Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Estimated Cost: $41,785

-Clear and Grub, 1700' @ $3.75 = $6375
-Build Road, 1700' @ 5 = 8500
-Grading = 880
-Culvert, 340' @ 17 = 5780
-Rock End Section, 10 @ 230 = 2300
-Rock Rip Rap, 1400 @ 5.75 = 8050
-Seed-n-Mulch = 1000
-Stone, 6 @ 350 = 2100
-Conduit, 1500' @ 4 = 6000
-Excavation = 800

Actual Cost:

Notes: This estimate is based on a 1700' road; I'll think we'll be shorter than that at the end of the day. Includes: excavation for the foundation, the PERC test and an installed gravity septic system.






Estimated: 1500

Actual: 1800

Notes: This is the rough bill from the electric company for pulling the underground electric line through the conduit (laying the conduit was 6000 and is included in the road cost).

Set Costs (crane, crew, etc.)

Estimated: 10,000

4500 for set crew; 5500 for crane

Actual: 11,750

4500 for set crew; 7250 for crane

Notes: We needed a bigger crane than anticipated (130 ton v. 70 ton). It seems to me as if this should have been anticipated by ALL the participants - contractor in charge of set, crane operator who gave us the initial estimate, Simplex, Res4 - but nobody questioned the smaller crane until the day of the scheduled set, when the crane operator came to set up and said no way...


Estimated: 18,660

Actual: 18,200

Notes: 10" poured reinforced concrete walls, 4" concrete slab (4000psi - necessary for a slab suitable for a polished finish). At the end of the day I decided not to have the retaining wall extend the additional three feet above the foundation (as drawn on the plans), so we saved a few hundred bucks on cinder block.


Estimated: 6250

-Septic System = 5800
-PERC Test = 450

Actual: 6250

Notes: Standard gravity fed septic tank and field (for 3BR 2000sf home, WV requires 180' of septic line).

Factory-Manufactured Module

Estimated: 150,000

Actual: 155,813

Notes: I've detailed some of the finishes already over at the main site, but I'll try to flesh out a little more here.

The base price for our 64'x16' (1024sf) box is 136,495 ($133/sf). With taxes, freight charges, the loose basement mat'ls that are getting shipped to the site (bathroom vanity, toilet, countertop, tile, recessed lighting cans, bamboo treads for the stairs, pocket door, panelized wall, basement windows and sliders), and taxes (which is its own science), we get to our total of 155K. We'll have some changes by the end of the process, and I'll update accordingly. When I get a chance I'll also update the specific mat'ls/finishes in the box.

Exterior Siding, Window and Roof Flashing

Estimated: 13,376


Notes: Clear Grade A Red Western Cedar 1"x4" tongue and groove boards; we will almost certainly do this ourselves (the mat'ls estimate is 6776 for the cedar).


Estimated Cost: 5000

Actual Cost:

4724 minus 400 mail-in rebates

Notes: Counter-depth Frigidaire fridge (floor model), gas range, microwave and dishwasher; Whirlpool frontload compact (23" deep) washer and dryer.

Basement Rough-in Electric

Estimated: 4328


Notes: This is another place where some money can be saved; mat'l costs here are nominal if you've got some wiring know-how. We hope to do this ourselves.

Basement Rough-in Plumbing


Actual: 2200

Notes: The contractor's estimate includes this cost in the "finished basement" cost. We have to get this broken down further.

UPDATE: We paid a local contractor (same guy who did the set) to run our (pretty simple) rough plumbing in the basement. Brought the water line across the basement over to the bathroom and out to an exterior hose bib, did the supply and waste lines for the bath, shower, sink, toilet and washing machine. All pex lines. Includes all the brass ball valves.

Finished Basement

Estimated: 46,080


Notes: This is an outrageous number. So much of the mat'ls will be coming from the factory, and the framing will be uncomplicated. I've asked the contractor to rebid this because I think he just did it by using a $/sf cost. But that makes no sense for this project. I'm pretty sure we're going to do the framing, drywall and finish work ourselves anyway, but I'll keep track of these costs however we end up proceeding.

Polished Concrete Floor

Estimated: 6800

Actual: 6650

Notes: This is a tricky one, because the estimate is for polishing the floor BEFORE any framing goes up. But it turns out the slab needs to cure for 30 days before it can polished, and we can't wait that long to start framing. We'll see how this changes.

UPDATE: Cost was basically the same. We didn't have any edging done.

Radiant Heat

Estimated: No idea.

Actual: 2350

Notes: So far, we've paid a bit over 2000 for the materials we used to install the PEX (750) and the radiant insulation (1600). We'll need to have a manifold installed when the HVAC/hot water guy comes, and that'll be that for costs here.

UPDATE: The HVAC guys did the rest of the work (water heater, manifold, etc.), and those costs are included in the HVAC entry (sorry - don't have them broken out).


Estimated: 10,998

Actual: 13,800

Notes: We haven't spec'd the HVAC system yet, so this is a rough estimate. No chance we're doing this ourselves.

UPDATE: This price is the total for: Munchkin hot water heater, 10 gallon storage tank, Trane furnace and air conditioner compressor, the manifold for the radiant system, all the duct work, and a gas line for the barbecue. The cost of the propane tank is detailed below.

Res4 Design Fee

Estimate: N/A

Actual: 33,000

Notes: 15% of proposed budget of 220,000.


Whew, should this have been a bigger number. LOTS and LOTS of costs that have snuck up on me. I'm going to try to get some new entries in here to get at all those costs I didn't even think of beforehand.

Estimated Cost: 11,000

Res4 ballparked the deck at 20/sf. We'll have extensive decking (a 48'x12' ipe, cedar and cable railing system; I don't have a mat'l estimate back from the lumber company yet; we are almost certainly going to build this ourselves).

Actual Cost: