### Author Topic: Calculate remodeling costs  (Read 4207 times)

#### fidgiegirl

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##### Calculate remodeling costs
« on: November 23, 2012, 07:56:38 PM »
I would like to remodel our basement and have a vision for how we can do it so that we can make some extra \$\$ renting it out on AirBNB, and when not doing that, it would make a nice guest suite.  It would be almost a studio apartment, but without a full kitchen.  In a future with children (uncertain, but a possibility) it would be a very complete family room.

The basement was finished in the past, but couldn't be considered finished at this point.  It's a long story, and not worth really going into.  But that's why there are things like "replace studs" on the list.

We have a separate entrance available and are just 4 blocks from a sizeable University.  There are no AirBNB in our neighborhood and I think we could make some \$\$ from visiting parents, or visiting students, etc.  For example, my former boss did her doctorate at this University so had to occasionally find lodging in our neighborhood since she lived so far away, but did most of her work online or distance courses.

So my question is, how do I go about calculating the full cost of the remodel?

In the dream plan, we'd:
- reroute plumbing to swap location of bathroom and laundry.  This would add a shower, making a 3/4 bath in the basement (currently we have a toilet/sink down there), adding overall value to our home.  It would also keep our laundry in the same room as our laundry chute AND keep it accessible for us if we had a guest without having to go through their space.  We could also then lock it off to a guest, or make it available.  If we left it in its current location that would not be a possibility.
- Rewire (dad can help with this)
- put in new studs.  Existing studs have old mildew or something on them.  Ew.
- add an egress window, making a legal bedroom in the basement, also adding value to the home.  I don't know if we could do AirBNB without this, either.  Actually that reminds me that legal bedrooms have closets.  Not sure we'd add that at this time, but it's a big room . . . it could be added later if we sold.
- Add a kitchenette - sink, micro, mini fridge (biiiiig dream there - wouldn't be a must, but would make it nice for someone staying a few days.)
- Wall off utility room.
- Sheetrock or another alternative.
- Drop ceiling to cover pipes/wires.
- Install new flooring, something non-carpet
- Add radiators.  We already have a boiler and good HVAC guy.  But not sure if this can even be done.  Like I said - the dream :) Would like to avoid electric heat.

I think that's all.  We did a lot of the remodeling on our house and we'd be prepared to do much of this ourselves.  Not sure how confident we'd be with the rerouting of the plumbing (under the floor), but we have a pretty good guy we could call on for that.  The rest of it - almost all of it, maybe except installing an egress window - we could do.

DH wants to just kind of pretty up the room as it is, but I want to do it all the way.  I also think if we ever got in a pinch we could have a student renter down there, even if it's not my ideal scenario.  However, if the money is just too much and there won't be a good ROI with Air BNB, then we might just do that.  I just think ultimately we're better off configuring it how we want.

Thoughts?

I love a place where people don't think this is a crazy project.  :)  I've seen far more ambitious on here!

#### gooki

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• Location: NZ
##### Re: Calculate remodeling costs
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2012, 10:56:20 PM »
Get some quote from local remodellers. They should be itemised, and just delete the labor charge.

#### Hamster

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• Posts: 623
##### Re: Calculate remodeling costs
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2012, 10:05:57 PM »
For anything you plan to do yourself it's really a matter of determining your plans, putting together material lists, and heading to the local home improvement store and pricing it out. For anything you contract out, it's a matter of getting the estimates. I don't think there's a shortcut that will give you meaningful numbers. If you use Lowes/Home Depot*, it's worth seeing about getting a "moving packet" from the post office which has a 10% off coupon if I recall. They both take competitor coupons, so you should be able to use it at either place.

Based on personal experience, the egress window could be expensive, depending on what you need to do. We put an egress window into a concrete foundation, and had to hire an engineer to sign off on it, and make some recommendations for reinforcing the foundation before the concrete guys would take their saws to it. There are very specific requirements as to what makes a legal egress window as well as nature of window wells if the egress window is below grade.

Electric wall heaters have pros and cons. They're relatively cheap/easy to install if your existing electrical service has capacity and you can wire the circuits yourself (make sure you know code requirements). Also it's easy to just heat the space you're using as needed. The biggest con, of course is that electrical heating tends to be expensive in long run energy costs. You can find online calculators for how much heating you need for areas of various sizes.

