Let's Put An Addition On The House Vol. 1 Planning
The Importance of Proper Attic & Roof Ventilation

Let's Put An Addition On The House Vol. 2 Budgeting

From the Desk of:
Richard A Hetzel
Architect (NY) & Home Designer (PA)

Make a Budget and Stick To It
Having hopefully planned the addition successfully, now it’s time for a word about economy: a house is made up of many small items, and here is a key to staying within a budget, if the budget is realistic to start with.  Take floors for example.  The cheapest floor is perhaps vinyl tile, not very popular or stylish, so let’s say you instruct your designer to go up one step in quality.  What you must realize is that you may be tripling the cost of that item, or more, going from maybe three dollars per square foot, to ten dollars per square foot for, say, hardwood flooring.  As you might imagine, it doesn’t take too many such decisions to blow a construction budget clear out of the water!

Make the Most Of What You Have
Another word about economy:  it is best to make as much use of existing facilities as possible.  It makes no sense to tear down a masonry fireplace and build another masonry fireplace.  That could be a ten or fifteen thousand dollar item.  Same with bathrooms…try not to rip out one and build another.  While general construction might cost, say, $150 per square foot, a bathroom can easily exceed $25005_30 per square foot.  Similarly, it makes little sense to tear out a wall and build a new wall a foot away.  Find a way to work with what assets exist.

(An extensive addition and alteration that started life as a one-story ranch house-->)

Spend Money Where It Counts
A third word about economy: spend your money where it will bring the best return on investment.  Traditionally, ´kitchens and bathrooms lead the list in bringing the best return on investment.  After that come family rooms and additional bedrooms.  Things that bring the least return on investment are finished basements, garages and swimming pools.

Get Credit For What You Spend
On the other hand, situations may arise where it pays to just put your head down and spend the money.  There is another adage which applies, and that is “get credit for what you spend!”  The “wow” factor is important.  You don’t want to invite people to your newly-added-onto house and not have them see what you did.  You only get in budget trouble where you decide to “spend the money” in every possible place.

Put It All Together
Solidifying your plan with good economic decisions is not difficult but takes real discipline on the part of both owner and architect.  Follow these steps to make sure that your good planning will come to fruition without headaches and disasters:
   1. Make sound budget decisions

   2. Make use of existing assets

   3. Get credit for what you spend
Let’s put an addition on the house, now that you know better how to go about it.  It should be exciting and fun, not a headache.  Follow these steps, and those in Vol. 1, and it will be.

An example of an architect’s statement of probable cost for an extensive addition and alteration: 

QUANTITY TAKEOFF APPROACH

General Requirements……………………………………….....23,900
Site Work…………………………………………………...….....1,000
Foundations……………………………………………………...6,500
Framing……………………………………………………….....47,600
Windows & Doors……………………………………………..14,220
Roofing………………………………………………….......….....7,130
Interiors……………………………………………………….....50,670
Specialties…………………………………………………….....16,420
Mechanical……………………………………………………...20,100
Electrical………………………………………………………. ....9,600
Miscellaneous…………………………………………………..10,630
                                                                                                                           
SUBTOTAL…………………………………………………....207,770

Location Factor +13%.................................................................27,010

SUBTOTAL………………………………………………….....234,780

General Contractor Overhead & Profit………….......………...35,220

SUBTOTAL………………………………………………….....270,000

Contingency  10%........................................................................27,000

TOTAL PROBABLE COST……………………………….......297,000

SAY:                                                                                                 $295,000 -300,000

RULE-OF-THUMB COST PER SQUARE FOOT APPROACH

Addition                                  572 SF          150.00       85,800

Second Floor Addition       1260 SF          110.00     138,600

Alterations                             784 SF             75.00       58,800

Kitchen                                  allow                                 30,000

Three Baths                          allow                                 15,000
                                                                                 _________

TOTAL…………………………….……….................328,200

SAY:                                                                                                $325,000 – 330,000

 

 

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