Undoubtedly before you embark on any home construction project whether it be home remodeling for an existing house, new home construction, kitchen remodeling or room addition, you would wisely research how pricing construction and home construction rate work. Assessing and pricing construction projects are not too complicated to understand and are definitely not quantum mechanics science. As an experienced general contractor in Los Angeles I know how my clients think and what would make them happy, they basically want the best of the best in terms of quality and materials for as low as possible. Sometimes I can almost hear them think what they don’t dare ask – “do it for free “. Well, unfortunately, and as the old saying goes, nothing is free in life. Knowing that home construction price is the main factor in the decision making the process of most people; I tend to explain how “prices construction” works and how I actually calculate estimations.
In general, the factors a home contractor takes into account are materials, labor, equipment, licenses and permits, office expenses, time and scope of work. All these elements must be considered very carefully and thoroughly before the final building cost is presented to the client. Any home construction rate may also vary according to the quality of the materials and the subcontractor’s credentials, as well as the area and state where the project is done because of differences in permits costs and charges. To avoid over-charging or under-charging the experienced home contractor also studies and reviews past projects and current costs of materials to come up with an accurate answer to the “prices construction” question, as it is often asked by my clients.
To elaborate a little on the cost of materials let us start with the fact that on any single home construction or home remodeling project, builders use more than one kind of material, whether it be just tile installation, countertop replacement, bathroom remodeling or even painting a house, the materials and equipment necessary are many and the accumulative cost of all of them can be very expensive for the contractor, thus making the home construction price high in the eyes of the homeowner. Many times the contractor would need to rent heavy machinery and equipment for the job and this too can bring the home construction rate higher. The cost of specific materials can change according to the quality, strength, and brands. For instance, tile varies in price tremendously, depending on the kind and brand, therefore a bathroom remodeling can change considerably from one project to another, while the wood price for framing is relatively the same. Of course, it is not the place or the scope of this information to detail the prices of materials, but rather to give an idea of what is involved in pricing construction jobs.
Professional labor, as mentioned before is another significant aspect in the equation of home construction rate a general contractor will place in the estimate. Crews of trained, experienced and licensed professionals have earned their expertise with a lot of sweat and years of hard work in the field and therefore legitimately deserve a fair salary for the high-end job they deliver. When it comes to home construction and home remodeling, precision and craftsmanship is crucial and should not be underestimated by homeowners because the difference between an expert and an amateur is huge.
Furthermore, cutting corners and hiring non-professionals is going to cost more in the long run and needless to say that many of them are unlicensed which makes it also illegal. A good home contractor will choose a craftsman who has the know-how and over of brand named materials if he needs to keep the budget low in the pricing construction process.
Home construction is regulated by the CSLB and city municipalities and almost every home remodeling requires some type of permit from the city. It is something that a builder will calculate and add to the home construction price unless it is agreed with the homeowner that expenses for permits are covered by the client.
And last but not least, like any other business, a general contractor must have an office and other overhead expenses that add a small percentage to the overall home construction rate estimation given to the homeowner.
All of the above is meant to sum-up in very general terms the basics of construction price estimation, and is the first article in a series of articles on the subject of pricing construction or as homeowners tend to say “prices construction”.