How to Price a Framing Job
Whether you are building a home from scratch or creating an extension, framing is going to be a part of the process. Pricing a framing job is not an exact science, but by following these guidelines, you'll be better able to tell what a fair price for the work should be.
According to statistics gathered by the National Association of Home Builders in 2011, the average cost of framing a new house was just under $25,000 (or 13.5% of the total construction cost) nationwide. While this figure can certainly be helpful in determining how much your particular framing job is likely to cost, national averages of any construction expense can be significantly higher or lower than the actual cost of your project for a number of reasons.
National averages of any construction expense can be significantly higher or lower than the actual cost.
1.Framing Project Scope
The NAHB average is created by first assuming that the size of the project is 2,311 square feet--the average size of new homes constructed throughout the nation in 2011. This, of course, means that projects of smaller scope would carry a lower cost for framing while the frames of larger houses would cost more. The size of your proposed project is definitely a huge factor in its price, but several other elements can play a role as well, and in some cases these elements can influence the framing cost even more significantly.
2.Your Geographic Location affects Price
Framing a new home in Boston, Massachusetts carries a different price than framing a home in Bismark, North Dakota; construction costs in southern Texas will be different than those in southern California. These differences are partially due to different considerations (soil stability, the weight of certain roofing components, etc.) but they are also heavily influenced by the cost of living in the area, the availability of materials, local taxes, and a number of other items that are very dependent on a project's geographic location. In many cases, the more expensive a place is to live in, the more expensive any construction project will be, and the higher the cost will be for individual elements of that project, like framing. See our guide on Cost to Frame a House to learn more.
3.The Style of Framing You Choose
While most new residential construction throughout the United States will employ what is known as stick framing, others will use post and beam framing or metal framing to create the structure's skeletal system. Stick framing is the standby because it is affordable, but other framing styles that are more expensive boast benefits that this standard framing option does not. Specialty framing will almost certainly drive up the initial cost of the job, but may be desirable in certain situations where stick framing does not allow for a specific design to be realized.
4.Talking to Local Framing Contractors
There are far too many specifics involved in this task to make that figure hold true for most homeowners. In fact, though the NAHB statistics are helpful for establishing a ballpark figure (particularly when dealing with percentages rather than dollar amounts), the best source homeowners have for establishing the cost of just about any project in his or her area is a series of framing contractors.
By getting multiple quotes from contractors in your area, you'll have a much clearer picture of how the many variables in the framing price come together in your particular project. Additionally, discussing the project with multiple contractors will allow you to feel out potential hires and see which one is the easiest to communicate with. Most projects that involve framing will be lengthy ones, and having a contractor you communicate with well is truly a benefit during a long project. In some cases, you might have to pay a little more for that easy conversation, but many homeowners have found that this is one expense that's well worth the additional cost.
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