What would it cost to tear down and rebuild a new home on our lot? Our 3 bedroom 2 bath 1639 sq ft home was

Asked by Bob Strickland, 94539 Mon Jul 14, 2008

recently appraised at $750k. Rather than do a complete remodeling, we have decided to tear down our current home and build a new 2500-3000 sq ft home. Where can we get an estimate from a home building contractor to build our home?

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Steven Ornel…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Sun Jul 20, 2008
Hi Bob, in 1993 I torn my own house down to the subfloor, ripped off the roof, gutted all the old electrical, HVAC, etc. and added 1700sf to end up with 3200sf living space. The single best thing I did before doing this was taking the "Homeowner's Essential Course - How to build, Remodel, and Maintain your home." taught by the Building Education Center. It allowed me to act as the General Contractor during the whole process. I used the savings to install many upgraded systems/features. The current cost is $545 per person. It was the best money I ever spent!

I wouldn’t even talk to a contractor until you have completed plans and have picked all your appliances, knobs, etc. This in itself can be more exhausting than a marathon. Do this up front work and you will have no worries about ending up in divorce court or the Betty Ford Clinic.

I see you are in the 94539 - me too. If you would like to get together for a "starbucks" I can share some war stories and answer any questions you might have.

Also, if you like, send an email to IRS@Steven-Anthony.com when you have a chance. I wrote an article for the Fremont Chamber regarding the treatment of mortgage interest when equity is pulled from the home and used for remodeling (there's also a heads up about some IRS policing that may start in 2009 you need to know about). The article will be sent to you automatically.

Best Regards,

Steven A. Ornellas, GRI, ABR, e-PRO, CMPS, RE Masters, MBA
REALTOR® / Mortgage Banker-Broker / Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist

Steven Anthony Real Estate & Financial Services
Expect Excellence. Get What You Expect.â„¢
Cell: 510.461.6011
http://www.Steven-Anthony.com SteveO@Steven-Anthony.com
2 votes
Joe, Home Buyer, Seattle, WA
Tue Mar 7, 2017
Hey, Bob...I would refer you to your local "Builder's Association". Most of the cats there are "vetted" by marketplace...meaning, people talk. So, builders who have a decent reputation tend to be part of their local association. Not a hard and fast rule, but a starting place. Once you speak to the BA, check Angie's List, the "real reviews" and then ask your prospects for the contact information of their last 3 clients. IF you get tons of push-back then, run, Forrest, run.
0 votes
Ali Qureshi, Agent, Pleasanton, CA
Sat Jan 17, 2015
I always advice to use a professional for such a big scale of project like yours. I would start with contacting about 3-4 contractors and get estimates. Sometimes, it is less of an headache and better use of time and money to let the contractors manager and finish the project as appose to you managing the project. Normally, a project of this scale would run you about $150-$200/sqft. I got a project done for a client of mine for $120/sqft. It depends on the location and the scale of your project to get an idea of how much would it cost you.
0 votes
the $150-$200/sqft, does that include the teardown or just the building of the new structure? Thanks!
Flag Mon Mar 9, 2015
John Wolfrom, Agent, Greenville, SC
Tue Jan 13, 2015
Some things to consider: zoning, historical significance, hazardous material disposal, permits, soil conditions. These can be answered by an experienced builder. In Greenville, SC we have builders who are experienced in the process and can determine if any of these situations can impact your ability to tear down and rebuild.
A Realtor such as myself can help you with the feasibility from an investment scenario. Questions we can help you with include; am I overbuilding for the neighborhood, will I have too much cost invested in the land when I factor in the loss of my existing house, will my new home fit in with the existing homes.
Feel free to call me and I can give you names of experienced builders in this process and I can provide expertise in the economics of your move.
0 votes
Gilbert Rich…, , Santa Clara County, CA
Mon Feb 14, 2011
You definitely need a good contractor. I have a few experienced GC's with experience with custom homes if you cannot find a referral.

