Basement Reno Timelines? Why so long?

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Posted by: from Oakville
8/30/2007 at 9:28:47 AM


Sorry, I posted this in General but this seems like the better forum for this.

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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Date/Time9/14/2007 at 11:58:52 PM

4-6 weeks is a normal and realistic timeline for completing a basement of this size. There is much more involved in doing this type of work properly then what you may think.

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Date/Time9/15/2007 at 11:54:39 PM

As im sure your aware, Alberta is facing a trades shortage during this building boom! Good trades people are hard to come by and In the situation of a basement development it can be difficult to co-ordinate all these people as needed.

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Wayne from Home Repairs in Cambridge
Date/Time10/9/2007 at 11:41:04 PM

4-6 weeks is a realistic timeline for completing a basement of 1000 sq.ft. How many rooms? Bathrooms? Plumbing? Ductwork enclosures?

Insulation, vapour barrier, air sealing.. and more you have not considered. There is much more time and work invloved in this than you may think. For instance, drywall mudding and taping may take up to 3 coats for a perfect finish. Drying time between coats depends on humidity levels. You also must consider building dept and hydro inspections for work done. Material pick ups, etc, garbage dump time, cleanups, material delays. 12 days is the better part of 3 weeks, unless you are paying overtime for weekend work. So 4 weeks min and 6 weeks max should appear more resaonable now. If you get someone who says it will be done in 12 days, you can rest assured it will not be. (Also don't pay that person a lot of upfront money)

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Date/Time10/15/2007 at 6:44:04 PM

hi jeff,

your timeline for your basement reno might work in a perfect world, but my experience is that everything takes longer than you think(some exceptions).there are always complications that come up that have to be dealt with and you may have to redesign certain layouts that that worked on paper, but not on the floor. I recommend that you allow a little more time for it to be done right.

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Date/Time10/17/2007 at 5:35:17 PM


I'd like to tell you it could be done faster & it very well might be, in a utopian world.

But I think the best answer here with the most detail for you to consider was from Wayne Jarvis, and I don't think anything further was needed. But I will add for posterity, finished a 1410 Sq. 4 guys, 3 FT, 1 3 Pc Bath, 1 util,(to TapeC1), 1 Storage(TapeC1), 1 Office, 1 Bed, w/Walkin and main, to fnish from concrete, was near Exactly 6 weeks. London.

For the most part, quoting 4-6 weeks ensures a practial timeline for all trades and inspections.

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Awsum Drywall in Vancouver
Date/Time11/13/2007 at 10:05:19 PM

Over 25 years exp in drywall and for a proper finish job it will take up to a week just for the drywall finishing not 2 days unless you dont care about quality , lol , hope this helps. Les

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Matthew Nickerson in Lucasville
Date/Time2/6/2008 at 3:57:02 PM

jeff if you are still looking to have this done give me a call we had just done a basement in great shape took 2 weeks to complete




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Wayne from KGM Roofing & Home Improvement in Wilsons Beach
Date/Time2/24/2008 at 6:26:20 PM

4 to 6 weeks is a pretty close estimate for this project there is alot more to this than the average home owner realizes. as far as houses going up in this time those are massive amounts of man power

mudding and taping alone two to three days with dry times and prep. you can only fit so many people in a place this size before you are working on top of each other.

The question is what is more important to you quality or quantity. a good contractor leaves him self plenty of time to work and will set a resonable price for this job.

do your homework a little more thouroughly better to do the job once than multiple times

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TORO Contracting Ltd in Calgary
Date/Time4/1/2008 at 9:35:05 AM

Hi Jeff!

The reason your contractor is telling you 4-6 weeks is for safety reasons. Most likely that type of reno won't take longer than 4 weeks (with 2 to 3 workers); when you write a contract your contractor will always want to be protected and just in case it takes longer for whatever reason (eg inspections) , we would estimate 4-6 weeks; in my case I would tell you the same.

Hope this helps!

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Allan in Mississauga
Date/Time4/2/2008 at 1:35:28 PM

Hi Jeff,

I'm in the process of getting a basement quoted as well, roughly same size, with plumbing, duct work, etc. 4-6 weeks seems reasonable based on what I'm getting back and the experience of my friends and family who have had similar work done.

In my professional life, I always tell clients there are three considerations to project: time, quality and cost. You only get two out of the three, meaning you can get it fast and cheap, but the quality won't be good. You can get it cheaper and of decent quality, but the time will not be fast. You can get it of good quality in a reasonable time, but it won't be cheap! I'd rather get something of good quality with reasonable cost and have a few extra weeks of slack in the project timeline. After all, if you are going to be investing tens of thousands of dollars into something, don't you want to make sure it's right?

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Date/Time1/25/2011 at 12:56:31 PM

Hi Jeff ; 4-6 weeks is right, and the electrical part is more than just one day because first the rough in then the finishing tieing in the wires into the electrical panel then getting the inspections, one for a rough/in and one for a final .... so electrical all said and done about 4days with inspections, then you have plumbing, hvac, ...... Unless you want a cheep job with bad crafts ya you can have it done in a week or 2 cheep cheep fast fast then problems start and your not happy so take the 4-6 week contractor not the 2 week contractor!

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Metro Ontario Contractors inc in Maple
Date/Time1/25/2011 at 8:08:15 PM


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Tom in Wikwemikong
Date/Time5/1/2011 at 2:09:06 PM

I would listen to Wayne J, knows exactly what he is talking about..

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