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Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 25, 2020 04:29PM
We bough a house and family room has Sun in the morning and living room has Sun in the evening. Wife is exploring the idea of cutting an opening in the wall between these 2 rooms and installing a french door to let light go through.

What I know: the HVAC vents are located in that wall, so it will require some HVAC re-routing. Unclear if this is only for the first level where I see the vents in the wall where we want to put the door, or if there is more HVAC stuff going to the second floor.

If there is a lot bearing post inside that wall, then we will probably not do this project.

I know this won't be cheap, but I also have no idea what the cost could be.

Any one dares to guess?
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: Acer
Date: May 25, 2020 04:49PM
[Eh, removing unhelpful snark.]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2020 05:40PM by Acer.
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: Carm
Date: May 25, 2020 05:37PM
Picture would help.
Depends on what doors you get. I installed some basic indoor French doors 5 feet wide. Wood frame “15 lite ” prehung doors about $500. I framed it properly and hung it. If you have a load bearing wall not just post, you can still hang the door in it as long at you frame the door properly before mounting it.
[www.finehomebuilding.com]

If you pay someone, expect to pay up to double the cost of the door. But expect them to frame it properly and redo any flooring, drywall, texture, paint in the price.

My estimate up to $1500 just for the door.
Each item will increase cost of course. (Floor, texture)
HVAC should cost about $1-2k, if the wall is already open and easily accessible.
We had our two AC compressor moved, cost was $3k, that included new lines, evacuating lines and refilling lines. New electric run.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2020 05:58PM by Carm.
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: MikeF
Date: May 25, 2020 05:47PM
What year was the house built? How deep/thick is that wall? What's underneath the floor in that area? Besides the HVAC, are there electrical outlets on that wall? And you'll have to repaint both rooms when complete. And potentially update the flooring if there's a big seam now at the door. If the wall is load-bearing, you can probably get by with a solid header above the door opening with extra jack and king studs on the door opening sides.

Check your local building codes as to what distance between outlets is allowed and remember that the glass will probably need to be safety glass for the interior french doors.

The best guess for cost is to figure the highest maximum for everything and then double it.
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: Carm
Date: May 25, 2020 05:59PM
What MikeF said, overestimate the cost.
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: GGD
Date: May 25, 2020 06:44PM
My mother wanted to do something similar when we moved into a newer house in 1963, but she didn't just want a door, she wanted the entire wall that separated the living room and dining room removed.

And my parents did that, and they had similar issues. It was a load bearing wall, so a steel beam and posts were needed. It also had the heat ducts leading to the upstairs rooms so creative re-routing was needed. And the insulation in the walls were making the workers sick (I'm still not sure why an interior wall had insulation at all, but it was 1930's construction).

And the hardwood floor boards in the two rooms ran in different directions, so there's an obvious seam.

No idea what it cost and it was so long ago that it doesn't matter, a neighbor on the street that was a builder ran the project using his workers I suspect that no permits were obtained.

To this day my mother says that it's the best decision that she ever made regarding the house, and she's still living there.
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: May 25, 2020 07:07PM
Location depending. You're still in NJ? Along with the other states in the northeast, and add in an urban area, take whatever other mrfers say and double that.
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: jonny
Date: May 25, 2020 07:21PM
Make your best cost and time estimate. Multiply by 3.
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: mstudio
Date: May 25, 2020 07:25PM
Six thousand, two hundred, fifty and 00/00


Just helping you out on how to write the check.
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 25, 2020 08:36PM
Thanks. There are 2 steel posts in the basement. I assume there is some load bearing post(s) in that wall. I don't know much more than that, we didn't even decide exactly where the door should be. somewhere in that wall.

This is the Family room. The door would go on the left, where that couch/mirror is



This is the Living Room, the door would be where the small table/chairs/Picture are located



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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: btfc
Date: May 25, 2020 09:10PM
I’d guess that it is load bearing. What is directly above it on the second floor?
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: bik
Date: May 25, 2020 09:29PM
I'd assume it's a load-bearing wall, but is there a reason you think there might be posts in the wall, as opposed to a normal load-bearing wall with properly spaced studs?

This is one of those things that will vary WIDELY, depending on who you talk to and what you want to spend.

French doors by themselves, depending on the specific style and size, could be $3000 new or under $200 bought from a salvage.

