House #42: Preliminary Budget

December 19, 2012 · 18 comments

We closed on the purchase of The WI-2 House yesterday and I’m spending much of today meeting with contractors to determine exactly what renovations we’re going to do and getting bids on the work…

Right now, it appears that we’ll be doing some major reconfiguration of the kitchen and breezeway areas (I’ll post some drawings in the next few days), doing cosmetic renovation on the rest of the main level and not finishing the basement. While I’d love to finish the basement and add a second full bath, our real estate agent has indicated that this isn’t necessary and would just end up eating into our profits.

Here is what my estimated preliminary budget looks like on this project:

Preliminary Budget

It will take us a week or two to get the engineering report on the structural work and get our architectural drawings, and then another week or two to get permits issued. So, we’re probably about 3-4 weeks from starting on the project, and I’m estimating the project should take about 5 weeks.

18 responses to “House #42: Preliminary Budget”

  1. Tom Greene says:

    I hope you’re not off by $20k this time. πŸ™‚ But seriously I think I’m jealous because I don’t have any projects going here there or anywhere.

  2. T says:

    Agreed with Tom Greene, i’m in between projects at the moment…so for now, i’ll just keep following your projects πŸ™‚

  3. Five weeks to finish your listed items is a great time frame. I often have some issue with the getting the custom stone countertops done in a reasonable time. What are you using in this example?

  4. J Scott says:

    Hollywood Hills –

    We haven’t decided if we’ll use granite or laminate countertops in this house. Our agent suggests that granite isn’t necessary, but we like to use it in any properties where the price point is over $150K. Our granite turn-around time for our Wisconsin projects are about 7-days. We’re at 5-days for our Atlanta rehabs.

  5. Luis says:

    Wow $3k for electrical…you can wire 3 houses here in Atlanta for that much πŸ™‚

    I assume you are sticking with the same team of contractors you used for the first one? Also, if you don’t mind me asking, how are you financing your Wisconsin purchases, your own cash or are you using a local WI lender?

  6. J Scott says:


    All mechanical contractors (electrical, plumbing, HVAC) seem to be more expensive up there…it’s crazy. Electrical and plumbing are about 2x what I’m used to paying. We’re sticking with most of the same contractors for #2…

    As for financing, my partner and I are paying cash currently…

  7. JACOB EVANS says:

    Hey J Scott,

    I’m reading a book right now about generating income through websites/blogs giving by giving specialized knowledge similar to yours and putting up ads. I thought you might be the guy to help me out with something, because you’re such an open book about your finances.
    Would you mind telling how much income you’re able to generate from this and other great educational websites?

  8. Greg says:

    Hi J, are you doing work on the exterior siding like residing or painting? Also, are you replacing trimwork (base, window)? I’m just trying to compare budgets. Thanks!

  9. J Scott says:

    Hi Greg,

    For this one, we don’t need to do any major siding work — the $300 for repairs/carpentry covers all the minor fixes for the siding, soffits and gutters. The exterior painting number ($500) covers repainting the trim and gutters, but not the siding.

  10. Greg says:

    Thanks J. I’m sure it will look great like all of your other projects. Good luck on the sale.

  11. Leslie says:

    It’s good budget. I thing $37K is enough for your project. You are doing almost all the the job in this budget. Like your budget I made my budget when I was moving to suffolk to santa ana. But my budget is exceeded. My budget was $18K but it exceeded to $23.5k.

  12. Greg says:

    Hi J, I don’t see any tile work for the shower surround or bathroom flooring? Was it already in good condition?


  13. J Scott says:

    Hey Greg,

    The one full bathroom in this house is in great shape, and we won’t be doing anything in there, except replacing the light fixture and the plumbing fixtures. Everything else (including the existing tile floor) will stay.

  14. Greg says:

    Thanks J. One last question, we always replace the windows and it costs around 3k with labor and materials. could you explain what re glazing does? Does it look good enough to resell and what condition does the current windows need to be in order to be a candidate to do it?

  15. J Scott says:

    Hey Greg,

    Reglazing is basically ensuring that the seal between the wood and the window is airtight and looks good. It’s done on wood windows and involves cleaning up the wood around where the glass is secured (sanding, painting, etc) as well as adding a sealant (glazing compound) to ensure a good airtight seal. If the glass is in good condition and the wood around the window isn’t rotted or severely damaged, reglazing and then painting is generally enough to make the windows look good enough for resale. It’s certainly a lot cheaper than replacing the windows and assuming the seal is in tact and the windows are relatively well insulated, there isn’t too much benefit to replacement, other than a good marketing tool.

  16. Greg says:

    Sorry that sounded confusing. Would it be possible to get the Rehab/budge analysis form that you use? Thank you again.

  17. J Scott says:

    Hey Greg,

    I actually don’t have a template. I just create a new spreadsheet for each project. I’m happy to send you this exact spreadsheet if it will help, but there’s no master template…

  18. Greg says:

    That would be great J. It would help a lot for budgeting and analysis and it looks very nice. Thank you!

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