With all the talk @ a recession and job losses, why am I not seeing more aggressive pricing from contractors?

Asked by Linda Heinrichs, Lake Oswego, OR Thu Jan 8, 2009

Additions & remodeling are still being priced at around $275 - $300 SF where I live. I don't get it, we are seeing price deflation on just about everything else, but the prices of remodeling. Just curious if you have any ideas?

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Insurance Pro, , Portland, OR
Sun Jan 11, 2009
I insure a lot of contractors and I put your question to one of them today and the answer is that the price for a good contractors labor is not going to come down because if it did they wouldn’t make any money. The price for materials has not come down by much either, but will in the near future. The $4 gas price run up we had takes about 12-18 months to show up in the prices of products on the shelf, so we are still feeling that bubble, also the drop in worldwide commodity prices that has been going on for several months now has not yet shown up in lower prices for building material but soon it will. The slow down has had the positive effect of making it possible to find skilled labor that until recently were completely booked up by general contractors, so if you had some knowledge you could act as your own general contractor and hire quality people directly.
1 vote
Dirk Knudsen…, Agent, Hillsboro, OR
Thu Jan 8, 2009
Your not talking to the right people Linda. Your a good agent. Bring somebody in that in not a LO insider.
That type of $$ is Ridiculous. Depending on the scope of your project I have several master builders that will help you for much less than that. These guys are starving and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

email the scope of project and I will find you some good sources form my inner circle.


Dirk Knudsen
Re/max Hall of Fame
Web Reference:  http://www.theknudsens.com
1 vote
Rick Leforce, , Tempe, AZ
Wed Dec 15, 2010
Depending on the licensed contractor, you may actually get a better bid for new home construction services or home renovation by having several bids or estimates when doing a housing rehab project. Basically taking the first estimate is to have no baseline to compare construction costs when shopping for bargain pricing on remodeling services.
0 votes
jo, , Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, CA
Mon Dec 13, 2010
Not enough contractors + People need things done to a home = NO price change cause there is work
0 votes
Teddy Sonner, Agent, Washington, DC
Mon Dec 13, 2010
If you are looking for some excavation and the installation of an athletic court, you won't find a better contractor than Home Court Construction. They are based in Lake Oswego and service all of Oregon and Washington.

Having an outdoor or indoor court will add value to your home and separate it from other homes. Lots of families with kids love have an option for a place for their children to play right outside their door. Pickleball, Basketball, Tennis.
0 votes
Mogamb, Both Buyer And Seller, Portland, OR
Mon Jan 19, 2009
I agree with Knudsens's this price is ridiculous. Not sure how involved, your remodel is, but a simple addition or new structure should be between $75 to $150 per square foot depending on what you're building and the finish materials. You're probably talking to the wrong people.

Building supplies have come down; not everything, but wood, lumber for example; eg. I paid 200% of current price for cedar siding last yr. Other stuff should be coming down in 2009 too.

Labor is only slightly less. Unskilled labor remains very cheap. There will be much more competition for specialists (plumbers, electricians) too. Again you have to do some work and shop around. Try craigslist.

If you shop around, find the right people, and have an idea that is simple and not too labor intensive, it could be a good time to build.
0 votes
Janeese Jack…, Agent, Portland, OR
Thu Jan 8, 2009
Hi Linda,
I'm simply posting an opinion, but I have to say that it's more than likely (as always) "supply and demand". With some people feeling the need to expand, but not wanting to go through the selling and buying process in this market, they may be gravitating towards remodeling. I, personally, believe if you are buying and selling in the same market you may "take a hit" on your selling price but make up the difference in the price you negotiate on your new purchase. The remodeling market has more clout in certain markets, I'm sure...
Janeese Jackson, Principal Broker
Real Estate Resource
0 votes
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