Cost of a basement foundation with egress window

An architect in our network is considering adding a 400 square foot basement below a new 400 square foot addition.
It’s odd that basements are such a rare thing around here.  Basements are standard for the rest of the country.
To excavate a 20’x20′ space, it will cost $25,000.  This includes the excavation and to haul off 150 yards of soil.
Exporting soil has a fee of $700 a load.  A load in a dump truck is 7-8 yards.
20’x20′ x 8′ deep is 120 yards of soil. That is 17 loads an $15,000 in fees to the transfer station/dump
4 days labor plus machinery is $1,200/day = $5,000 for labor and machinery
Shoring is additional.
The foundation footings will be about $8,000
The foundation walls will be poured concrete for another $8000
With a contractor doing this it would be $40,000.
That’s 400 square feet for $40,000.
You can finish this space for a very reasonable cost too.
This is such a good value. Around here, real estate is valued at $900+ per square foot and construction costs are usually $300-$500+ per square foot.  There is a lot of value in a basement.
It’s tempting to have fun with this idea now…
  • Add radiant floor heat.
  • You could get a bedroom or two into a 400 square foot footprint and rent it out
  • Add a basement bar
  • Add a playroom for the kids
  • An office
  • Media room
  • Music room
This is making me wonder why we don’t do basements all the time!

Cost to design, permit and build a house in a landslide zone in Berkeley

These are the architecture plans and the budget for completing a small backyard home in a landslide zone in Berkeley.

Anyone considering building on a steep lot and especially a landslide zone will get a wide range of potential costs. These costs vary by project and site of course.  This is one point where you can mark down as accurate.  We finished this project.

Frankly, it’s expensive. The full cost of just the excavation, concrete piers and foundation was close to $40,000.

For the full budget including every line item, see the attached pdf at the bottom.

 

This is the site plan for the backyard cottage.

Site Plan

This is the “elevation” of the front of the house.

Elevation (View from the Front)

This is a more detailed floor plan.  Note how much counter space is in this relatively small kitchen.  It’s better to have room to cook than room to watch TV:)

Floor PlanThis shows the 12′ deep concrete piers that had to be drilled, filled with rebar and concrete, then tied into the visible part of the foundation. Concrete PiersConcrete Piers 2

 

Click here for the full budget including architecture, structural engineering, surveyor, soils engineering (geo tech), permits, site work and all construction.

Budget for Completed House in Berkeley Hills

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Susan’s Cottage in Berkeley, CA

Susan Entry

 

This little cottage is all about bringing family together.
It is located on a quiet East Bay block that is lined with cute California bungalows. Susan, the owner, will initially use this as extra space when her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchild, are visiting from their home in Israel. Susan’s daughter is contemplating moving back to the Bay Area. If that is the case, this cottage may become Susan’s home while her daughter, son-in-law and grandchild move into the main home.

Susan has entertained renting her main home while she travels to Israel, but for now she is using her main home just as she always has. Currently she’s running the cottage as a busy bed and breakfast that is generating up to $3,000 per month in rent!
This cottage was designed for two people. It has a separate loft and tons of built-in storage. It was oriented to face a shared backyard patio for outdoor dining, and it’s just a few steps from the big kitchen in the main home. Most importantly, there is an area that can hold a big enough table for weekly dinners that have been a tradition for the family and the family’s friends for decades.

Susan DoorSusan Floor PlanSusan LivingSusan Loft