Friday, September 24, 2010

How Much?

We've been adding up the costs of the Delaney House and the Cheney Cottage, and it's pretty amazing to see the numbers.

To date, not including the purchase of the houses ($285,000 for Delaney, and $17 of Cheney), we have spent $100,000. Not surprising: we moved the two sections of the Cheney House to Albany, moved the Delaney House back, hired an electrician to install a new box, paid PG&E, paid AT&T, paid EBMUD, etc etc.

But the most surprising number is the cost of the permits. Of the $100,000, almost 1/4 - $22,000 - has been paid to the City of Berkeley. There were several things that jacked this number up and really made us reconsider doing this sort of project in Berkeley:
  • The City refused to let us have one permit for this property - it is one parcel, but because it is two houses, they required two separate permits (doubling the cost). Our understanding is that developers can get one permit for more than one structure, even if they are on adjoining lots - but not small time clowns like us
  • The required a demolition permit for the Delaney House, even though the house was not demolished (even under the City's guidelines)
  • Asking for a surety bond and liability insurance (this was waived on Delaney, but we expect to have to fight the whole fight all over again on Cheney)
What this does not include are the electrical, plumbing and mechanical permits (which, because they are two houses, will require 6 permits in total). So we expect our Permit Center total to top out close to $30,000

We expect the costs for everything else to be somewhere in the range of $150,000 - $175,000. So the permit costs will be as much as 20% of the total cost of the project.

And the City wonders why so many of the residents do their work without permits.

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