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Old 10-12-2010, 10:45 AM   #21
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Regarding the upstairs storage room: we used the room creating trusses to which Sam Clem refers. Gave us a 14' wide room upstairs the full 36' length, plus the added dormer room and storage area in the triangular edges. Went with a 10x12(?) pitch roof to maximize available floor area to the 4' stem walls upstairs. Very roomy and light up there and has no problem with the gal's pottery habits.

A big gotcha for us was the inspector and our stairway - he insisted on a conventional rise and run on the stairs and bigger footings as he felt it was a two story. We wanted the stairs to start inside and end with enough room to have a doorway to the side at the top - and not to have a lopped corner door up top! Not having a stairway at the end of the building meant doubling the trusses either side of the stairway, as well as at the dormers, but also allowed access to two rooms up top without having to walk through one room to access the other.

Ended up with a pocket door up and a landing at the bottom that allows access to either end of the garage or straight out a man door. An un-divulged part of our plan had us walling off one side of the garage, creating a single car garage with door on the side and man door next to it leading up the stairs to a 500' plus living area leaving a double car garage accessed from the end of the garage with an arched top man door facing the house for primary home owner use.

Have been pleased to never put a renter in there, but some future owner who didn't really want to know what time their kid came home may discover that hidden utility.
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:09 PM   #22
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- Insulation: Walls: R-13 in standard 2x4 stud walls, also 1" EPS sheathing
Ceiling: The ceiling is made of Dow THERMAX Polyisocyanate (closed-cell) foam sheets with white metallic/mylar faces (this stuff has fire retardant included in it, is allowed to be left exposed--of course, check with your own building department.) .
Physical Hazard Information12
THERMAX™ insulation and sheathing products are thermally stable at typical use temperatures. They are combustible and should be protected from flames and other high heat or ignition sources. They contain a flame retardant to inhibit accidental ignition from small fire heat sources.
http://www.dow.com/PublishedLiteratu...romPage=GetDoc

You can get these boards past a small flame ignition test. But in a fire they burn very well.
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:34 PM   #23
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DH and I are looking at modular/prefabs now. We'd have the foundation put it and arrange for electric and other service lines plus get permits. Then they'd truck it in and set it up. Still checking out this option, but know for sure the garage, if we put it in, isn't going to cost nearly $80K
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Old 10-12-2010, 06:53 PM   #24
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Don't know if this is any help for a comparison, but neighbor got an estimate of nearly $50K to finish 1100 square feet of his walk-out basement. Work to include interior framing, drywall, creating a small bathroom enclosure with shower, sink & toilet (the plumbing was roughed in during building), a couple of electrical circuits, outlets and ceiling lights, installing carpet, and spray-painting the drywall. Nothing fancy. And the "roof" (first floor ceiling) and floor are already there!

This was the lowest estimate. Another contractor wanted almost $60K. Neighbor didn't like the contractor's attitude, never mind the price....

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Old 10-12-2010, 07:19 PM   #25
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Don't know if this is any help for a comparison, but neighbor got an estimate of nearly $50K to finish 1100 square feet of his walk-out basement. Work to include interior framing, drywall, creating a small bathroom enclosure with shower, sink & toilet (the plumbing was roughed in during building), a couple of electrical circuits, outlets and ceiling lights, installing carpet, and spray-painting the drywall. Nothing fancy. And the "roof" (first floor ceiling) and floor are already there!

This was the lowest estimate. Another contractor wanted almost $60K. Neighbor didn't like the contractor's attitude, never mind the price....

Amethyst
It helps in that I'm less likely to want to strangle the guy who gave us the nearly $80K estimate. What amazes me is how prices are still so high in this economy. We thought prices would be rock bottom since so many in the remodeling/construction business need work these days.

DH and I have done tons of do it yourself home improvement work including a complete bathroom demo and remodel, tile work, flooring, kitchen coutertops, paint, and too many other things to detail here. Building a structure of this size is a bit beyond our physical capabilities so we looked to hire it out.

Looks like we'll be doing lots more work ourselves, but - hey - that builds character, right?
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Old 10-12-2010, 07:43 PM   #26
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Other comments: It's very cheap to lay a set of 4" dia perforated pipes in the chips and dust before you pour the concrete for the slab. This can be used later to very inexpensively remediate any radon problems (via sub-slab depressurization) that show themselves after you've got the building finished.
So that is what the 4" steel riser pipe outside of my garage does!

Always educational here on the forum.

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Old 10-12-2010, 08:12 PM   #27
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DH and I are looking at modular/prefabs now. We'd have the foundation put it and arrange for electric and other service lines plus get permits. Then they'd truck it in and set it up. Still checking out this option, but know for sure the garage, if we put it in, isn't going to cost nearly $80K
Let us know what you find out. I know modular construction for dwellings is fast and can be slightly cheaper than stick-built, but I wouldn't think there'd be much to recommend it for a simple "shell" structure like you want.
One question: Are you getting your bids from homebuilders, or from people who build garages/utility structures? I think the markups and "expectations" might be very different. A garage like the one you want is very simple to construct (four guys could build this in three weeks, to include all excavation, if the weather cooperates). I agree with you that $80K is crazy (unless costs in your area are really high).
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Old 10-12-2010, 08:43 PM   #28
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So that is what the 4" steel riser pipe outside of my garage does!

Always educational here on the forum.

Free to canoe
Yes, it could be a stub for a radon mitigation system, but PVC would be the usual choice for this. It might also be a cleanout for a sewer pipe. Too few builders put these in (unless forced to), it can be a very handy feature.
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Old 10-12-2010, 10:00 PM   #29
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Talk to a local engineer. In my experience builders either go overboard or take shortcuts.
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Old 10-13-2010, 01:46 AM   #30
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This site Construction Leads for 1000's of U.S. Projects - Updated Daily helped with my kitchen remodel. I received quotes from $8k to $44k. I was happy with my $8k contractor as cost was a priority.

