Custom Home Builder Houston Heights | Creating an Estimate with Bicycle Bungalows
By Bill

Custom Home Builder Houston Heights | Bidding a project
This content was written for Bicycle Bungalows

Bidding a project with a custom home builder Houston Heights. When it comes to bidding a project or creating an estimate, there are a lot of factors to consider for a custom home builder Houston Heights. Bidding a project correctly and accurately requires knowing dimensions of all pieces in the project. Creating an estimate based on these specifics leads to real proposals for work to be done. The number of “hidden” expenses can often startle the owner. We intentionally get very specific about all the details of a project so there are few if any surprises. So, let me share specifically what are we talking about with a bid or an estimate.

Frequently people will want to talk to me about giving an estimate to build an addition, but they won’t have any idea of how many feet they want added or what needs to be done to the existing structure. Before we can give an accurate bid or a decent estimate, Bicycle Bungalows custom homebuilder Houston Heights needs to have a good set of plans from an architect or a designer. The plans need to have dimensions which show how long each room is and how wide various spaces are. We need to see the existing structure as a drawing. We need to see where the new addition ties into the existing structure. The drawing needs to show the cabinet layouts for the kitchen, the size of appliances that are going in, location of sink and dishwasher, as well as dimensions of an island if any. The windows need to have dimensions as well. There should be a window schedule and a door schedule showing existing doors and windows as well as proposed new doors and windows. Another drawing that we need are the exterior elevations which show the side views of the exterior of the house from each direction; Front, back, left, right. The Elevations need to be scaled as well. The elevations should also show the eve height above the ground and the height from the windowsill to the ground for the first floor and second floor windows. The elevations should also indicate the type of exterior cladding that is on the addition as well as the cladding on the existing house. The elevations will show the roof and indicate the roof pitch which is represented by two numbers, the rise and the run. The rise as the number of inches the roof will rise in a 12 inch span. The run is the number of inches the roof will expand in a 12-inch span. Another drawing that is needed is the electrical plan which shows the location of all the lights, light switches, GFI [ground fault interrupter] outlets which are required in locations in the kitchen and the bathrooms. We don’t really need the regular outlets shown on the plans unless the owner specifically wants an outlet in a specific location. If it’s a three-way switch this needs to be indicated and shown in the various locations. Smoke detectors need to be shown on both the electric plan and a floor plan. Smoke detectors need to be located in every bedroom and outside of every bedroom. Smoke detectors must be interconnected so that when one is alarmed, they all will sound.
Once we, Bicycle Bungalows custom home builder Houston Heights, have the plans in hand, I like to have a set of quarter inch scale plans showing the floorplans in the elevations. I need a PDF of the drawings that I can email to various trade partners who will be bidding the project. I will generally email the floorplans to get bids on the following trades: drywall, electrical, plumbing, painting, interior trim and cabinets, roofing, framing and cornice, windows, interior and exterior doors, structured wiring, foundation plan, and energy code calculations. I will calculate the following for my own estimates: wood flooring, tile flooring, tile walls, tile backsplash, countertop materials and sinks. When I get estimates back from the trade partners, I will enter them into a spreadsheet. Some items such as windows and doors will require me to set up a separate spreadsheet to ensure I have an accurate count for each size and location. It is important to determine if the window needs to be tempered or not. If the window is over a tub or in a shower or within two feet of a door’s active edge, the window needs to be tempered. If the glass is within 18 inches of the floor, it needs to be tempered. If the window is greater than a certain square-foot age it will need to be tempered. When estimating flooring one has to look at the number of stair treads, the type of flooring to be installed to determine if it will be glued or nailed. The type of underlayment for the flooring needs to be accounted for. Determination of sound transmission is required for a second-floor wood flooring system, or if a vapor barrier is necessary for the first floor over a crawlspace to prevent moisture from getting into the wood from the bottom. The type of finish needs to be accounted for. Some finishes will require popping a grain of the wood with alcohol, and then applying the stain. This adds extra money for the cost of the floor finishing. Another big cost factor will be the type of finish coating that goes over the stain. Normal finish uses an oil-based urethane finish. Bicycle Bungalows custom homebuilder Houston Heights is trying to push water-based finish coat because they dry much faster, they are the harder surface, and they do not leave any smell. The problem is the cost is sometimes up to a dollar more per square foot. For calculating tile, factors that need to be considered are the type of tile that is going to be used. If small tiles are used that are not part of a mosaic sheet, it will be much more labor-intensive to install. Wall tiles are generally more expensive to install that floor tiles. Natural stones such as marble don’t have a mosaic sheet and are much more labor-intensive to install. While tiles are generally more expensive to install than floor tiles, natural stones such as marble have veins that causes the tiles to be brittle and will be more expensive because several tiles maybe used to install one. Sometimes the tile setter will charge extra to install a special edge tile or even an accent strip. There is also a cost if the homeowner wants a shampoo niche or bench. Custom Home Builder Houston Heights We will estimate the “rough in” material and that will be a fixed price which includes the backer board, the mastic and any tape or joint compound. For allowance items, we include anything that the owner will select which is the individual tiles, the grout, any special edge treatment.
For countertop calculations, we need to know if the tile is going to be applied to the edges or not, whether there will be any waterfall edges, or any special profile cut into the edge. Generally, two-centimeter countertops are laminated and will cost a bit more on the fabrication. Three-centimeter material has a lower labor costs because it generally is a single layer and it’s not laminated. The fabricator will charge extra for each sink that is installed. Custom Home Builder Houston Heights There are a lot of installations with waterfalls edging which is where the edge of the counter it’s cut at a 45° angle and on the side of the cabinet or island, the material will run on the vertical surface in the top corner is cut at the other 45° to make an invisible 90° corner. This gives very modern look. We have been installing flooring and shower benches that are about 2 1/2 to 3 inches tall and these look best with waterfall edges on three sides. He’s are done with mitered 45° corners.

Here at Bicycle Bungalows custom home builder Houston Heights we strive to bed properly and work with the owner to get just exactly what they would like.