contractor, without regard to cost.

How do you find the best? Ask around. In most communities, there will be one or two who have been in business for a long time, use good subs with whom they have longstanding relationships, are booked way in advance, and have worked on very high quality projects.

In our experience, those contractors will be worth waiting and paying for.

Re: Multiple Large Home Improvement Project Estimates

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 9:26 pm
by WengerTodd
creditdefaultswaps wrote:
Tue Oct 08, 2019 4:50 pm
You're right - I don't need to rush it. I've been working on the house so much that I guess I was looking to do less work and just get it all over with, but patience will serve me well here.

I guess one other thing I'm trying to work out is what if in the midst of doing one of the projects - let's say the roof - I need to make a decision that might impact the exterior remodel in some way? Like I know I need some new rafter, fascia boards, curved trim, venting, etc. - I don't know what I don't know but I suppose I'm concerned I'll make a avoidable mistake that might cost me more down the road when I move to the other portions of the project.
Totally get this, but you can still knock out the projects you know you need to get done now. But tell me a little bit more about your exterior remodel. When you first said that, I assumed you meant replacing some fascia boards, some ornate landscaping and maybe a patio, and then painting the house. Are you considering a home addition? If you're adding square footage to the house, as in... actually adding rooms, then yes... you definitely need a general contractor to handle those things. That's not something you want to do yourself.

So, just want to be really clear again, are you adding square footage? Because if you are, you'll first want to get architectural drawings done. You don't need a GC for that. The architectural company will come out, do measurements of the house, and you work with a designer... and then they'll draw up plans. With those plans (that they'll give you in PDF format), you can then e-mail several general contractors and have them give you a quote for the job...

But if you're not adding square footage, then don't worry about it. Just get the projects done. But you generally want an idea of what you plan to do before you start doing things... that's with or without a GC. But get the slab fixed first... that's the most important thing. It should be the first thing you do in that house before anything else... because it will dramatically affect the level, plumb, and square of everything in the house.

Re: Multiple Large Home Improvement Project Estimates

Posted: Thu Oct 10, 2019 10:49 pm
by creditdefaultswaps
Nope - not adding any square footage or changing the building footprint. The exterior is stucco and I have metal casement windows that I want restored. It's 100 year old house so there are many maintenance and cosmetic issues that need to be addressed.

I have more than enough in terms of a general plan of what I want to do. I'm just OCD and a perfectionist and I don't like making avoidable mistakes. :D