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Question DetailsAsked on 4/7/2013

How many estimates to get?

I have received 2 completely different estimates for labor - one for $12K and one for $47K? How many estimates to get to decide what is a fair price.

t's a 550 sq feet alcove studio. I'm looking at getting the kitchen & bathroom redone, a wall partition to enclose the alcove into a bedroom area, lighting, hardwood floors and painting.

I am paying for materials separately. Any idea what ballpark for the labor should be?

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2 Answers


I usually go with 3 but have gone as high as 6, I'm currently getting quotes on hardwood flooring and have gotten one so far another this week, I rely heavy on Anige's list reviews for contractors in your area.

Answered 7 years ago by Mike S


Homeowners shoulo obtain as many estimates as it takes to calculate - or at least understand - what a reasonable price for the work might be. In general, it takes at least three legitimate estimates (from licenced, established contractors on Angie's List) to determine a possible price range. However, more information is always better, so if the price spread is extreme (as in this case) it makes sense to get four or five estimates.

Answering the specific question about cost is somewhat difficult as there is not lot of detail. For example, is the property located in New York City or in Kansas? Will the existing plumbing move or remain in place? What is the size of the kitchen and what finish level is being considered (granite, stainless steel, walnut cabinets, etc.)? What about the bathroom size and finish level - tiled shower, custom vanity, etc.? All of these expectations carry a higher labor cost than a vanilla finish.

For a remodel project of this type in the metro Washington DC area, a very rough estimate per square foot is between $50 to $80 for labor and materials. Materials run about 30 to 40% of the cost, (which you are paying for directly) so you can back into the labor cost.

Costs are higher in New York City and lower in Kansas.

Ask family, co-workers and friends for information on what they have paid for remodels to help evaluate any estimates you receive. Also keep in mind that you get what you pay for - the lowest estimate might not be the best one to select. Best wishes for success on your project!

Answered 7 years ago by Second Century Homes

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