Is this price crazy for a 28x66' foundation?

kaourikaMarch 22, 2012

I was surprised when I got the quote to build my foundation/basement! Can anyone tell me if this price is reasonable or not?

Info: The basement is a daylight/walkout basement, so only 2-ish walls are concrete. Those walls would be ICF.

The house is basically a 46x28' rectangle with a 20x20' box sticking out of it. Very simple shape. Oh, and there's a little retaining wall.

As I'm seeking quotes, I've had a few contractors remark that the footings were a little more complex than standard issue, but everyone has assured me that it won't be a problem.

So, the quotes --

One was $60k, which included walls, footings, slab, concrete, materials, labor... everything.

The other was $43k for JUST the forming and pouring of the footings, slab, and materials etc., but does not include digging for the footings or the walls at all. In that case I would do the digging and walls myself.

Both these quotes are from the same company... I asked for both because I wasn't sure if I wanted to DIY all the digging and walls, but at this price, I would have to!

I'm waiting on more quotes too, and I know costs vary by region, but hearing opinions on this would still be helpful.

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Get more quotes. Price is pretty high, but all depends on where you are at.. Don't know anything about ICF.

No reason to digg. Hire someone. Digging is only $2200 - $2500 less if you do 4.5 above, I don't know your project Here I can get it dugg for $1700.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 2:01AM
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getting mine done now, about 70x40 plus area around garage and porches. About 55k all in, full rebar, but garage floors and porches not poured.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 4:16PM
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Thanks for the replies. 3waller, is your project a basement or just a slab?

I'm in the northwest. I can't seem to find anyone around here who is very familiar with ICF. The first thing most of the contractors do is try to talk me out of using it all together.

So, I expected a bit of a price jack due to the "exoticism" (*eye roll*) of the ICF, but I was still taken off guard with this price.

Luckily, the site is already excavated... the only digging required now is for the relatively shallow footings.

Still waiting on other companies to get back to me with their quotes.

If you exclude the ICF walls and digging, does anyone know what a GOOD price for a 28x66' foundation looks like? I was expecting something around $25,000 - $30,000, is that even realistic?

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 5:59PM
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Full basement under the area i specified.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 6:20PM
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Alex House

Why don't you break the price down so that you have a better understanding of which components of the job are costing what.

For instance, let's assume that you need only two walls, each 8' high and 8" thick.

46'x8'x8" = 245 ft^3
28'x8'x8" = 150 ft^3

14.6 yards^3 x $120 yard^3 = $1,750 for concrete.

Of course you should substitute in accurate costs and accurate volumes.

Next price the rebar, call a form rental company and price out the cost of renting the forms you need. See if you can find some estimate, some where, which gives you a clue as to how much labor is involved in setting the forms, then do the same for setting the rebar, filling the forms with concrete, etc.

The firmer your estimate on some aspects, (volume of concrete needed and costs of concrete) will help you focus on the cost centers where you get fuzzy estimates (hours needed to set rebar or set up forms)

Now take your quotes, subtract the costs of the firm cost estimates, and the remainder is the fuzzy variable.

Make some decision on the fuzzy variable.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 6:31PM
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Sophie Wheeler

$20-$30K is not at all realistic for what you describe. The numbers you are getting are slightly high, probably to compensate for their unfamiliarity with the process, but they are not off the wall outrageous.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2012 at 8:17PM
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That does sound high. I figure you have about 188 linear feet of wall if you did all 4 sides. I have 148 linear feet, and I was quoted about $30K for all four sides in ICF. That includes clearing, digging, footing, slab, perimeter drain, and ICF. I'm in the rural southeast, though. Prices around here for ICF seem to run $12-$15 per square foot of wall area.

You do NOT want to go ICF unless you can find an experienced installer! Someone who does it as a main focus. My contractor is very small, but specializes in ICF all the way to the roof.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 5:44AM
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Break it down into the dirtwork/gravel bed/compaction, the form creation and bracing, and the actual physical pour with the pumper, and then later stud wall construction and get bids on each separately from different contractors. An excavation contractor by himself will be cheaper than a GC who rolls everything into one quote. You can build the forms and walls yourself if you are handy enough as long as you have enough help and knowledge about how to deal with the ICF joinery and know how to keep it straight true and level over the distance. And you can hire a concrete crew to handle the actual pour if you will be on site to supervise and trouble shoot---that's what you are paying the extra bucks for. It's not the "labor" so much as it is the extra for the "insurance" of not having dealt with it before and the "what if's" that go with any new method. Problems with an ICF pour can be BIG problems, and thus the additional margin needed to possibly deal with them.

If you aren't a hands on kinda guy, then this route isn't for you and you'll just have to pay the piper if you want to dance. But, if you actually have some construction experience like your suggesting that you would do the digging (backhoe, dump truck, dozer/grader, etc.) would imply, then GCing the thing yourself might work out well if you have the time needed to devote to it and the local municipality will work with you. Beware of having just enough knowledge to screw yourself but not enough calluses on your hands to actually dig yourself out of the mess with. Concrete waits for no one and you can have a very big unusable hunk of it if you aren't careful.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 1:19PM
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kao....have you done a search for 'ICF in the northwest'? Also, contact the mfg's and they can give you contractors in your area.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 7:09PM
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If I were you, I would def check around. I am in Oklahoma, but just had a 40x60 6" slab poured, and while I did all the prepwork, the actual materials (rebar,concrete,etc) and labor only cost me $8,400.

I did quite a bit of checking around, and this was a "middle of the road" price. I also made sure that I had several references.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 9:12PM
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Try getting a quote in Quebec! I live in Montreal and am having my old country cottage demolished and a prefab house put up. I think your price is high. I got a quote finally ready to go to contract for $39.600. but that is for a basement/foundation 46x28x5 deep since 3 feet is above ground. I thought the first price $29,000. was too much and have been haggling with the guy for a month now. Try translating everything from french to english with the translators online! I consider myself fluently bilingual but the terms they use to obfuscate are unbelievable. He wouldn't break down the quote for me either.
That's including plumber, electrician to install pipes for future bathroom, washer/dryer, 2 hose connections, 4 baseboard heaters, lights and plugs (Lights and heaters paid by prefab company).
French drain and truck loads of rocks and sand and demolition of the old house and removal of several trees. Footings, rebar, 4 inch cement floor, walls included in price as is all electrical and plumbing hooked from upstairs to downstairs. What I learned along the way is never take the first price. Some others were cheaper on one thing more on the other but trying to figure it out as a whole was very hard, they won't break it down. So what I did is take the guy's quote and sent it to others. Still hard cause they'll say they won't include this part or they'll include more but for more money. I could NOT find a contractor that speaks english in the Mont Tremblant area. Can you believe that?! Not even for money.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 6:50PM
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I forgot to mention that for $29,000. he was doing a lot less. When I asked for the demolition of the house to be included it went up 10,000. That's when we started haggling and I said for that price you should also add this and that and what about xyz. Sometimes he added it sometimes he said it was too much. But there's at least a dozen more items on the list for the increase.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2013 at 6:56PM
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