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Deck/stairs bid (combined w/kitchen) - too high?

Posted by dreamojean (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 23, 13 at 10:07

I'm curious what we should budget for our brownstone parlor floor deck/kitchen renovation in New York City (yes, I know, not an inexpensive area for renovating...) - we got one bid of around $40,000 from a company that specializes in exteriors, another bid of $65-$70,000 from someone who does both interiors and exteriors equally, and a third bid of $50-$55,000 from someone who also does both. (I cross-posted to the kitchen forum since this is a question about both areas) None of these bids include kitchen cabinets, countertop, backsplash or appliances. This is in a 120-year old brownstone with dried-out plaster walls, the parlor floor so we have some demolition to prepare the space for the kitchen (right now it's a laundry room and former bedroom, combined, so has a washer/dryer/slop sink and tiny old metal cabinets hung up so requires relocating the washer/dryer someplace else), and converting a window to a door to the future steel/non-combustible deck/stairs to the backyard. The parlor floor is pretty high up since the back of the house is about 4 feet off the ground at the ground floor level (allowing for a raised ground floor deck that's already there). The work will include plumbing and electrical upgrades since the kitchen hasn't been renovated in probably 30-50 years (if then), and probably moving a plumbing pipe closer to the wall, and enclosing a former airshaft and adding exhaust vents from the bathroom through a former airshaft. This also includes removal of a tree that is in the path of the future stairs, and none of the contractor bids mention the tree removal (and the higher bidder specifically said we should have it removed ahead of time - another thing for my long list of things to do already). So one question I have is, whether the $40,000 job is an outlier that will really turn into a $50,000 or $55,000 job or whether the $65-70,000 job is an outlier. It's pretty confusing when the bids are all so far apart. I should mention that the highest bidder is probably the one I most want to work with - I trust the lowest one with the exterior work but their kitchen work is more for apartment rentals, stock work, not for individual homeowners. The middle quote comes from someone with a cabinet shop, who is knowledgeable.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Deck/stairs bid (combined w/kitchen) - too high?

We all have zero way of knowing without seeing the existing conditions, the plans, and the proposals, but $40k sounds low. Are the all bidding the same plan, same specs?

RE: Deck/stairs bid (combined w/kitchen) - too high?

Have you seen examples of their work? It's really hard to choose. We recently remodeled my husband's investment home when his mom passed, and our realtor recommended a contractor. He did a great job, and is now doing our new "old" home.

Maybe check with realtors close to you for recommendations. Most have seen the work, and are familiar with outcomes.

Good luck!


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