May be something similar in your area?
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:35 AM   #31
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Did they break down the bid into components

The cost of concrete and wood etc. has gone up over the years... so an old bid compared to a new one might be very different...


But I would want to know how many hours are expected etc. by each sub.. now much is spent on supplies... how much 'profit' is built in...
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:38 AM   #32
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Did they break down the bid into components

The cost of concrete and wood etc. has gone up over the years... so an old bid compared to a new one might be very different...


But I would want to know how many hours are expected etc. by each sub.. now much is spent on supplies... how much 'profit' is built in...
No, they didn't. The guy's out of town this week so we may ask him for a detailed breakdown when he gets back.
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:49 PM   #33
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About three years ago, we got estimates to do something similar - 2 car garage with a staircase to a finished room on top (no bathroom). We were stunned by the first bid that came in - it was $71,000. We did get two more estimates from other contractors, and they came in at $72,000 and $69,000, respectively. The closeness of the 3 bids makes me think that it was a pretty "normal" price for where we live (NC) and what we wanted to build. $76k might not be out of line... depends on a lot of factors like the amount of concrete needed, heating/cooling system, etc.

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Old 10-13-2010, 08:36 PM   #34
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Did they break down the bid into components

The cost of concrete and wood etc. has gone up over the years... so an old bid compared to a new one might be very different...


But I would want to know how many hours are expected etc. by each sub.. now much is spent on supplies... how much 'profit' is built in...
Is this the way bids are done in your area? When I've requested bids I usually get a (vague or maybe adequate) description of what the project includes (foundation type, thickness of slab, types of siding and shingles, etc), but I've never had one that detailed their business-side of the transaction (hours, amount to subcontractors, etc). I'd really be surprised to see a heading for "profit", since one obligatory part of each discussion is where they assure me they "probably won't make any money on this." Ha!
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Old 10-13-2010, 08:40 PM   #35
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About three years ago, we got estimates to do something similar - 2 car garage with a staircase to a finished room on top (no bathroom). We were stunned by the first bid that came in - it was $71,000. We did get two more estimates from other contractors, and they came in at $72,000 and $69,000, respectively. The closeness of the 3 bids makes me think that it was a pretty "normal" price for where we live (NC) and what we wanted to build. $76k might not be out of line... depends on a lot of factors like the amount of concrete needed, heating/cooling system, etc.

Charlotte
Thanks for sharing your experience Charlotte. I'm in Northern Virginia so costs tend to be higher here. Just wondering, what did you decide on your proposed garage project?
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:18 AM   #36
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You can get a 10X20 garage tent from Costco for $219.99. It takes two people only part of an afternoon to set it up. Get rid of all the stuff you want to store on the second story. Less stuff, more money.
Just an idea.
Here's a way of thinking about it: Let's say that if you forego the storage space, you save $30,000. Is the stuff you want to store there worth $30K to have around? Could you buy/build a shed for that stuff?
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Old 10-14-2010, 09:42 AM   #37
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Is this the way bids are done in your area? When I've requested bids I usually get a (vague or maybe adequate) description of what the project includes (foundation type, thickness of slab, types of siding and shingles, etc), but I've never had one that detailed their business-side of the transaction (hours, amount to subcontractors, etc). I'd really be surprised to see a heading for "profit", since one obligatory part of each discussion is where they assure me they "probably won't make any money on this." Ha!


I guess I am a bit different. I had a bid for a bathroom and other items in my old house that I wanted done so I could sell. I asked that it be in enough detail so I could make decisions on specific items. The bids did not give the hours, but did break down the cost of labor and material for each item. There was also a line for administration and profit. His profit was 15% of the job. The one bid that only put down one number was not even looked at.

I also had bids done for my companies build out on our new offices. Again, just asked that they give details and got it from all three bids. These were broken down as electrical, plumbing, painting etc. ..... and... profit...


The thing I found is that if you ask, lots of time you get the info....
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Old 10-14-2010, 03:54 PM   #38
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Thanks for sharing your experience Charlotte. I'm in Northern Virginia so costs tend to be higher here. Just wondering, what did you decide on your proposed garage project?
We did not pursue the garage project, because we had thought it would be in the $40-45K range... especially as the economy was starting to turn downwards. We might have gone as high as 50 or 55. It's hard to spend that much on a project when you know the price won't add on equally to your home value. For instance, I think the garage might add $30k in selling / market value to our home, so it's hard to imagine spending $70k on it!
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Old 10-14-2010, 04:17 PM   #39
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Here's a way of thinking about it: Let's say that if you forego the storage space, you save $30,000. Is the stuff you want to store there worth $30K to have around? Could you buy/build a shed for that stuff?
Thing is, DH wants the garage for his "playroom". Ham radio shack, tools and other things necessary to support his nerdy interesting hobbies.

We lived in this place before and the lack of a garage wasn't a problem then. However, our current place (which we've lived in for about 11 years) has a nice garage and he's gotten to like it. I like it too, especially when the weather is bad.

Plus, since DH plans to retire soon, he'll have more time for his hobbies and will need the space since the house is quite small.
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Old 10-14-2010, 04:20 PM   #40
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We did not pursue the garage project, because we had thought it would be in the $40-45K range... especially as the economy was starting to turn downwards. We might have gone as high as 50 or 55. It's hard to spend that much on a project when you know the price won't add on equally to your home value. For instance, I think the garage might add $30k in selling / market value to our home, so it's hard to imagine spending $70k on it!
This is why we're thinking the modular route for the project. Based on my research so far, I think we can do a 2 car, 2 level garage for about $30K - $40K. I'll keep everyone posted.
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