Dream (TV) vs reality or what it really costs to build on to your home

Every homeowner has ideas of what changes they would make to their home if money was no object. The popularity of HGTV , Pintrest and Houzz prove that homeowners like to dream. Since winning the lottery is limited to only a few people in the country as are 6 figure salaries, the rest of us need to be realistic. So what does it cost here in the Northeast, NY Metropolitan area  to make home additions?

Based on prior Pavolony Construction jobs we can give you some basic numbers.

1 one car detached garage that matches the house siding & roof with an electric garage door, a man-door and rafter storage space can be $20-26,000

New entry door and stairs with stonework sidewalk $8 – 10,000

New 2 BR 3Bath home with 1-car garage and basement. Inc rip-down house and dig out new basement $470,000

Add-a-level with 2 BR & 1 full bath, 1-car garage new roof & siding, new deck and Florida room  $155,000

To give you some idea we charge $50-60 an hour per person for labor only jobs.

Our labor to frame only, no materials for a 2 car garage with a room above it was  $13,800

When pressed to give a quick estimate, we say to use $170-200 per square foot of addition. That includes the finished shell with roofing, siding, standard windows, interior stairs, standard tub, toilet, sink with framed rooms with drywall. Basic electric and plumbing.

It does not take into consideration special windows, appliances, big tubs, large showers, kitchen cabinets, counter tops, bathroom vanities, fancy entry doors, decks, patios, balconies, tile work, hardwood floors, cabinet pulls, decorative light fixtures and light bulbs. So you see how the price can change daily with new ideas. Houzz.com is a great source for ideas for inspiration but there aren’t costs listed. HGTV designers have endorsement deals with suppliers so they get special pricing for mention/advertising on the shows. A certain flooring store gave a tv show wood floor at cost in exchange for mention and a clip of the designer coming into the store. The store was quite mad when they were cut out of the show but since it aired months after they had no re-course except not to do it again. But the show could show the lower $ amount of the job. So it sets unrealistic goals for the average viewer not privy to these discounts.

Also the TV shows have large crews and arrangements with the town’s regarding inspections. They also edit it to look faster. They don’t show every minute of drywall spackling or how the mason grouts exterior stonework with an overgrown pastry bag with grout. For days. So timing is not realistic. Also in the real work it can take 1-2 weeks just to get a town inspector to inspect so you can move on.  Don’t get me started on some towns taking weeks just to grant you the permits to begin with stalling the start dates by months. Then add in lead time for special orders, customer changing or not making up their mind or delivery dates, And don’t forget Mother Nature. You can’t paint in the rain or roof in the snow. Once the ground freezes you can’t do anything new to foundations.

Add to all of this the prices of materials and the rising labor costs for an experienced crew. A sq of roofing shingles costs $125-175 which cover 100sq ft or a 10’x10′ area.  Siding is similar with coverage and costs $250-300 per sq. Plywood can be anywhere from $15-25 a 4’x8′ sheet. Sheetrock is $10-15 a 4’x8′    2×4’s are around $2-4

A good carpenter can expect to be paid $17-30 an hour A helper $10-15 and this is all on the books because we pay Worker’s comp and Liability insurance. So offering to pay cash is not such a good incentive anymore. I felt bad telling a woman that she would not be able to finish off her basement with floors & ceiling and added plumbing for a full bathroom for her $5,000 cash.

This is not to scare you off doing an addition to your home but just to help you see the big picture and not just the tv screen size of home renovations. Pavolony Construction will give you an accurate proposal for your scope of work and we can help trim your expectations to fit your budget. With no hidden costs or changes to that price unless you change what you want done. Also if you can get a better price for something we will give you credit. So call or email us with your ideas and we can help turn them into your reality.



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