Otherwise you just need to find a good contractor with good references. And check the references to make sure it worked
0 votes
Ws Homeowner, Other Pro, Sunol, CA
Sat Feb 6, 2010
These are all great answers. Just a tid bit of my friends experience. One person added under 1000 square feet and avoided tons of additional requirements like redoing his drive way for the ADA act, did not have to add sprinklers which would have meant paying for a new water line from across the street! Those folks at the permit office just love to add on extra items

It is also probably not possible to get the full value of your home back a resale since you will likely have the biggest house in the area and people who like bigger homes like them in nicer areas. I.e. the homes off of Scott Creek are all large and more isolated from the smaller homes like ours.

Of course if they are going to take you out of you beautiful home feet first, then nothing I have said really matters!
0 votes
Alison, , San Francisco, CA
Mon Oct 13, 2008
Have a clear idea of what you want before you start to consult with as many contractors or architects as you can. Visit the local library or bookstore so you can get a handle on how to express yourself clearly to get the house that you want. Rebuilding is a time intensive process with many variables. Many contractors are hungry for work but not all are created equal. Definitely check references as pictures in their portfolios do not always tell the whole story. Don't always just go with the least expensive option either. Going with someone who is more experienced at managing projects may cost a little bit more on the front end but you'll be more likely to have your project finish closer to the projected finish date and be happy with the process (that can last more than a year). That can save you lots of money over a contractor who bids low but goes over schedule for 6 months (or more) because of ineffeciencies. Builders Booksource in Berkeley on 4th St. is a great design design resource.

0 votes
Charo Bhatt, Agent, Fremont, CA
Mon Jul 14, 2008
Hello Bob,

Building a new home can cost any where between $175 per sqft and up, which depends on the upgrades you choose. The big ticket items are your kitchen, bathrooms, flooring etc.

You got several sites for the contractors from other agents.

• One of my friends built a custom home and it took her about 18 months. She ran into a contractor, where the process was a nightmare.
• If you get into any disputes with them (contractor and staff) then too the work is on hold, you spend time out side of your home during the construction being done.

Some suggestions that may help:

• You really need to know in advance how the entire process will work.
• Estimated construction work beginning and completion date...
• How are you going to be updated, what roll you have to play
• How much time you have to spend on the site
• Cost involved up front according to the upgrades you choose.
• Have all the questions and concerns ready before you meet any contractors.

Best wishes,

Charo Bhatt
Web Reference:  http://www.HomesByCharo.com
0 votes
John Petroce…, Agent, Union City, CA
Mon Jul 14, 2008
Hello Bob,
First of all you have several things going on here. First does the foundation stay and will or can it be designed into the new foundation? Also there are companies that will actually demo your home and pay you for the salvage and provide you with tax credits. http://www.thereusepeople.org/?langselect=NC
As well as being a licensed REALTOR® I also have a construction management company called SunRise Construction Services that works with owner/builders on large custom homes and additions. I have actually demolished portion of and even entire homes. In one instant the client then added 3500 sq. ft to the remainder left standing creating over 4,600 sq. ft. of living space and done very custom.
It is actually less expensive to completely demolish a home rather than remove a small portion because of labor. The hand labor cost more than the big machines.
Another thing to think about is asbestos when doing demo. Usually portions of the homes building material need to be tested in a lab to find out if a non licensed abatement contractor can even remove it. The cost for that inspection would be around $75.00 to say $200.00 but well worth it. You do not want to put any asbestos in the land fill.
You will also need a permit from BAAQM (Bay Area Air Quality Management District.) http://www.baaqmd.gov/ and they will put a 10 to 14 day hold on any demo until they check out what you are actually removing.
I have demolished entire homes for as little as $10,000 and done it within 2 days, however every project has its own challenges. I would get 3 quotes from demo contractors and also have TRP (The ReUse People) quote it as well because they will give you some tax credit for using their non-profit company.
The cost to build a home within the Sunrise Construction Services program could run about $200 per foot. I can provide you an estimate/budget after reviewing your plans and talking to you about the interior finishes. The cost for my services/consulting is 10 to 15% of the budget amount. Read more go to http://www.sunriseconsultant.com . Call me toll free at 888-750-3797 I would love to meet with you right away
0 votes
The Medford…, Agent, Fremont, CA
Mon Jul 14, 2008

Your project sounds exciting! The general rule of thumb is this: until you have an approved set of drawings, the most anyone will be able to give you will be a ballpark estimate based upon average square foot pricing. As the previous post states, your final costs will totally depend on the level of finishes you choose, and prices can vary greatly.

