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Construction Estimating - Interior Home Improvement Costs Fifth Edition

Interior Home Improvement Costs Fifth Edition

Interior Home Improvement Costs Fifth Edition
By Southam Construction Data Group

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(6 customer reviews)

Book Description

Professional Cost Estimates for the Most Popular Remodeling and Repair Projects Find out what your home improvement projects are likely to cost - up front.

Book Details

  • Amazon Sales Rank: #17081713 in Books
  • Published on: 1996-01-01
  • Original language: English
  • Number of items: 1
  • Dimensions: 10.75" h x 8.50" w x .75" l,
  • Binding: Paperback
  • 234 pages

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal
This guide gives the estimated costs of numerous common home repair projects, breaking them down item-by-item including labor costs. This helps avoid "sticker shock" when pricing home improvements and reveals areas where costs can be scaled back.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

An excellent guide for the home remodeler." -- Scitech Book News

From the Publisher
Also look for Exterior Home Improvement Costs, which includes room additions, garages, decks, greenhouses, landscaping, and more, also published by R.S. Means Company, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews

79 of 80 people found the following review helpful.
2Enticing Start--Costly Finish?
RSMeans is a well known name in construction--so well known that I expected much better from this book. Here are some pros and cons of this edition:


You can get a very quick idea of what a broad range of projects will cost. Project costs are itemized in some detail: how much material and how much labor are required for specific size projects. Descriptions also include discussions of project quality differences and of what parts a DIY-er might reasonably complete. As a first pass in cost and time estimating this is very helpful information. Additionally, the book provides regional factors for adjusting project costs to local conditions. Also very helpful.

But on moving beyond the first pass of estimating, the book falls short in the following ways:

First, and most annoying, there is no discussion of labor costs by trade. Wallpaper hangers don't make the same as tile layers who don't make the same as plumbers. Thus, there is no way to estimate what you would really save using paint instead of wallpaper. You could estimate your savings based on the project's average hourly labor charge but this will be wildly misleading. And the average charge is the only number you can calculate from the project sheets because you are given only labor hours--not labor costs.

Second, project details aren't consistent: bathroom projects include line items for electric outlets, switches, and lights. Kitchens do not. Lighting is a major element in good kitchen design. Where are these costs?

Third, there is no discussion of demolition costs: What does it cost to rip out your old kitchen or bath before installing the new one? Similarly, it's not clear whether project costs listed for plumbing are for relocating drains or simply hooking up to existing locations. This can be a major cost factor.

Why do these "cons" matter? Remodeling an island kitchen can cost $16,653 (p.127) or the same size kitchen remodel can cost $36,050 (p.129). This isn't a trivial difference. If you are trying to determine whether your proposed project is closer to $16k then $36k, you need better information than RSMeans provides. Differences in material choices often mean differences in labor hours. So just adjusting your material choices in hopes of controlling your costs could be very misleading.

RSMeans could improve this book significantly by

1. adding more and better detailed tables of information on "Alternate Materials" (see p. 121), including labor hours & costs and many more interior finish materials,

2. adding a table of hourly labor costs by trade and discuss the contractor's role and fee in more detail,

3. improving the consistency of the project detail sheets across projects (so that both kitchens and baths would have lighting and electrical outlets),

4. providing users with project worksheets that are consistent with the book's project worksheets.

The bottom line: Use this book for a first pass, but then, if you are a novice (or even if you aren't) get three professional estimates before you start any significant project.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
4Four Stars
By Oscar P. Rubio
Very helpful book

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful.
5One happy camper
By Natural beauty!!
One of the most interesting thing about this book it allowed me to organize projects like never before. It provides a clear understanding of what to expect when putting together an estimate. It put the project at an ease because this book is simplified!!!

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