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I have done renovation and or remodeling work that ended up running anywhere from $20/ft to $380/ft!
Pricing work like this on a sq ft basis is like trying to buy a car by the pound.
The other question I have is...where can I find recycled materials to use on the house....can I save a lot by using recycled timber, old doors, etc. Obviously trying to keep with the era of the house...but can I really save money?
Lastly, where can I find great research as to how much each material costs...like can I use a different type of molding, plastic instead of wood, poplar instead of cherry, things like that to help me save money. Thank you for your help.
A lot of customer save money on the painting when the builder will allow a co-ordination like that. But be careful of some things. I tried that once and the owner ruined a lot af careful plaster work with poorly done painting. Additionally, she demanded to paint the trim before it went up, a different procedure than I am used to. She was slow and took over every bit of space in the house with sawhorses covered with drying trim. Production came to an halt.
Using recycled materials is very expensive in terms of labor. Windows especially. We have a saying, that only a very wealthy man can afford used windows. Think about a used door, To hang it, I would need to first re-finish it and possibly repair it. I might find that the old hinge mortises are incorrect and I need to patch in the wood therer to reset hinges. With new doors, I can install a pre-hung door in a tenth of the time for all that work and buy it for far less than the cost of that couple days wages.
Generally, there are a lot of architectural salvage yards that charge good money for good stuff and most people buying there are looking for period specific items and not for cost savings. Now they get their supply by demoing old houses. If you found one to tear down for someone, - well just how much time do you have on your hands anyway?
Demolition work comes to mind as a potential cost saving if the builder can outline what to demo and what to keep. You have to be careful for wires and plumbing ion walls that get the treatment tho. Nobody likes stripping wallpaper and it can go very slowly, so that's a potential savings.
Will you be living there while work is going on? Move out. Working around a family and controlling dust can add 30% to the cost of some jobs.
For new materials, the man-made trim items are usually more expensive than plain old wood but they do have advantages in installation time and longevity/quality.
MDF moldings are a little less expensive than wood for paint grade. The others are more expensive. If you are doing miles of architectural moldings, you need to buy a Williams and Hussey planner-molder and learn to use it. Poplar worth $1.20 becomes architectural moldings worth more like 4.50. Poplar is cheaper than cherry and easier to work. Cherry experiences more gain tear out.
Floors - if you have wood floors that need replacement, consider engineered snap panels - floating floor.
Research - I get prices from my suppliers.
Is this part of the project easy for a do it yourselfer? How much cost savings in materials and labor can I save by doing this? What other suggestions do you have to save money on the renovations...the builder will allow us to do some work by ourselves...I want to know what jobs are easy for my wife and I to do that will save money worth enough to fogoe the headaches.