Don't forget to check with your local permitting office to see what permits/plans are required and what they will cost. The city may also have some info regarding zoning restrictions on what you are planning to do. You can always ask the questions without identifying yourself or your property if you just want to get a sense. A lot of people do things "under the radar", but it's worth knowing what's actually allowed. Some cities are very lenient, while others are very strict. It's probably best to know before you start this new venture.

*Not to be overly political, but I feel that part of being smart with your money is knowing what is being done with it after you spend it. If you spend at Home Depot, be aware that they are the second-largest corporate contributor to political campaigns in the US, and it's founders (independent of their corporations' contributions) have a very oversized role in gathering funds to influence US politics. As someone who wants to limit the power of corporations and individuals to  throw cash at politicians, I hesitate to spend money there.

#### Chemistay

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• Posts: 185
• Location: US
##### Re: Calculate remodeling costs
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2012, 10:30:34 PM »
Get some quote from local remodellers. They should be itemised, and just delete the labor charge.

Local contractors put a lot of time and effort into bids. Asking one to do so without any intention of using them to do the job and then taking all of the detailed quotes as a guideline for your parts lists is just wrong.

#### gooki

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• Location: NZ
##### Re: Calculate remodeling costs
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2012, 06:17:46 PM »
If their good at their job, they'll sell you on their service.

#### apstone

• Posts: 10
##### Re: Calculate remodeling costs
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2012, 11:21:27 AM »
Agreed that using contractors to gauge your remodel costs would be wrong.  If you are thinking of really contracting out the plumbing, window, etc., then by all means, take multiple bids and make a decision.

If you ever plan to turn this into some income, adding a shower and sink is pretty much a must.  All the plumbing will be expensive because of having to rip up the basement floor and all.  It might be better to contract that out, because once that plumbing is covered by concrete and finished floor, it will be painful to fix any problems.  If you want to still do some DIY, you can ask the plumber to just leave the rough-ins

Appliances can obviously be shopped around, bought on sale, craigslist, etc.

Stud price can be estimated by laying out your walls on a drawing.  You can get a good idea for sheetrock this way as well.
Flooring easily estimated by square footage.  Drop ceilings can go by square footage as well.  Just make sure to add 10% to any estimates.

Also, think about what you want this room for?  If you really want it for income, why even bother with AirBnB?  Why not just rent it out to a student full time.  If you are careful with tenant selection, then that could be a very profitable situation.  If you really just want it to be a nice living room, then don't worry about the extra plumbing and egress, and just make it a nice den.

#### fidgiegirl

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##### Re: Calculate remodeling costs
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2012, 04:06:18 PM »
Thanks, all for your responses.  Our plumber is going to come this weekend and give us some thoughts.  I should try to draw up some ideas for plans between now and then.

AirBNB is the idea because we want the flexibility to use it for our own guests.  We really don't want to give up our basement space 100% of the time but are willing to occasionally.  The good thing is that if we get it ready to AirBNB, it would be rentable as a studio apartment in the future as well if we changed our minds or wanted a different stream of income, or also could be a handy space for a home day care.  Lots of possibilities.

Maybe later I'll get a chance to post some pics.

#### Gerard

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##### Re: Calculate remodeling costs
« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2012, 05:51:20 AM »
I know this isn't what you asked, but...

If your plan is to occasionally rent it out through AirB&B, an extensive remodel like this might just not make financial sense. If you're re-routing plumbing AND doing wiring AND carving an egress window into your basement, the costs may be so high that it would take you a very long time to recoup through occasional short-term rentals. I get that there would be eventual benefits in terms of higher property value, but that's not actually of much use to you unless/until you move.

#### fidgiegirl

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##### Re: Calculate remodeling costs
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2012, 04:58:32 PM »
Yes, we are still crunching numbers, so that is something that remains to be seen but it is a concern of ours.

Interestingly, there are few private suites in our area on AirBNB.  Most are rooms in a home with the occupants.  Fine for some, but others want want a private space.  So the hope would be to rent it more often than not.  In addition to the remodeling ideas, there is the hurdle or obstacle of a business plan?

DH has come up with an alternative idea for plumbing that does not need as much rerouting, only adding a drain for the shower.  It is the less-than-ideal option as far as using the available space but it would save quite a bit of money.  Maybe I should get my butt in gear and finally draw up some plans tonight!

I'm thinking at this point that over the winter we plan and keep our eyes open for CL finds.  Then in the summer we hit the remodeling hard (we're both teachers, so that would work well for us).

I got some books from the library, that will help in seeing what might need to be done as well.