Labor will be high if you hire a general contractor who builds houses and does major renovations, or could be much more manageable if you hire a handyman to do the demo & painting, and a good, independent finish carpenter to do the installation.

Edit: My guess
Could be under $2,500 total if you really wanted it to be, or could be $12K if you want new doors and you'll only trust a general contractor to take responsibility for the whole job.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2020 09:33PM by bik.
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 25, 2020 09:36PM
Quote
btfc
I’d guess that it is load bearing. What is directly above it on the second floor?

there is an identical wall above, not sure if it is the exact same length or a little shorter, I need to take some measurements. Maybe even build a 3D model of the house in Solid Works (or similar software) at some point,
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: space-time
Date: May 25, 2020 09:37PM
Quote
bik
I'd assume it's a load-bearing wall, but is there a reason you think there might be posts in the wall, as opposed to a normal load-bearing wall with properly spaced studs?

This is one of those things that will vary WIDELY, depending on who you talk to and what you want to spend.

French doors by themselves, depending on the specific style and size, could be $3000 new or under $200 bought from a salvage.

Labor will be high if you hire a general contractor who builds houses and does major renovations, or could be much more manageable if you hire a handyman to do the demo & painting, and a good, independent finish carpenter to do the installation.

Edit: My guess
Could be under $2,500 total if you really wanted it to be, or could be $12K if you want new doors and you'll only trust a general contractor to take responsibility for the whole job.

I'd probably deal with a general contractor, not sure that I have the skills/patience/knowledge to sync several independent contractors.
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: May 26, 2020 12:59AM
Hard to give an exact number without knowing better what is inside the wall (electrical, plumbing, etc.). Is the furnace in a basement? I didn't see it in any of the other pictures of the house (nice, but garage pics missing too). If you move the ducting in the first floor, a significant part of the wall in the upper floor is likely going to need comparable modification, but it could just be relocating some registers.

My guess is $12k to $15k.



In tha 360. MRF User Map
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: d4
Date: May 26, 2020 07:05AM
I'm 90% sure that's a load bearing wall. Is that HVAC run through the basement? I'm willing to bet that's a finished basement too. All-in, I'll guess $17,000 through a legit GC. See what your wife's "exploring" turns up.



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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: OWC Jamie
Date: May 26, 2020 08:56AM
$9500-$9750. Why? Because the $10K number for an interior renovation is a magic number where a person in the household has already said "if it costs more than $10K I'm not doing it".

It's load bearing, almost for sure.

If it does indeed have HVAC running through it - it could get REALLY expensive. And messy.

it's 100% got electrical running through it. That'll have to be relocated.

Doors are going to be $2K at least to get ones in the trim level that house needs (beautiful, by the way).

You'll get 3 contractors in there and each one is going to be making $1500 off of you, plus the general contractor taking his cut.

It'd look good when done - if it can be without it breaking the bank.

Just my 2¢ ;) I am curious for the follow up when the quotes come in!



Good Luck!
Jamie Dresser
Other World Computing



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/26/2020 08:57AM by OWC Jamie.
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: rich in distress
Date: May 26, 2020 09:00AM
This idea is not for everyone, but I’d consider automated light analysis to duplicate the lighting conditions of one room for the other.
Just sayin’...

Edit: hm!... I’m thinking I will attempt to do this with an evehome strip that is going unused on daytime.
If I get anywhere with this, I’ll make sure I report here.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/26/2020 09:03AM by rich in distress.
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: GGD
Date: May 26, 2020 09:19AM
Once installed, do you think the doors will ever be closed? Do you keep the existing doors leading into that room closed? With doors that open/close you need to keep clearance around where they swing which limits furniture placement.

You might find that just the wall opening is what works best and not bother with the expense of the doors if they might be more of a problem than a solution. Or is the main motivation for the doors supposed to be more like a window and just a way to get light through them, and they would normally remain closed?
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: MikeF
Date: May 26, 2020 11:05AM
Agree with GGD -- another minor thing to think about is that you're going to have to relocate all the furniture that is currently on both sides of the wall and compensate for door swing. Have space in other rooms for those items? Storage?
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Re: Let's play this game: can you guesstimate the cost of this project?
Posted by: mattkime
Date: May 26, 2020 02:29PM
Your wife has expensive taste.

Makes me glad we haven't desired such a change to our current place.



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