Dan, I would ask your person to break the estimate down for you. Just explain that you'd like to know what is involved. Once you have that you might ask for additional estimated from other contractors, but be specific by requesting the same brands and quality of products. the added 15% may be reasonable if he/she spend a fair amount of time doing the research,locating items and picking up the materials. If everything was/is delivered by a supplier, then the extra fee should not apply as you are paying the delivery cost. Best of luck.
That's a pretty loaded question actually. Nobody will be able to answer accurately without seeing the site....too many variables.
Being a structural beam, it all starts with engineer drawings. From there, an estimate can be given based on the drawings, seeing the site, and the engineers recommendations.
Best of luck....
The short answer is that the project you are describing is likely not an economical one. Will you ever get your money out of it?
The question cannot be answered accurately without a lot more information:
1. If you are making room for windows, it must be an exterior wall. Some cities require that once you open an exterior wall, the entire wall must be rebuilt and brought up to the current building code, including the insulation.
2. Will there be a point load in the middle of the beam?
3. Do you want a flush beam? If so, the joists above must all be trimmed so that the beam can fit into the floor cavity above and then you retro fit joist hangers.
4. If it is a flush beam, will mechanical services have to be re routed?
5. If it is not a flush beam, how far down will the beam project? Will you wind up with a 7' of clearance under the beam? How do you want the beam finished? Will it be wrapped with millwork and spray painted?
6. Can you find an engineer who does not require that the basement slab be jack hammered so that you can dig down and examine the footings that will carry the point load at each end of your beam?
7. Are you prepared to re do the basement flooring after the footings are certified?
8. Are you prepared to renovate the basement walls and ceilings after you install the point loads over the footings?
9. How much will dust containment cost? It depends on the comfort level of the homeowner with dust. Some homeowners rent a storage container and move their belongings out during the work. The reason is that 100% dust control is not possible. What I call pretty good dust control might be unacceptable to you.
10. What kind of cladding is on the outside of the house? Will an entire wall need to get redone in stucco, or can we splice in to existing siding? Will the stucco work be done during poor weather and require heat?
11. How fancy will the window trim be? Do you want window trim on the interior and the exterior?
12. If it is an exterior wall, what kind of landing and stairs will we need for the new door? Will you want a roof over this new exterior door?
You can begin to see the questions that go through the mind of a contractor when we are asked questions like this. I can easily see a $50,000 renovation, and quite possibly a lot more.
Where I live, contractors don't generally offer a break down of all the above costs for free. There is a considerable amount of work and expertise required to arrive at an accurate itemized quote. Even still, most will not quote the cost of providing footings for the beam when they cannot see what is below your basement slab.
I hope this helps!
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