Basement Reno Timelines?

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Posted by: from Oakville
8/30/2007 at 9:24:43 AM


We have had a number of people come out to discuss our basement renovation project and while I think we have found some good contractors, all of them seem to estimate 4-6 weeks for a 1000 square foot space. We're not doing anything fancy, just a basic basement. I've seen entire houses built in this amount of time so I don't understand why a basement reno should take this long? I would think 2 guys, framing done in 1-2 days, electrical 1 day, drywall cut and placed, 1 day, drywall taped 1 day, sanding 1 day, painting 1-2 days, tiling 1 day, flooring 1 day, finishing 1-2 days.

The above is 12 days and if you increase the crew a bit I would expect this would drop further. Why is everyone estimating 4-6 weeks?


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Leon from LJV Construction in Burnaby
Date/Time8/30/2007 at 12:03:00 PM

This time-line is correct. It should take about this time. Except they should be a bit faster since they have a crew. I am a general contractor and I do this all just by myself and it takes me that long. With them the time should be cut a bit more. The renovations comes in stages first. Framing must be done first it you need framing, then all of your electrical( also if you are wiring for sound systems in your rec room) and plumbing, insulation and then your drywall is put up this takes a few days with the mudding and taping and sanding. The painting will take a few days because it is depending on what paint you choose whether it be latex or oil and stipling of your ceiling whether you choose a non stippled ceiling or sculpting of your ceiling. Your bathroom will take time also if you are tiling backsplashes or floors (unless you are going linoelum) and aqua board and putting in the tub the plumbing and wiring. When all is this is done finishing or detailing work is tedious for baseboards, plug outlets, lights, minor repairs to paint, your sinks and vainties in your bathroom etc. It all depends on what you wanted in your rec room each thing you add on to it adds time. I hope this helpls you.

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Colleen in Surrey
Date/Time9/5/2007 at 11:57:38 PM

I have Decorated some of those houses that have gone up in that amount of time. Please do you self a favour do it right. It is a lot more exspensive to fix it afterwards. Never mind some of the surprises we have come across Including some behind the drywall. Then my clients budget goes into repairs not decor.

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Mark in Thornhill
Date/Time9/17/2007 at 7:40:03 PM

I think it depends on the contractors and what you want done. we just finished a portion of our basement, including framing, adding an enclosed laundry room and enclosed rec room. I am doing the painting myself. To frame, electrical, some plumibing including moving a water heater, dry wall and mudding and tapping was about 2 weeks. These guys worked 10 hours and did a great job.

Most of the other contractors said 2-3 weeks. I was extremely pleased.

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Affordable Basements in Woodbridge
Date/Time9/28/2007 at 9:19:54 AM

I have to agree with Coleen. I'm sick and tired of contractors going into someones home and wipping through their work! It's what you don't see that makes the difference. To Mr. Kafka, I hope your boys took the time to tear down the existing insulation, properly install amoisture resistant barrier on the foundation wall, frame the wall, re-insulate (top-bottom) and finally, install a vapour barrier before drywalling. If you want things done too quickly, I'm sure there are plenty of ways to cut corners. Remeber this, quality should never be rushed. Good luck.

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Date/Time10/17/2007 at 3:05:10 AM

Wait just one minute! Taping does not take one day! Especially in a basement where there is more moisture content. I WISH it took one day. First you need your tape caot then it has to dry. Then your fill coat which may take a day or two to dry. Then you have the skim coat which takes a day to dry. If you tape in one day then sand the next you will have a disaster on your hands. 4-6 weeks is absolutley correct, maybe longer depending on the work. Personally I have never seen a house go up in 4-6 weeks. Especially considering you have to wait about a week before you can even backfill the foundation or you could risk cracking your walls. You can be certain I would never purchase a house that has gone up that fast. Just my 2 cents.

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Date/Time10/18/2007 at 4:04:11 PM

I have been contracting for 25yrs and a basement reno done correctly does often take 4-6 weeks. Even the simple ones! Basements are the most difficult project to complete properly taking into consideration the moisture and venting difficulties. Research it well and find a good contractor!


Classic Home Improvements

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Baeumler Quality Construction and Renovations Inc. in Oakville
Date/Time10/22/2007 at 12:06:42 PM

I would have to agree on the 4-6 week timeline. Anything less is rushed... No one has mentioned the time it takes for building inspections to occur. Every city is different when it comes to waiting on these inspectors to come review the framing and all of the subtrades work in order to pass the inspection. When you finish a basement, generally there will be framing, plumbing, electrical, insulation and HVAC that all need to be inspected.

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Date/Time11/24/2007 at 5:44:38 PM

That 4-6 week timeline is right on the money.I've been building basements for over 15 years and even with the best crew, using the best subcontractors it takes time to do it correctly. Taping dry times can swing from a few days to a over a week alone.You can waste a full week just waiting for proper inspections.

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Near North Construction in New Lowell
Date/Time2/15/2008 at 11:44:19 AM

Hi Jeff, The time line you have been quoted id pretty accurate, most professionals will give themselves extra time, perhaps a week or two for any unforseen circumstances. If they were to say it would take two weeks and it actually took three, well most homeowners would get irate, but if you were told six weeks and it only takes three then you would be extatic. Alot of sloppy jobs are caused by contractors being rushed.

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Ted in
Date/Time7/3/2008 at 11:52:39 AM

The timelines seem reasonable, but there are a few missing items:

- obtaining a building permit

- scheduling and conducting inspections

- inevitable changes to "the plan"

- unforeseen issues with the property

- additional work like window installation, insulation and vapour barrier, debris removal prior to and during construction, material handling (getting 50 sheets of drywall into the basement), additional drying time (basements are typically more humid than the rest of the house), hanging doors, cutting through the basement concrete tying into existing drains and stacks, running new water supply, installing fixtures and cabinetry.

The "thing" about a basement reno is that even though it "should take" less than 3 weeks it is not the easiest working conditions.

Thankfully it is removed from the rest of the living space (both for the homeowners and the contactors), and is relatively painless compared to a kitchen renovation.

A couple more points about timing:

- you really don't want to have the job priced so it absolutely has to be done in 12 days

- adding more crew members will not typically deliver the hoped for efficiencies

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