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Cost Plus or Lump Sum When Securing an Estimate

Posted by forkids (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 30, 09 at 3:20

We are in the very beginning phases of finding a contractor to finish our basement. I have very clear ideas of what I want and I believe they all fit in the square footage. I'm fairly sure of what kind of flooring, fixtures, lighting, etc. but...I have no idea what an average price might be. I know there can be a huge range based on the finishing and fixtures that I want but is there any ball park that one starts with. Is is better to go with a cost plus contract or a lump sum contract. I'm afraid of costs getting out of control on one or too restrictive on another. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Any recommendations for reputable contractors in the NORTHERN VA area? Thank you!

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RE: Cost Plus or Lump Sum When Securing an Estimate

Recommendations, then "apples-to-apples" bids are the way to go after you really know what you want.

Aside from the "look" and dimensions, etc. you need make sure underlying factors, if any, will be addressed in bids (eg. insulation method, any foundation cracks need to be repaired? (how??), grading outside necessary? possible seepage, water-penetration?, excess humidity? new windows wanted? Egress necessary? etc., etc. How these are addressed at the outset (or NOT) can affect the bids, quality of job, long-term experience, etc.

I'm a handyman in Arlington, VA. When I finished our basement, I focused extra attention (and cash) on the items mentioned above and am so very glad I did. (Repairing other basement disasters (water, mold, etc) over the years that could have been prevented has given me a lot of insight.

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