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By Carl in Jonesborough, TN on June 7


I'm looking for framing bids in Northeast TN.  I've been told that $6 - $8/sq ft is a fair price. My question is, what square ft amount do I use to calculate the cost? For example, our plans state 2,151 sf first floor, 814 sf optional second living space, 529 sf garage (attached) and 336 sf porch. What sf number do I use? The total of these? Or the living space sf?

Am I over-thinking this? Help!


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By Chad in Tallahassee, FL on June 9


I would assume that you would take the square footage under roof.  After all, that is what the framers are doing.  There isn't a big distinction in what they do between the heated and unheated sections.

So I would definitely include garage and porches in your square footage.


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By Tracey in Dover, FL on June 16


I am just outside of Tampa, Florida and we are using an excellent framer who came highly recommended and he charges $4.40 per square foot. This figure is for total square footage under roof. We got some bids from other framers who were closer to $6-$7 per square foot, so I guess we just got a really good deal.
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By Carl in Jonesborough, TN on June 17


I just got a framing bid, so according to this framer, it was $5.50 for living space (2,900 sq. ft.) and $2.25 for garage and porch (860 sq. ft). I live in northeast TN. That includes the labor for installing roof shingles, ext. doors and windows and wrap. Nails included. Sounds fair. But remember that is a bid only, not written in stone. Now, if I can get fair bids on my basement... 


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By Pat in Arnold, CA on June 17


Is this just labor only and you provide all the materials?
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By Carl in Jonesborough, TN on June 18


Labor only.
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By DCG in Lago Vista, TX on June 24


Leveraging a builder's discount, Austin, TX area: Roughly $3.50/sq. ft.
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By Gabriela in Readington Twp, NJ on June 24


We are located in Northern/Central NJ and have gotten our first framing bid (labor only) at $4.25 a sq. foot. There are 3,316 sq ft  finished living, 240 unfinished, and 700 garage space. I think this quote is fair, but we are getting several more to check.
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By Jamie in Cedar Park, TX on June 24


We are at $2.95 a sq ft in Leander, TX (suburb of Austin) for labor only. I only used the heated/air conditioned square footed to calculate this. 

(If I used the square footage of the porches and garages, it is closer to $2.37 a square ft.) 

The cost of framing materials and trusses is coming in at $3.97 a square ft.


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By Bruce in Dallas, TX on June 25


Carl,

First off, framing costs are extremely variable. They can differ by class of construction, e.g., economy vs. custom, by region of the country, by framing subcontractors within the region, over time, economic conditions and season to name just a few. You would get better info. if you specified more specifically some of these important variables. 


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By Patrick in Naperville, IL on August 15


I have been quoted in the range of $22,000 - $25,000 for a 3,200 sq ft (under roof), plenty of vaults, tray ceilings, two-story house, 500 sq ft garage, 160 sq ft covered front porch.

Cost includes all framing, window installs, ext. door installs, etc.

YOU DO NOT WANT TO CHEAP OUT ON THE FRAMER -- pay for the best you can afford. Not an area you want to go bargain shopping... IMHO.


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By Dorothy & James in Tampa, FL on August 17


I just received the final invoice for my framing. I am building in Tampa. For my house it was: $3.40 sq/ft (2,250 sq under air) and $3 sq/ft for entry porch. The detached garage is 1,415 sq/ft, with a fully framed bathroom and attic storage. It was $2 sq/ft.

The price for the house also included extra framing and raised flooring in the attic storage area (10 ft. wide by 40 ft. long) and wall insulation (TUFF-R) installed before the furring strips went on.

I also had them fully tarp the roof sheathing every day. It was $600 and well worth it. It poured every day before the roof was dried in and the sheathing for the house and garage stayed perfectly dry. They have done a great job.

Dorothy


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By Bettie in Harlem, GA on August 29


I'm building a house in Georgia. My framer quoted me $30K, another quoted $29,775 to frame 2,986 square feet. The total size of my house is 4,287 square feet. The garage is 770 square feet and the porch takes up the remaining footage. Seems like I am paying quite a bit for framing.

Bettie


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By Ric in North Bend, WA on September 1


I'm taking bids to frame a house in the Seattle, Wa area (actually about 30 miles east of Seattle). I've been getting bids ranging from $25,000 on the low end, to $64,000 on the high end (yeah, figure THAT one out!).

The house is 4,100 feet of heated area, 950 feet of garage, and 325 feet of porch. I'm still trying to understand that dollar spread.

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By Julie in Concord, MA on September 8


Hi Gabriela,

Have you received more bids yet? I'm in the Northeast as well and trying to get a handle on the costs. Is your cost per square foot including all the areas, both finished and garage/unfinished?

 


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By Jason in Cupertino, CA on November 30


Hi, I'm in Cupertino, CA (Bay Area, near San Jose or San Francisco) and I'm looking for information about how to price framing for a remodel project that will add 500 sf to my house. The project consists of two disjoint areas: a 450 sf plain, rectangular extrusion of the side of the house, extending the simple gable roof line + 50 sf to move a wall in the courtyard/entrance (creating a tiny new gable over the front door to cut into old roof). I have a crawl space (not concrete slab), so the framer's job will include purchasing materials, cutting into existing walls and roof, building new floor and walls, hanging about four doors and windows, and cleanup.

