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lanikaicoconut

What is the "material cost" for demolition?

lanikaicoconut
last month

I'm looking at a budget estimate I received from a contractor. For the kitchen demolition he's charging $2500 labor and a material cost of $750. For bathroom demolition he's charging $1800, and a material cost of $400. May I ask what these materials are? For example, he's charging $3,000 for the countertop material and $4000 for the labor. That makes sense to me. But I don't understand the materials for demolition.

Comments (14)

  • mxk3 z5b_MI
    last month

    Not a pro, but my guess is clean-up materials like plastic sheeting, trash bags and such, and haul-away costs like dumpster and landfill charges.

  • PRO
    Charles Ross Homes
    last month

    One of the problems when a remodeler provides an estimate to a client is not enough information. The other is too much information.

  • chispa
    last month

    For demolition: dumpsters, hauling fees, landfill charges, protection for other areas of the house that will have to be crossed while taking debris outside (ram board, tape, plastic wall systems to isolate clean rooms, etc). Or maybe building a wood chute from a second story window to dump stuff right into a dumpster below and avoid having to go through the house with debris.

    It all sounds reasonable and you should really appreciate the fact that he has broken down his costs, as many won't do that.

  • Helen
    last month
    last modified: last month

    What difference does it make what it is called - it is the actual net cost that is relevant. The reason line items are spelled out is so that there is no confusion about the scope of what will be covered.

    I just took a look at my initial GC bid which and there were two items related to demo. I am assuming that the hauling part could also be called "materials" since it would have included renting a dumpster. I think this kind of demo stuff needs to be hauled to a commercial dumping facility and not just tossed into municipal garbage

    FWIW my cost for demo was significantly higher but since I live in an urban high rise there were additional costs like bringing stuff down in an elevator and using protective covers for common area floors.

    I really didn't focus on the individual line items - just the scope of what was being covered and that it correctly specified what I was supplying.

    Also at least in my jurisdiction payment is conditioned about reaching certain steps and completing it so that specifying the different components then provides the payment framework. My contract was 10% on signature and then 50% when a step was being started and then theoretically 50% on completion although 10% was held back of total until the entire project was completed to ensure that everything was done relating to the punch list or corrections.

    Demolition: Demo of aprox. 1,100sf kitchen remove built-in cabinets, gut master bath and guest bath, remove all carpet, reove wood flooring, demo her closets, remove all toilets, partial T-bar.
    Hauling: Haul and dumping of all debris.


    ETA - Clarifying that 1100 foot was the GC's approximation of entire square footage of apartment but he didn't use punctuation so the "kitchen" just stated what would be done in the kitchen - I do not have an 1100 foot kitchen. 🤣

  • lanikaicoconut
    Original Author
    last month

    Thank you to all for explaining all of this to me!


    Helen, I actually live in an apartment in Manhattan, and my kitchen is just a fraction of the size your kitchen is. In fact, my entire apartment is slightly larger than the size of your kitchen! This explains why the figures I received were a lot lower than yours. I'm sure he was accounting all the issues of doing work in an apartment building.


    I was talking with a family member and she told me when she was renovating her kitchen in the city, she asked somebody she knew if he wanted to remove the kitchen cabinets and countertop for him to keep. So that may be an idea as my kitchen and countertops are only 7 years old and in good shape. I'm in a bit of shock with the prices when it comes to kitchen renovations in NYC and would like to cut down on cost wherever possible. The cost of new kitchen cabinets, fancy ranges, etc. are just a drop in the bucket compared to labor!

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    last month

    I've heard the parking situation is so bad in NY that contractors pay a guy to drive the truck around the block all day. That means you are going to pay the guy to drive around in the truck all day, plus the gas and expenses.

  • cawaps
    last month

    I think the logistics of apartment kitchen remodels in New York make them a particular challenge.


    Chispa's put together a good list; "materials" may well include anything that is not labor, unless things like dump fees are enumerated elsewhere.

  • missb_remodeling
    last month

    There could also be some testing fees wrapped in there. In our area, we have to have most material tested at a lab to show it doesn't contain asbestos. The disposal costs go up if there is asbestos.

