Rules For Estimating Fixup Costs

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  • It's our nature to improve our homes and often a major reason why you’re buying a home. Whether you’re doing it yourself or hiring help, we have some great tips for you.

    Home fixup can be challenging to estimate

    Fixup projects almost always (ok, always) cost more than your original estimate! There are three very good reasons for this:

    1. You underestimate. No matter how much you sharpen your estimates, you’ll invariably miss an expense or underestimate some things.  Even the pros underestimate all too often.
    2. You decide “while were at it, we should probably…”. Sometimes it just makes sense to replace the bathroom floor since you already have the vanity torn out.  Try to think ahead and predict additional projects.
    3. You put in nicer stuff. At first, that basic $50 faucet is just fine, but next thing you know, you’re thinking about how cool this $200 faucet would look in your kitchen!

    Here’s a good rule of thumb, do your best to estimate your project cost, then double it. For example, your best estimate for replacing the kitchen sink is $300. Now double that ($600) and you’ve got yourself a realistic number!

    Ask your Buyer’s Agent and other homeowners you trust for referrals to find the most reliable contractors.

    If you do the work yourself, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to finish a project to avoid stress & a house full of guests with no running water!  Don’t take on too big of a do-it-yourself fixup project until you’ve practiced on smaller ones first.

    Community colleges & home improvement stores have “how-to” classes or get an experienced friend or family member to help.

    If you hire work done, always have the contractor give you a very detailed estimate. Then ask about everything else you can think of that may be outside of their bid. And never, never give a contractor the final payment until the job is 100% complete or you’ll have a tough time getting them to finish that last 10% of the work!

    Checkout contractors with your local licensing authority to be sure they’re licensed & insured.

    Thinking of buying a home in the Portland, Oregon area?  Checkout our First Time Home Buyer Classes!

    Rules For Estimating Fixup Costs was last modified: May 4th, 2018 by David Axness

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