Assuming no complications and engineering issues, I'm wondering if anyone can provide data points for other geographic areas, or ideally for some place with a cost of living index similar to the bay area (i.e. very high). It's very hard for me to find local framers. "Everyone" in the Yellow Pages advertising construction or framing is a general contractor. I've managed to find one framer working on a neighbors house, but I couldn't believe his quote: $5,000 including everything. I have a friend who just completed a similar remodel himself (not using a contractor) and he said that number wouldn't even cover materials, and I should expect to pay $20-$25K. Looking at numbers on this thread of $3-$8/sf -- it's not clear which prices include what: material, floor, roof work, remodel work, etc., but it all sounds extremely low to me, but maybe it's just my location. Thanks, Jason
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By Bill in Callahan, FL on December 1


I put it out on Craigslist and got about 50 replies. I found a guy who had worked for some other people I know and he came in about $3.10 per sq ft under roof (garage, house, porches, etc.).

BTW, if you are looking for a lot of bids or calls, try Craigslist. I would not put your number out on Craigslist, though.

Bill


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By DCG in Lago Vista, TX on December 2


Craigslist:

1) Don't give them a dime up front. Never, ever, be in a position where you've paid in full until the job is done.

2) They'll ask for up-front money to buy materials. You need to buy those materials on your dime through their wholesale account (if they have one). Do not provide a check for materials unless it's made out to the supplier and you can confirm delivery.

3) Have them sign a release of lien... See contract docs.

4) Validate - ALL references. I mean all. Carefully validate.

Contractors completely have the upper hand on owner-builders. Be careful.


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By Michael in Cave Creek, AZ on December 2


Framers should not be hard to find. Throw away the Yellow Pages to begin with. Next, go visit construction sites where framing is going on and talk to the people. If for some reason you can't find construction sites, go to the local lumberyard. Talk to the lumber salesmen, talk to the people ordering lumber. Talk to drywallers, see who they like to come in after.  

That is how you find the people who are actually doing the work. Even better, most of the time you can see their job sites and see if it is clean, well organized and to your liking. Craigslist is hit and miss. 

I would also question, whether you are looking for a framer or a general remodeling contractor. The scope you describe in your post sounds like it fits a general contractor better than a framer. Here's why in my opinion:

1. You are asking for multiple trades:

      Demolition, framing, windows, and finish carpentry/door installation.

2.  You are asking a framer to provide materials. Most of the framers who work primarily for GCs provide labor only. The GC takes care of the site prep or demo, the dumpster, the lumber, the trusses and the framing hardware.

3.  Windows are typically ordered from a window company. It seems that most of the window companies will install windows for a small fee -- less and less framers want to put in windows in my part of the world because of the liability.

4.  You are asking the framer to come back at trim to install doors? This is a job for a trim carpenter, not a crew of framers. Framers think differently than trim guys. Framers mark their cuts with a big fat crayon. Trim guys use a constantly sharpened pencil. Which trim do you want to look at?

5. It will be tough to obtain realistic quotes until you have plans for the job so that a legitimate materials estimate and tight scope of work can be developed.

Best wishes with your project.


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By Lily in Cupertino, CA on December 19


Hi Jason,

I am also living in Cupertino, and embarking on a similar project as yours. I need to rebuild part of the house that is on the slab with very weird roof line (350 sq ft), and I have had various builders come in, so the general quote is about $170-$185 per sq ft for everything from crawl space to drywall excluding fixtures.

I am wondering if you have a great architect to use, because I do not like the ones I interviewed so far, none of them have any idea for building cost so I can hardly pin a number to what they want to do. We can probably also share some information on the building materials and all that.

Thanks!

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By Jason in Cupertino, CA on December 19


I've only talked to a couple architects, but haven't done detailed interviews yet. But I think it would be great to compare notes. I have detailed notes for price quotes for a handful of local trades. Please feel free to P.M. me.

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By Shawn in Liberty Hill, TX on September 17


Jamie, we are about to build in Liberty Hill. Could you give me the name of your framer?
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By Jamie in Cedar Park, TX on September 18


We were very happy with our framer and are definitely using him on our next project.  Here is his info: Zeferino Gutierrez.  563-3420.

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By Shawn in Liberty Hill, TX on September 20


I sure will let him know you referred me.

A couple of questions>>>

Did the framing labor include installing the OSB sheathing as well as window/door installation?


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By Jamie in Cedar Park, TX on September 20


He breaks his quote up into three categories: framing, roof decking and cornice. Based on that, he did our framing, roof decking, housewrap, all the cornice work, the sheathing, and window and door installation. He also does great masonry work.
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By Eric in USA, TX on 11/3/2014


Who in Leander gave you that pricing?

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