cost to renovate

I inspected a home that a woman who lives in California wants to buy and renovate in Alliance, OH.

Most of the plumbing is gone, needs a new furnace, no hot water heater, holes in walls, only sub-floor throughout the house (no carpet). Slate and asphalt roof (slate was OK just needed some repair). Roof structure was ok, but three of the four foundation walls were bowed more than 1/3 the width of the block inward. Electrical panel was new with new breakers and romax throughout the house (power was off) but you know that it probably had ungrounded three prong outlets throughout.

My question is, does anyone have a formula to ball park the cost of repairs ($$$ per sq. ft. type) so she can make a more educated guess as to whether or not she wants to proceed with the purchase?

Thanks, todd

If she is just now asking that question, she is in way over her head and should not buy it, IMHO…

…or, a good ballpark may be $150/ per square foot, which is real basic new construction, but even with that there are just too many variables. Some things cost more to redo than new.

…or, get three bids on everything then double it. :smiley:

My main concern is the foundation, new drywall and the rest can easily be done, but the three wall that have to be brought back to plumb…does anyone have a ballpark to repair, as these walls have passed the point of no return?



obviously, best to see any problems with bowed walls so hard to say from here. :mrgreen:

we`ve done/waterproofed some bowed walls that were pushed in maybe, 1-2" and HO only wanted them waterproofed, they pretty much understood the “cause”. So, in “every” case when wall(s) were bowed in 1-2" or so, after hand digging em out, hauling all the clay,roots and other garbage away, waterproofing and backfilling with peastone, no further problems. No movement, no mold/efflorescence or leak.

have done some for HOs who had wall bowed in ALOT, shtt, if i remember right one was about 6"...they were getting tons of water in and ONLY wanted to stop the water from entering. Had to obv.write in contract that wall has lost alot of its 'lateral resistance' and couldnt guarantee the possibilty and ‘some’ future movement…especially the opening/closing a few times a year of the horizontal crack but certainly did guarantee the waterproofing.

one was a house in Harper Woods and was done in 1997,parents of a friend and, to this day the wall has not moved anymore, they still live there. They had large roots right-up against the wall, plus clay.

so, sometimes…after relieving the cause, the pressure on outside, one could ‘save’ a wall if ya want to call it dat.

have had a buddy and seen other HOs who opted to jack up house and knock out entire wall or a lil more, rebuild the wall, waterproof it and backfill with gravel and/or underpin-beams-and other stuff and within 6 months or so, the new wall bowed in! Yes sir, have seen this occur about 50% of the time....they didnt leak, just bowed in so, spending TONS of money to rebuild a wall is NOT an absolute happy ending `n will only pizz off a HO more, and rightly so, often not fault of contractors as they did what they could do. Its the ones who backfill w/same soil & garbage and not w/gravel ya gotta watch out for

most problems occur when people get talked in these wall anchors or grip tite etc and have an Inside systems installed and leave-the-soil/roots on outside of wall, they didn`t relieve/lessen the pressure…the most likely cause of why the dang wall bowed,cracked, leaked in the first place…big mistake.

And careful when using heavy equipment near/next to existing or new walls, weight of equipment alone can cause an underground-lateral-surcharge pressure which is transferred to the wall, could crack/bow a wall…read last paragraph --Careful on Construction Site

cost? depends how long walls are, how deep to footing, concrete/central ac in the way, trees/bushes etc. Lets say the linear footage is 85’ and depth to footing is 6’…to hand dig it out, waterproof it and backfill w/all gravel would be about $7,200…or $85 ish per ft.

If replacing/rebuilding wall(s) then one may gets bids around $150 per ft, like Mr Kage said, to maybe $200 or a lil more per ft…so now it could cost $12,750 to 17,000 or lil more :-& and with the possibilty of future movement…got milk? #-o

There aren`t other homes for sale there with less problems? ](*,)

See -Basement Walls…CAUSE `n RESOLUTION scroll down to…
—A Little Crack Can Mean Big problems

–Houses Crack Up In Drought,21985,21036007-5010020,00.html

Great info John, more than I expected. And yes, it is going to be my suggestion to look for something else in the neighborhood, I found three already. She lives in California and buying in Ohio, so she a few logistic problems.

Thanks for your help.


What is it with Ohio? I hear of more bowed walls and leaky basement problems there, it seems, than anywhere else. Is it a lot of clay soils? I know about bad backfill, etc., but builders do that in NY/PA too, and we don’t see all that many bowed or leaky basements.

It is true, as John B. suggests, that sometimes a wall has moved all it’s going to move, and crack all it’s going to crack, and a slight movement doesn’t threaten the structural viablity of the wall, so waterproofing outside may cure the water problems for a very long time, and maybe forever.

That’s why, if you encounter a cracking or bowing wall, it’s important to start making precise measurements and keeping accurate records, to determine first IF there is continuing movement, and second, the rate of movement. If movement is continuing, then something should be done, and reading John B.'s posts should give a clear idea of what is best and most economical.

hey Todd

don’t suggest costs and don’t recommend individual companies. I find its best that the client takes the report and makes calls to the trades persons. to receive quotes

I don’t do estimates. I’ve said this on POS houses that need a tremendous amout of work. Some of the language may be useful to you.

“Maintenance has been poor throughout the exterior of the home. Siding, trim, windows, screens, etc. are in general disrepair and we cannot comment on every instance of each defect because they are too numerous. We recommend that you have the house evaluated by a licensed general contractor and that you perform your own evaluation of the house exterior because the cost of bringing it up to acceptable standards may be considerable. Note that the process of demolition and renovation may reveal hidden defects that may affect your costs for remodeling.”

That’s code for “You’re nuts if you buy the dump.”