  • Helen
    last month

    To clarify - i remodeled my whole condo unit which is 1148 square feet. I just was using my quotes to illustrate that there are costs involved in a demo which aren't just labor - your GC called them materials versus what they were called on my contract/firm bid.


    And costs for working in a high rise building anywhere - not just Manhattan - add to the costs significantly. I live in a high rise but there is free parking theoretically in my building but my GC still had to coordinate it as there is a limit on the number of parking spaces each GC can use.


    And there are restrictions on hours and days worked; there are requirements for protecting common areas - the cost of that was a separate line item since it required both materials PLUS labor since it had to be put down and taken up each day. Everythng that is delivered needs to come up in the elevator. And the work is being done in a much more restricted area which makes it harder.


    The cost of doing a small kitchen - especially in a high cost of living area isn't that much lower than a larger kitchen unless one has an enormous kitchen with a massive number of cabinets and the need for lots of slabs for the counters. Once they are in there the labor is going to be pretty much the same and that is what really drives up the price.


    Actually the benefit of a smaller kitchen is that one can splurge on materials and finishes because the incremental cost of higher end stuff is minimal because you don't need that much of it and the labor is pretty much the same cost.

  • millworkman
    last month

    "I've heard the parking situation is so bad in NY that contractors pay a guy to drive the truck around the block all day."


    !00% true Joe. They will sit on a side street and move if and when a cop comes by. Then drive around the block and park again.

  • lanikaicoconut
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks for all of your input. It makes sense to me now. I do understand it is crazy in NYC. Joseph, I even hear that some contractors just park wherever they want and collect tickets and that is built into their price.


    The cabinet store I went to in NJ said they work with some guys for the past two years that quoted prices for demolition and installation that was less than 1/2 of the other guy. I'm starting to wonder if they're familiar with working in Manhattan. I'm having a consultation with a kitchen designer tonight so hopefully she'll be able to guide me as well.


    And, Helen, punctuation makes a big difference! I'm also curious (you can DM if you prefer) -- you said your quotes for demolition were a lot higher than mine. As we have similar sized apartments I'm assuming our kitchens would be somewhat the same size. Would you be able to give me a range of how much your contractor charged you?

  • Helen
    last month

    My cost for demoing and hauling out was for the whole condo and pre-pandemic. It wasn't broken down as yours was in terms of the separate areas.


    Some unsolicited advice as I think what you should do is find out what GC other people in your building have used for remodels. Ask your neighbors and ask management. A GC who has worked in your building with be familiar with the rules as well as any anomalies in the actual structure. Things will go smoother. I wouldn't attempt to do what it appears you are thinking of which is acting as the GC. It is difficult enough to do a remodel in a multi family condo or coop.


    Also I am all in favor of being green and if your cabinets are in good shape, you ask who ever demos them to not smash them up. Habitat For Humanity is an excellent place to donate. I think that attempting to find someone to buy them is just going to be too much of a headache for the small sum you might get for what is a relatively small amount of cabinets.

  • lanikaicoconut
    Original Author
    last month

    Thanks for the advice. I'm considering asking the company that renovated this co-op. We purchased a renovated sponsor apartment. It was decent for the most part (except they weren't good with the electrical). We had to rewire our electrical last year and our bathroom electrical has been wonky over the past year as well. Aside from little jobs, nobody I know in the building (it's a small building) has done a full reno. All the renos are


    That contractor actually put in a GC in the budget. He was very thorough! He also added an 8% profit -- though with these figures I thought the profit was already built in!


    I don't want to sell my cabinets -- I just want to give them to whomever can take it away. I may ask my super. He actually took our old fridge last year when we got rid of it.



  • Helen
    last month

    I don’t understand who you are hiring in what capacity.


    A GC is responsible for hiring and overseeing all of the subcontractors although you can exclude certain stuff. For example, all of my cabinets and wood stuff was done by a local custom cabinet maker and that was not included but my GC had worked with him on other projects so he coordinated installation.


    My GC added his overhead to everything. 8% seems low as typically it is between 15% and 20%. My GC charged 18% on everything



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