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What is the average cost to do construction in SF? I want to add a bedroom to my home.

I own the top floor of a duplex in Russian Hill. I want to add 400Sq and I just received a quote from a contractor saying it's 300 per square foot. That sounds really high. Does anyone know what a fair market average would be?

Thanks

Ray
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June 11 - Russian Hill
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Answers (6)

Greetings, Ray...I have a building design background, and assisted many Bay Area property owners with additions to their homes.  Not sure where you are in the process, but it is best to set up a meeting with someone from the S.F. Planning & Bldg. Dept., to make sure what you are proposing is feasible. 

Then a preliminary plan set would typically need to be presented to both, the City of S.F.'s  D.B.I., and contractor for a take-off bid.  You can also check out the CSLB website for tips on choosing the right contractor.  They recommend securing 2 - 3 competitive bids.  Only then can you narrow it down when it comes to pricing. 

In my experience, when building or adding on to an existing home, there is no one-size-fits-all solution.  If you have not done so already, I suggest sitting down with a reputable building designer or architect.  Feel free to contact me if you need additional guidance.  Best!  --Sebastian, The East Bay REALTOR®
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July 05
I second going the legal route, and getting permits on any work you do. And make sure that you use only licensed contractors who are insured.
$300 per sf doesn't sound unreasonable to me either for San Francisco.
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June 16
$300/sf sounds reasonable in SF, but get quotes from several contractors...I can give you a free referral to a licensed general contractor, on his website you will see examples of his work...$Good Luck$
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June 14
Hi Ray,

I work with an LLC that renovates homes in SF, so have a fair amount of experience with this sort of work. $300/ft might be high in some parts of the country, but in SF thats pretty low.  Generally construction in the city, with high end finishes, is between $400 and $500 per foot.  If you're just adding a bedroom, and it's within the envelope of the existing home (ie, using attic space, or other unfinished areas) then $300 might be doable, but that wont include any extra costs like permits, architects, structural engineers etc.

I'd be happy to recommend some contractors and architects who can help with this.  Contact me at any time.

Hope this helps!
-Ryan
 
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June 14
Profile picture for Pasadenan
You might check the website:
http://www.building-cost.net/CornersType.asp

It does pretty good for most residential construction for most of the U.S. and allows one to put in the various options.  But it is really not designed for additions or remodel, and part of the cost will depend on what one needs to do to the existing to accommodate the construction.

Remember, the smaller amount you build the higher the cost per square foot.  Also remember that Kitchen and bath are more expensive than just "floor space" and "storage".

And you indicate 2nd floor?  What is below?  If you are adding a second floor to an existing first floor, you will need to replace the footings... and the owner downstairs may not agree with that.

From your description, $300 per square foot sounds too low.

I'm also assuming with a duplex with more than one owner, that there may be an HOA?  One would also need to comply with the HOA bylaws.
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June 11
Your best bet would be to get a few more quotes from other contractors.  Do compare the materials that they will be using and the timeline they can finish in. Don't forget to apply for a permit through the city.  You do want to legalize the addition.
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June 11
 
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What is the average cost to do construction in SF? I want to add a bedroom to my home.
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