Can a 769 sq ft Condo in Long Beach, CA be gutted and rehabed for $35,000?

Asked by Kathi, Long Beach, CA Thu Nov 6, 2008

The kitchen and bath walls butt against each other but I need to change the orientation, putting the bath where the kitchen is and vice versa. So the plumbing fixtures will need to be moved but the plumbing stays in bascially the same area. The condo has 3 interior walls that need to be gutted and moved. I want to use standard grade materials but I need to know if this cost is even in the ball park of reality. I don't need a designer or an architech unless it's required.

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7
Harrison K.…, Agent, Irvine, CA
Sun Nov 23, 2008
Kathi ... If you are buying a condo ... Please check with the HOA and Rules and Regulations for architectural control or change, and the CCRs, other governing documents of your HOA, which will address matters of your right and responsibility about changing the interior and exterior of your condo home.

Please hire a qualified and licensed California general contractor for the planning and actual work. Best wishes to you.

Harrison K. Long, Realtor agent and broker, Coldwell Banker Previews

For the best California home and property search site check out
0 votes
Kathi, Home Buyer, Long Beach, CA
Fri Nov 7, 2008
Laurie, et. al,,
Thanks. I will take your advise. From the way you talk, it sounds like you think it might be worth the effort to check into it. I've been checking prices for materials for awhile now and it seems like I could get the finishing materials (laminate wood floors, tile for kitchen floor and bath room, kitchen cabinets and paint, maybe some inexpensive fixtures and lights too, even though I can't install them myself) and rent the tools for under $10,000. It's just that I never hired a tradesman or contractor before and I don't know how to go about it and can't even begin to estimate their prices. Getting started with them seems like the hardest part because of my ignorance and fear of being taken advantage of. If I want to buy this condo I guess I will have to think of negotiating with contractors as the beginning of a learning experience.

Can anyone refer me to a contractor or tradespeople who are willing to work with a do-it-yourselfer. From what every one has told me so far, most of the licensed and bonded professionals won't give an estimate or do a job unless they are given complete control from beginning to end.

Also, I know some projects must be completed in stages and it requires the different tradespeople to work together. So, it seems like I have to hire a contractor who has different tradespeople working for them so they can coordinate it. Or is there some way of hiring individual tradesmen and getting them to work in cooperation.

I'd love to talk to a homeowner who has experience working with contractors or tradespeople who have done jobs similar to mine. I'd love to hear other people's experiences.
0 votes
Laurie Manny, , Long Beach, CA
Fri Nov 7, 2008
Kathi,

If you are that handy it sounds like you can handle all but the plumbing, electric and wall issues. Why don't you get quotes on those, estimate the cost of materials for the jobs that you plan to do yourself and see where you land. That should give you a clear financial picture.

Best of luck on your remodel.

Laurie Manny
Main Street Realtors
(562) 212-5420
http://www.lauriemanny.com
0 votes
Kathi, Home Buyer, Long Beach, CA
Fri Nov 7, 2008
Thank you for responding. I rent the condo now and might be able to purchase it for a good price but the living area faces north and is dark while the bedroom has a balcony and patio doors that face south and is very bright. I can't stay in this condo the way it is and need to be able to change the orientation. If I buy it, I plan to live in it for the rest of my life. If I can do the project, it will be done to code with permits. I'm pretty handy myself and can do things like flooring, tiling, painting and installing standard cabinets. But I still need carpenters, plumbers, electricians, etc... I don't even know if there are contractors who work with do-it-yourselfers as laborers to minimize the cost. I haven't checked with the HOA yet because I'm just trying to find out if the cost of such a project is within the realm of reality for me. I know there are tons of considerations to take into account, but first things first, will it cost 10's' of thousands or 100's of thousands? Is $35 - $50,000 a realistic estimate? I don't want to start calling contractors or tradespeople until I have an idea if it is realistic.
0 votes
Laurie Manny, , Long Beach, CA
Fri Nov 7, 2008
Hi Kathi,

It has been my experience that whatever amount you plan on spending when you remodel or renovate tends to grow as the work happens. Often issues crop up that require other tradesmen and jobs that were not anticipated just to complete a small part of one portion of the remodel. Keeping the job costs down will depend on your choices of materials and labor. If you are renovating to sell you have to question whether the anticipated costs of the renovation are worth the effort. Will the condo sell for a price that will cover your initial and the renovation costs?

Is there a specific reason that you are flipping the kitchen and bath? If the costs are going to run high you might want to reconsider this option as a means to an end.

Has the HOA approved the changes and the removal of the load bearing walls? Is this all being done to code and with permits?

If you are 3/4 of the way through the job and costs begin to rise, can you finance additional cost or are you then stuck?

Laurie Manny
Main Street Realtors
http://www.lauriemanny.com/
0 votes
Julia Huntsm…, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Fri Nov 7, 2008
Hello Kathi, Another important consideration are the Rules and Regulations, the CCRs, and other governing documents of your homeowner association which may address your plans for your condominium. If your unit is in a multi-attached building where other units would be affected by the removal of load-bearing walls within your unit, certain rules and procedures, i.e., presenting your plans to the Board, may apply. A licensed contractor will be able to tell you the nature of the walls you plan to remove.
Julia Huntsman
http http://:www.longbeachrealestate.blogspot.com
Web Reference:  http://www.juliahuntsman.com
0 votes
Susan Van Wig, Agent, Long Beach, CA
Thu Nov 6, 2008
Kathi, You might get better information by having the various tradespeopel give you quick estimates for the work to be done. I know several reliable painters, carpenters, electricians and plumbers that I would be glad to refer to you. Please feel free to call. Susan Van Wig, Century 21 Landmark Properties 562 980-6088
0 votes
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