Step 2: create a scope and budget
If creating the plan is the fun part, then this is definitely the scary part! Before we decided to manage this project on our own, we met with 3 general contractors and asked for project bids. This was definitely helpful in getting perspective on the costs we were in for. The pro of hiring a general contractor is that you have an experienced and licensed professional managing the job from start to finish. They have their roster of sub-contractors they have worked with before, so usually will be able to find and schedule trades efficiently. They will also be on-site throughout the project to manage all the subs. The con is that you will pay for their service and the convenience of having someone manage the job for you. Their fee is typically a 15-20% mark-up of your total construction budget, which can add up.
In order to create your budget, you need to write out the scope of the work you need done. Below is an example of one of the bids we received, so you can get an idea of the different elements and what you will need to cost out. Each contractor provided a different format but most were around this same level of detail. Keep in mind that this estimate did not include bathroom fixtures, and it was just an estimate for the flooring and tile materials.
After receiving the bids, we realized if we were going to afford this remodel, we had to 1) cut down the scope of our project and 2) manage the work ourselves. We are lucky that my husband is a contractor, and while he does not work in residential construction (he works on large-scale commercial buildings) he understands the concepts, details and general costs of building. We both have full time jobs, so time will tell if the money we are saving by not hiring a general contractor is worth the juggle this project is going to be for us - but we are up for the challenge!
The next post will get into Step 3: Making a Schedule.