Building a New Home? Did you receive your estimate as an itemized price list or by the square foot?

»Posted by on Jun 2, 2015 in Blog, Featured, News | 0 comments

With the economy booming (so I hear), pricing on material is changing almost daily (so it feels). I have had this question asked of me about 10 times in the last 2 weeks: “how much will it cost per square foot to build a home”? You will hear quotes from $125.00 per SF to $225.00 per SF.  My answer: what building material are you using, e.g., stick build or truss and what do you envision for your finish esthetics, e.g., chair rails, raised panels, crown moldings, granite? This is when my client says, “well, I would like some of those finishes, but not all of them are needed”.  Okay then, this is where IF YOU HAD an agreement with the contractor at a price per square foot, it gets a little tricky and starts to fall apart. Once you start removing and adding items it is almost impossible to adjust the square foot price for accuracy. The question now remains: are you actually paying more or less on the square foot for what you are getting. My opinion, price the ACTUAL item, product, and linear footage for accuracy. Have a plan, a physical construction set. Then, if you don’t have a general contractor of choice, price it yourself. Visit at least two local lumberyards for a price on material, and they will give you a labor estimate when asked. Keep in mind though, the labor estimate, if given, may not be the same quality you are looking for, but it is exactly what you need to consider – “labor estimate”.  The reason I believe and know this is the best way to go, is from over 25 years of personal experience. Think about it, if you have a great room side by side with a formal dining room, both without interior walls, how would one believe the square foot (12”x 12”) estimate method is accurate?  It cannot be.  The best way to maintain your budget and accuracy in estimating is spending the time to price nail by nail and a good general contractor (G.C.) that knows quality, who is affordable and a punctual individual with a knack for maintaining their client’s budget.  Do not get into the big no-no after you sign an agreement with a G.C. and decide on upgrading items and changing the design plan!  This is where the budget wanders off course, does not come back (only climbs higher) and the G.C. can now make up for lost money and time if one so decides in order to keep the job moving along.  This warning is usually the one that blows all the budgets – “on-site changes”.  So take it from me; first: take your time in planning, second: invest in what you can afford – not keeping up with the “Jones”, third: monitor and be involved in your construction process.  After all, this is your home.  Happy building and enjoy the summer! Please consider DiPetrillo Properties for YOUR Home Building – we specialize in ground up...

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Are solar panels for residential properties worth it?

»Posted by on May 14, 2015 in Blog, Featured, News | 0 comments

The Answer – “ABSOLUTELY”!  Most people do not realize that it’s not just  the electric company that offers credits for purchase and rebates of renewable energy installations/projects — there are private companies out there that will foot the whole bill and/or you are often able to establish a small payment plan (could be around $100.00 per month) added to your electric bill (directly) each month, as opposed to a large one time expenditure.  The savings alone (approximately 20-30{48370f4c7e8d05e54649e612d3c42fc7fd435ea0d0341dced4441d5061938337} annually) could prove to be greater than the payments/expense for the panels – it will make sense.  On the other hand, if you do not have a large home or a lot of activity going on at your residence (such as a farm), it might not make sense at all, as you will notice when you run your numbers… Residential solar systems, on average, cost about $20,000 to install.  State and Federal subsidies generally cover about half the cost, bringing it down to about $10,000 in out-of-pocket expenses.  This is where those private small companies that you’ve been seeing popping up come in to play to better incentify these potential money saving programs by assisting you with affordable installation and payment. options. What are you getting for the price?  Beyond the actual solar panels, the solar package(s) generally include a new electric meter, installed by the electric utility, that registers credits for the homeowner.  When the solar panels produce more power than is needed, the meter then helps deduct credits when the electric usage exceeds the electricity being produced by the panels. The first and most important question is always “…what is my return”?  Well, after doing the math, the solar systems do add value to the investment! So when measuring the cost of installing solar panels, you must include the value it adds to your property in addition to the savings on your electric bill. Just another option when going green and making your property more efficient. Craig DiPetrillo – DiPetrillo Properties – Planning, Investments,...

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April Showers bring Spring Flowers ..and TO DO LISTs for Upkeep!

»Posted by on May 1, 2015 in Blog, Featured, News | 0 comments

Finally, NO MORE SNOW! Now it’s time to prepare a calendar for your “To Do List”, those items that you have to keep up with every year and those that you just didn’t tackle last year…here is another chance. 1.  First step – Prioritize. I find it simple and most efficient to place the things on top of the list that don’t need to be done by you and that might need some time to prepare for – like getting landscape quotes for larger projects, etc…  Reaching out to contractors and requesting quotes in January/February might seem like the best idea but I find it is often more beneficial if you can wait until March/April which then allows the landscape companies to really see what their work load looks like. This is a great way to get the best price – if they’re very busy already, you can sometimes avoid the higher price-tag (quotes) and if they’re too slow – you will see that right in the estimate! Obviously, lawn care companies and landscape contractors are the ones I always try to get referrals for and usually use the ‘ones’ I know or that someone I know knows. But, regardless…always get (3) estimates! 2. Step 2 — How’s the outside of the building looking? Are all those old seams stuck together or are they separating? Take a really close look at the exterior/siding, you would be surprised at how often houses may look great from a distance, but stand 12”-16” away and you begin to see it from a new light. Good from afar, far from good! All those paint cracks on the trim, which allow rain and moisture in need to be sealed (caulked). This is the FIRST ENEMY that attacks the un-protected areas of your home. As that happens, don’t be surprised as time passes if you see ants living within the moldings and corners… 3. Step 3 — Check the sill of the foundation. Does it look good? Sometimes that foam you originally used to seal and protect becomes too brittle as it is so close to the ground/surface, creating an opportunity for moisture to get in. 4.  Step 4 — Walk around the foundation and see how the finish grade shifted. You may need to take a rake (or shovel) to it, and once again slope it away from the house. Allowing it to puddle against the foundation is only inviting water in. This is something most people just do not think of checking until their carpet is soaked in the family room located in the basement. 5.  Step 5 – Roofline and chimney. Having a good set of binoculars on hand is always a good idea to skim the exterior roof line and chimney! 6.  Step 6 — How’s the driveway? Sealing and filling those cracks are important to promote longevity of the asphalt/concrete. If you plan on seal coating the asphalt, that is great but the rule is to not to over do it, every other year should be sufficient. Having too much will cause flaking and contribute to cracking.   Craig DiPetrillo – DiPetrillo Properties – Planning, Investments,...

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