There are a few different approaches you can take when undergoing a project like yours. You can:

(1) Go direct to a Design And Build construction firm that will handle your project from beginning to end. There are a number of quality firms in the area. They will help you establish a budget, line you up with an architect, walk you through the design process and take your plans to the City of Fremont for approval. Once the plans are approved, building can begin. A competent Design And Build company will handle all of the subs and will deliver you a turn-key project from beginning to end. A great choice for a design and build company would be:


(2) Go to a Construction Consultant. A consultant will do all of the things a Design and Build company will do, but will be more competitive in controlling costs. Rather than using “in-house” labor and subs, a consultant, himself a licensed contractor, will work on your behalf to secure all of the sub-contractors required to build your home, but at the absolute best price and highest possible quality. A consultant has no one on payroll, so costs are kept as low as possible. For a specified percentage of the project, a consultant will help you develop a budget, walk you through the design and permit process, then oversee your project as a “general superintendent” by hiring and coordinating all of the subs. They will help you stay on track with your budget as the building proceeds. I would recommend:


(3) Be your own “Project Manager.” This is certainly the most difficult way to go and can be full of surprises if you do not already have extensive experience overseeing building projects. Cost overruns are the hallmark of many projects done this way. You would start with an architect who, after drawing the plans and getting city approval for your project, could help you line up a general contractor or specific subs. In this plan, there is no one up front who can give you an effective cost analysis, and your budget can be blown out of the water very quickly once you start.

As you contemplate a project like this, be aware of the soft costs as well. You will need to budget rental housing while your home is being built, as well as storage for the personal belongings that won’t fit in your temporary digs. Projects frequently take longer and cost more than expected, so make sure you have a cushion both of time AND funds to cover any surprises that may come up. If you hire a contractor to do the project for you, be ready to spend a lot of time with them on a weekly basis as they communicate the project progress and help you understand the various options you may have along the way.

One last concern: don’t overbuild for your area. You have four models in your neighborhood, the largest of which are 2,219 square feet. You do have one home at 3,305 square feet, however, it is the exception rather than the rule. Anytime you build something “out-of-character” for your neighborhood, you run the risk of investing money in a home that will be over-improved for the neighborhood, and one which will not hold its value along with the rest of the neighborhood.

Good luck with your project!

Web Reference:  http://www.carlmedford.com
0 votes
Lisa Cartola…, Agent, Oakland, CA
Mon Jul 14, 2008

I would have a serious talk to a builder before I would decide to completely tear down and rebuild. You may end up saving money by rebuilding and adding onto your home instead of a complete tear down and rebuild. If you tear down completely keep in mind you will have to pay for the disposal of all everything in addition to the costs of rebuilding.

You may want to look at your home insurance policy to see what they use for the cost per square foot to rebuild your home. This typically is on the lower end of the estimate, but it would give you a good place to start. Obviously the style and type of finishes you use can also greatly impact the cost.

You will want to really spend some time interviewing different builders, contact references and go take a look at other work they have done. You will be spending a large sum of money and want to make sure you have the right person to help you.

Good luck!

Lisa Cartolano
Alain Pinel Realtors
Web Reference:  http://www.LisaCartolano.com
0 votes
Mon Jul 14, 2008
There are lots of variables. Your community will have some guidelines as to what can be done with the material you will need to dispose of. Cost factor will depend on what you want in the 2500-3000 sq. ft. home. ie countertops, flooring, fixtures, bsmt? Be very careful with the builder you use. Ask lots of questions, talk to recent past clients, talk to building dept in your community.
0 votes
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